Vegas gunman bodycam, In a 32nd-floor stairwell outside the gunman’s Mandalay Bay suite, a group of officers shoot silent glances at one another and cover their ears.
“Breach, breach, breach,” one says before a loud explosion booms nearby. The group appears unfazed.
It’s the night of Oct. 1, about an hour after Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest festival crowd, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds more. These officers are about to enter the suite that served as Paddock’s vantage point, and the moment can be seen in police body camera footage released Wednesday after a lengthy court battle.
The newly released videos, which amount to about two hours and 42 minutes of footage, grant the public its first peek into officers’ movements on the night of the tragedy. The Metropolitan Police Department is under court order to produce many more video records like it, as well as 911 calls from Oct. 1.
As the footage continues, a fire alarm begins blaring — a result of the explosive charge that blew Paddock’s door. The officers do not react to it.
Instead, together, they move slowly and quietly out of the stairwell. As one officer rounds the corner, he spots a rifle on the ground, just inside Paddock’s doorway — it’s one of 23 like it that police would soon find strewn about Paddock’s suite.
“On the ground, with a bipod, to the right,” the officer says, describing the weapon.
The first officer to enter the suite, Levi Hancock, did not activate his body camera, so the public will never see those first few seconds inside the room from which Paddock wreaked much of his havoc.
Instead, the footage comes from two K-9 officers — Sgt. Joshua Bitsko and David Newton. Both entered Paddock’s rooms a short time after Hancock. Paddock’s body already had been found on the floor.