Las Vegas police chief says response to
gunman came 'as quick as possible'
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[October 12, 2017]
(Reuters) - Las Vegas police are
getting closer to finding an explanation for why a gunman carried out
the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, the city's police
chief said on Wednesday, as he defended the speed of the department's
response to the massacre.
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, who oversees the police
department, told the Las Vegas CBS television affiliate in an interview
that police officials were not trying to cover anything up a day after
revising the timeline for the shooting.
The revision on Monday showed hotel security was aware of a gunman six
minutes before he started firing into a crowd of more than 20,000
people, killing 58. The revised timeline raised new questions, including
why gunman Stephen Paddock ceased firing on concertgoers once he began,
and whether hotel security and police coordinated as well as first
"No matter what that timeline was, the response was as quick as
possible. I don't think the response could have been any faster,"
Lombardo said in a video posted on the station's LasVegasNow.com
Paddock, 64, injured hundreds of people attending a music festival in a
hail of bullets fired from the windows of his suite on the 32nd floor of
the Mandalay Bay hotel. He then shot himself to death before police
stormed his room.
Lombardo on Monday said Paddock shot a hotel security guard Jesus
Campos, who was checking on an open-door fire alarm on the same floor,
six minutes before beginning to fire on the crowd.
Officials initially said Paddock, who had placed hidden cameras outside
the room to monitor activity, first fired into the concert and then
stopped shooting after strafing the hotel hallway through the doorway of
his room when Campos was apparently detected by the gunman.
[to top of second column]
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo responds to a question during a
media briefing at the Las Vegas Metro Police headquarters in Las
Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 3, 2017. Aaron Rouse, FBI Special Agent
in Charge of the Las Vegas Division, looks on at right. REUTERS/Las
Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
Earlier police accounts also said a wounded Campos helped direct
police to the room occupied by Paddock, who by then had quit firing
on concertgoers. Lombardo originally said police officers reached
the 32nd floor within 12 minutes of the first reports of the attack.
"We will have a pretty good assessment of the reasons why, but it is
going to take time," he said, adding "there are going to be
questions that will never be answered."
Las Vegas police officials were not immediately available for
MGM Resorts International <MGM.N>, which owns the Mandalay Bay,
questioned the latest chronology from police, saying in a statement
on Tuesday that it may not be accurate.
ABC News reported on Wednesday the gunman's girlfriend, Marilou
Danley, has been put on a U.S. government watch list that will
notify authorities if she attempts to leave the country on a
commercial airline flight.
Danley, 62, has been called a "person of interest" in the case. Her
lawyer said she had no inkling of Paddock's plans.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; additional reporting
by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; editing by G Crosse)
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