There's a troubling gap in the Las Vegas shooting timeline




 

(A member of the FBI leaves the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on October 4.REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

People are pressing police and the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino to explain an apparent six-minute gap in authorities latest timeline of the Las Vegas shooting.

At 9:59 p.m. on October 1, Stephen Paddock shot a security guard, Jesus Campos, through the door of his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. Campos, who was hit in the leg, notified security. At 10:05 p.m., Paddock opened fire from his hotel room on 22,000 people attending a music festival across the street. At 10:17 p.m., the first police officers arrived on the 32nd floor.

A US official told The Associated Press on Thursday that the hotel did not notify police of any gunshots until after Paddock opened fire on the crowd. That would mean there were roughly six minutes between when the first shot was fired in the Mandalay Bay and when police were summoned.

This timeline leaves 18 minutes between when Campos was shot and when the first police officers arrived on the scene. During these 18 minutes, Paddock carried out the largest mass shooting in modern US history - authorities say he had already fired his last shots and killed himself before officers arrived on the 32nd floor.

Many say the timeline is strange, especially in a place like the Las Vegas Strip that has many security officials. Why did it take police officers so long to arrive at the scene?

Here are some of the possible explanations.

The police timeline may be wrong

(A police officer in front of the Mandalay Bay.REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

The timeline that places Campos' call six minutes before Paddock started shooting from his window could simply be flawed.

"We cannot be certain about the most recent timeline that has been communicated publicly, and we believe what is currently being expressed may not be accurate," Debra DeShong, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts, the Mandalay Bay's parent company, said in a statement Tuesday night.

DeShong continued: "This remains an ongoing investigation with a lot of moving parts. As evidenced by law-enforcement briefings over the past week, many facts are still unverified and continue to change as events are under review."

Joseph Lombardo, the Clark County sheriff, gave some credence to this explanation on Wednesday.

"Nobody's trying to be nefarious, nobody's trying to hide anything, and what we want to do is draw the most accurate picture we can," Lombardo said in a TV interview, the Chicago Tribune reported. "I'm telling you right now, today, that that timeline might change again."

Confusion or other factors may have slowed police

(Medical staff tend to people in the immediate aftermath of the shooting in Las Vegas on October 1.Reuters)

The Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday that "police audio dispatches revealed widespread confusion among officers at the scene, who had not received Campos' alert and were urgently trying to figure out where the gunfire was coming from."

Police and armed hotel-security officials arrived on the floor at about the same time: roughly 10:17 p.m.

Questions about why this took close to 20 minutes could be used as ammunition by victims suing the Mandalay Bay, legal experts previously told Business Insider.

Was the hotel constructed in a manner that made it harder for security officials to get around quickly? Did the Mandalay Bay's staff fail to immediately alert the police? Did internal security procedures break down after Campos was shot?

The answers remain unclear, and Lombardo defended police officers' efforts.

"No matter what the timeline is, the response was as quick as possible, and I don't think the response could have been any faster," Lombardo said, according to the Tribune.

Wacky conspiracy theories are gaining steam

(A makeshift memorial at an intersection at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip on October 3.Getty Images/Drew Angerer)

The Mandalay Bay has quickly become a target for conspiracy theorists floating explanations that currently have no basis in fact.

Here's a short list of theories, all of which rely on anonymous sources or pure imagination:

Conspiracy theories - which often plague victims following tragedies - are not relevant in and of themselves, but they show people who are seeking answers that, at this point, are unknown.

"There's going to be some questions that will never get answered," Lombardo said Wednesday.

Las Vegas police officials are scheduled to host another press conference on Friday.

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