The Timeline of the Las Vegas Mass Shooting, Start to SWAT

Dean Weingarten

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- – I, and others have been puzzled by the time it took to enter the room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Room 135 was where the mass killer set up to attack the Route 91 Harvest Country Music attendees.

The first calls to 911 happened at 10:08 p.m. local time. The police blasted down the door to Room 135 on the 32nd floor about 72 minutes later.
But what happened in between those times? At what time did the mass murderer stop shooting at people below? Those times are becoming clear.  From cbslocal.com:

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Gunfire rang out last night just two floors below Chris Bethel’s Mandalay Bay Hotel room. “I could just hear the gun shots. Continuously. Just full automatic,” said Bethel. “There’s explosions going off. It was like, a bomb just went off man. And then there were more gun shots.”

The above statement does not tell us when the mass murderer stopped firing at the people below. We know that he fired for about 10 minutes at the people attending the Route 91 Harvest festival. That festival was 500 yards from his shooting position in the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. He used bump fire type stocks on two separate rifles to simulate automatic weapons fire. He was firing from two prepared positions, set up at two separate windows. The use of two positions fits well with the pauses between bursts of fire. The first pause was 37 seconds.

An officer on the ground reported gunfire as late as 10:21.  Those last shots could have been the shooting of the hotel security man outside of the mass killer's door.  From newsweek.com:

10:19 p.m.: A team of four officers makes their way into the hotel up to the 32nd floor. It's unclear if the shooting is still going on.

10:21 p.m.: An out-of-breath officer yells over the radio: “Gunshot wounds to the chest and head. We need immediate medical!”

At 10:26, a different officer reports they found a wounded security guard. This is likely reporting the same gunshot wounds listed above at 10:21.

The police and hotel security responded to the shooter at his room before or at 10:21.  At 10:24,  an officer outside of the room gives the room number and the floor number.  He says:

“It's room 135 on the 32nd floor. I need the SWAT.”

The gunshots heard by Chris Bethel after the explosion are almost certainly the SWAT Team firing into the room as they enter. Sheriff Lombardo reports, as noted  on CNN:

High up on the hotel's residential floors, a first responder radioed in: “I'm inside the Mandalay Bay on the 31st floor, I can hear automatic fire coming from one floor ahead… one floor above us.”
“Subsequently they approached the room, received gunfire, they backed off and SWAT responded,” Lombardo said.

Lombardo confirmed the first responders received gunfire, then backed off.

Clark County Sherriff Joe Lombardo confirms that the mass killer was already dead when SWAT entered the room.  From the voanews.com:

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo says “We believe the individual killed himself prior to our entry [into his hotel room].”

We do not know if the Mandalay Bay Hotel security man was with the police when they first approached the room, or not. Was the gunfire referred to by Sheriff Lombardo the shots when the security man was wounded? The security man might have been shot separately. We do not know, but the events had to be close together or part of a continuous event. It would have made sense for a hotel security man to accompany the police during the first confrontation. He would know the layout.

The mass killer was no longer shooting after 10:21. This explains why the SWAT team did not blast down the door until 11:21. The extreme urgency had ended. The shooter had stopped firing an hour earlier. It explains why President Trump complemented the Las Vegas Police. From deadline.com:

“The [Vegas] police department has done such an incredible job,” Trump told reporter, adding, “and we will be talking about gun laws as time goes by.” He did not elaborate and returned to his first theme:

“I do have to say how quickly the police department was able to get in was really very much of a miracle. They’ve done an incredible job.

What happened is becoming clear.

Shortly before or after firing through his hotel door, the mass killer stopped shooting at people below. That happened a little before 10:21.

His stopping of shooting at people below occurred at almost exactly the same time that he shot at first responders outside his door.

Very likely, that is when he committed suicide. It is a common occurrence in these mass killing events. After the shooting stopped, SWAT took a more careful approach to blasting down the door, which happened about an hour later.

The private security guard deserves our thanks. He may not want the publicity. It appears he was wounded in both the chest and the head. He may not be conscious. He may not have survived. We should find out in the coming days.

He is one of the heroes of this horrific event. As with many mass killings, the killings stop when the killer is confronted with armed resistance. President Trump is correct in praising the Las Vegas Police. They were there either when the security guard was shot, or very shortly afterward.

Many more would probably have been killed or wounded if the security guard and early police responders had not intervened. The SWAT team acted correctly, taking time to secure the scene when no more mass killing was ongoing.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 14 thoughts on “The Timeline of the Las Vegas Mass Shooting, Start to SWAT

    1. I’d like to know why Vegas PD didn’t have a helicopter in the air, or call the military in from a nearby air base. Once he shot the windows out of the hotel, it seems pretty simple to simply hose down his room from the air. Or, sniper, also good, yet, nothing. doesn’t Vegas PD or the Nevada Highway Patrol have helicopter assets? Aren’t they available quickly?

      In fact, I didn’t see any helicopter activity at all in the vicinity even for the injured to be transported to more remote hospitals. Did I miss it?

      Kudos to the security guard, I hope he’s OK.
      peace
      d

    2. @ Dan III you are really an uncorked individual. The cops must have caught you doing something and captured you for you to hate them so much. You really spew trash here are are so hateful to others that post here. Maybe you need a head doctor.

      1. Tomcat,

        Oh, since I don’t comply with YOUR view of fUSA I am an “uncorked individual” ?

        The badged thugs are NOT your friends. They are there to protect the interests of the state. Besides, why are you a copsucker ? Are you not man enough to deal with your own issues ? Another statist, one of the sheeple is what you are.

        Now shut up and pay the theft the states calls taxes. Enjoy it.

        1. @dan3 You sure are a hateful a**hole. You don’t know me and I was only replying to the way you phrase your posts. You must have been in real trouble sometime in your life to come across the way you do. I didn’t get to the age I am by being stupid or dirt poor. You have no right to categorize me because you know nothing about me. I am only replying to the way you attack everyone you post to.
          I won’t reply to you again because I have said all there is to say. Are you the next mass murderer, your hate would make one think it is possible?

    3. My question is why the Las Vegas police didn’t have snipers on nearby buildings as part of security for the festival?

    4. So, you are saying that in the event of a threat to you or your family, you will NOT be calling the police to report it?
      Just making sure.

      1. Armstrong,

        If one takes care of their problem or fears to their satisfaction, why call the badged thugs ? WHY ? If you already took care of business then screw the cops. You are just another cowardly statist who doesn’t have the ‘nads to take care of himself. You have to rely on the scoundrels of .gov for everything. I am surprised you don’t call the badged thugs to sexually satisfy the woman in your life.

        Grab yourself by your mangina and try thinking and acting like a man. Not an emasculated, Amerikan male.

        Meow.

    5. Weingarten,

      The cops did NOTHING to intervene. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Your essay is nothing less than the copsucking garbage spewed by a dedicated, badged thug.

      There are no good cops.

      Spare me your righteousness.

    Comments are closed.