Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo provided an emotional update to the Las Vegas mass shooting on Friday. Lombardo said the death toll remains at 58 people, and there’s at least 45 others still in hospitals, some of them in critical condition.
One of the biggest revelations to come out of the press conference is that police believe 64-year-old Stephen Paddock may have fired at nearby aviation fuel tanks in an effort to blow them up.
“It is believed the fuel tanks were fired on with intent,” Lombardo said. “There is a very low probability that aviation fuel could be ignited by gunfire, and the tanks are outfitted for continual release of vapors.”
Watch a video of the press conference at the top of the page.
The sheriff also updated the timeline of the shooting, which took place October 1. He said investigators have used various sources of information to determine the timeline, including security logs, bodycams, hotel cameras, dispatch and more.
“Unfortunately, a great deal of my investigators’ time has been preoccupied on this timeline,” he said. “In the public space, the word ‘incompetence’ has been brought forward, and I am absolutely offended with that characterization.”
Lombardo stuck by his initial report that at 9:59 p.m. local time, a security guard at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Jesus Campos, responded to a report of an open door before taking on gunfire from Paddock.
“Through investigation, we have determined that Mr. Campos had encountered the barricaded door adjacent to the suspect’s door at approximately 21:59,” he said. “In his attempt to gain entry to the 32nd floor, it required him to ascend to another level and eventually make access to the 32nd floor.”
After a few minutes of taking care of the open doorway, Campos encountered gunfire coming from Paddock’s room. He was shot six minutes before Paddock opened fire from his room at a country music festival taking place across the street. Lombardo said the shooting started at 10:05 p.m. local time, and Campos tried to relay the information of Paddock’s location “via his radio” after he was shot.
According to Lombardo, police arrived at Paddock’s room at 10:17 p.m., 12 minutes after he began firing the automatic weapons, killing 58 people and injuring over 500 before taking his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“Upon our arrival at the 32nd floor, the firing had ceased,” Lombardo said. “We did not believe we continually had an active shooter. At that point we completed evacuations of the rooms adjacent to the suspect’s room and you know the rest.”
Responding officers breached Paddock’s room with an explosive device before finding him deceased on the ground. Lombardo addressed rumors there was a conspiracy between multiple agencies in relation to the shooting.
“There is no conspiracy between the FBI, between LVMPD and the MGM,” Lombardo said. “Nobody is attempting to hide anything reference this investigation.”
In addition, Lombardo said an autopsy has performed on Paddock, and his brain has been sent to a lab for testing and analysis on any abnormalities. He closed the Friday press conference by honoring officers who tried to save as many lives as they could despite suffering serious injuries themselves.
“Excuse me for my emotion,” Lombardo said tearfully when talking about Officer Samuel Whitworth, “Samuel was laying on his couch with a very intensive wound to his leg. During the melee and his attempt to evacuate victims, he sustained a broken leg. But he remained on scene and provided security for the medical personnel. So, at this point, I want to thank the community, I want to thank you for letting me be your sheriff, and Vegas strong.”