An Iraq war veteran who was staying in the same hotel as the Las Vegas gunman is demanding to know why it took more than an hour for the cops to take him down.
Police received their first report of gunfire at the Route 91 Harvest festival, in Las Vegas at 10.08pm on Sunday.
But it was another 72 minutes before SWAT teams finally burst into Stephen Paddock’s room at the Mandalay Bay to find the suspect had shot himself dead moments earlier.
The most concerning issue is there appears to have been an unexplained 24 minute delay, where SWAT teams were armed and ready to go outside Paddock’s room, but waited until 11.21pm to enter.
Now Chris Bethel, who was in a room just a couple floors below the shooter at the Mandalay Bay, is questioning why it took so long for the cops to stop Paddock who shot dead 59 and injured 527 in the most deadly mass shooting in American history.
Veteran Chris Bethel (pictured) who was in a room just a couple floors below the shooter at the Mandalay Bay, is questioning why it took so long for the cops to stop Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock
Officers are seen outside the Mandalay Bay hotel, where the shooter was holed up in a room on the 32nd floor, on Sunday evening
This was the moment that crowds began to flee the scene as gunfire rang out at the 30,000-strong music festival is attacked. At first crowds didn’t seem to know what was happening
‘It felt like it took them too long to get over there, to take him out,’ said Bethel, an Iraq war veteran. ‘To get him. And it’s actually eating me up inside.’
Bethel, of Texas, who was in Vegas for an IT conference, said that he’d been in his room when he suddenly heard gunshots coming from above him at just after 10pm on Sunday.
‘I could just hear the gun shots, continuously. Just full automatic,’ Bethel told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth. ‘There was explosions going off. It was like a bomb just went off man. And then there were more gun shots.’
He says he called the front desk at the Mandalay Bay, the hotel across the street, and the cops to warn them that the shooter was above him, but says no one answered.
‘Seconds are going by, minutes are going by, the rounds are continuously going,’ he said.
‘Changing weapons, changing calibers, you can hear the difference in the gunshots.’
As he watched, he saw police responding to the wrong location below. Eventually, he was able to get hold of someone and tell them: ‘He’s not over there, he’s over here’.
First responders and bystanders carry an injured person to an emergency station located at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Ave – one block north of the shooting
Police have since credited Bethel with helping them locate the shooter.
But Bethel says he’s been left with the feeling that more lives could have been saved if only someone had picked up the phone sooner.
‘I feel like I didn’t do enough,’ he told CBS News. ‘I feel like I couldn’t get a hold of somebody quick enough to let them know. And it felt like it took them too long to get over there, to take him out.’
Police radio audio revealed that officers had located the location of the shooter, in room 135 on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay, as early as 10.24pm.
Minutes later, cops found a security guard in the hallway outside Paddock’s room who had been shot by the suspect, and asked for back up.
By 10.37pm SWAT officers reported they were moving up to the 32nd floor to help officers, and at 10.55pm, an officer said he was ready to go in. But he was told to ‘be careful’ and wait after he admitted the SWAT team weren’t there yet, Newsweek reported.
At 10.57pm, cops reported they had locked down the hallway and had officers ready to go in.
TIMELINE OF TERROR IN VEGAS:
Country music star Jason Aldean was performing on stage at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival when lone gunman Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on the 22,000 people gathered.
About 10pm: Paddock smashes out two windows on the 32nd floor with a hammer-like implement and opens fire with his arsenal of at least 19 weapons – including fully automatic weapons.
10.08pm: First phone call to police that shots had been fired at the festival outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
10:18pm: Officers ask the hotel to shut down the elevator so the suspect can’t flee.
10:19pm: A team of four officers begin to make their way into the Mandalay Bay, moving up towards the 32nd floor.
10:21pm: An officer, whose location is unclear, calls over the radio: ‘Gunshot wounds to the chest and head. We need immediate medical!’
Another officer says police and revelers on the ground are still taking fire.
10.23pm: False reports come in of multiple shootings at multiple other locations. Response teams are sent out to investigate.
10:24pm: One of the four officers inside the Mandalay calls dispatch to report that they are in the stairwell on the 32nd floor and can still hear gunshots coming from room 135.
Dispatch responds by calling for backup from SWAT to help prepare to bust into the suspect’s room.
10:25pm: Radio transmissions indicate Paddock may have stopped firing into the crowd at this moment.
10:28pm: Police officers gathered at the Mandalay Bay report that Paddock has shot at a security guard in the hallway of the floor outside his room. They call for backup.
10:37pm: SWAT officers report they are now moving up to the 32nd floor to help the police officers.
10:38pm: Cops say they haven’t heard gunfire in about 10 minutes. Police radio transmissions reveal there is still some confusion over which floor the gunman is on, and whether there could be multiple shooters.
10.44pm: On the ground, terrified festival goers begin stealing empty police cars to flee from gunfire.
10.54pm: Officers report they’ve cleared many areas in the hotel and casino.
10:55pm: An officer said he was on floor 32 and was readying to make entry.
But he warned to be ‘careful’ on police radio transmissions by control, who asked ‘Are you with the SWAT guy?’ When the officer replied he was not, he was told to wait for them.
10:57pm: An officer reports they had locked down the hallway outside the gunman’s room, telling dispatch they had ‘multiple rifles and plenty of officers’.
But there was then a 24 minute delay while they appeared to wait for the SWAT team to arrive.
11.08pm: Las Vegas police confirm they have shut down a portion of The Stri
11.21pm: SWAT teams storm the 32nd floor room that Stephen Paddock was firing from. They gained entry using flashbangs designed to stun the shooter. Paddock fired through the door as SWAT teams were trying to breach the room. By the time they entered the room, he had shot himself dead. Seventy-two minutes elapsed from the first 911 call to Paddock being found dead.
11.24pm: Officer tells dispatch: ‘We have one suspect down.’
11:28pm: ‘We have one suspect down. Multiple firearms,’ an officer confirmed again, adding it was definitely the suspect who was ‘firing into the crowd.’
11.32pm: McCarran International Airport announced it was diverting flights destined for the city.
11.34pm: Interstate 15 in and out of Las Vegas was shut down for a time.
11.56pm: Hospitals in Las Vegas said that at least two people were dead and 24 were injured of which 12 were critical.
12.01am: Almost two hours after the first emergency call police confirmed that one suspect was ‘down’.
1.06am: The Southern California police department say that one of their officers is among the injured.
1.34am: At this point the death toll dramatic rises to 20 people injured and 100 injured.
1.54am: Police in Las Vegas says that two of their officers who were off-duty were among the dead.
2.13am: Investigators say that they are looking for the ‘roommate’ of the shooter – Marilou Danley and describe her as a person of interest.
3.30am: Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo announces that the death toll is now at least 50 dead and 200 injured – making this the deadliest shooting in US history
6.30am: Investigators say they have located Marilou Danley and say that she is overseas and is not longer a person of interest.
9.30am: Sheriff provides another update and says that the death toll is now in excess of 59 and that 527 people are injured.
But there is an unexplained 24 minute delay as armed and ready officers were forced to wait outside the suspect’s hotel room door.
Eventually, at 11.21pm, SWAT teams used an explosive device to break into the gunman’s room and found he had killed himself a few moments before.
‘Breach, breach, breach!’ an officer was heard yelling over police scanner radio, as they entered the room after the explosion, before another officer told dispatch: ‘We have one suspect down.’
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department declined to comment about the delay to the DailyMail.com.
A Monday morning photo shows two windows blown out on the 32nd floor. Police believe Paddock was firing out of both
This photograph shows a bullet hole left in the wall of a metal building in which fleeing bystanders had hidden
But other police scanner audio captured the confusion faced by cops who received reports of multiple shootings at multiple hotels and locations across the Vegas strip, and pleas by officers for medical teams.
PICTURED: Stephen Craig Paddock, right, killed more than 50 and injured 527 in the mass shooting
‘We’re now getting reports of shots fired at Cesar’s and the Bellagio,’ an officer reported to dispatch.
Dispatch responded: ‘We need confirmation from these hotels as soon as possible about these shots fired. We just have one suspect down at this point of time.’
The hotels confirmed the reports were incorrect.
Swat teams were also sent out to reports of gunfire at New York, New York, Paris Las Vegas and The Tropicana.
One overwhelmed cop called in for backup at Paris for reports of 434 – the Vegas cop code for illegal shooting.
‘You have a couple more strike teams on route to you, please hold and be safe on your entry,’ a dispatcher responded. ‘Are you still hearing 434s?
‘We have people running everywhere,’ the cop responded.
‘Are you hearing 434s right now?’
‘Negative, negative,’ she told dispatch.
It’s possible the confusion and chaos, and concerns there was multiple shooters, could have delayed the response.
In total, 59 people lost their lives and 527 were injured in what became the worst mass shooting in American history.
POLICE AUDIO AS COPS STORMED GUNMAN’S HOTEL ROOM
Officer: 169-10, we got shots fired, 4:15AFF. Sounded like an automatic firearm.
Control: Code red, 169-10, we have shots fired…
Officer: (inaudible yelling) It’s coming from upstairs in the Mandalay Bay. Upstairs Mandalay Bay, halfway up, I see the shots coming from Mandalay Bay, halfway up.
2nd officer: Control, 3661IC, we have multiple casualties. GSWs (gun shot wounds), send a medical team, multiple casualties.’
Control: Repeated just be advised there is automatic fire, fully automatic fire, from an elevated position. Take cover.
2nd officer ‘Multiple GSWs to the chest, legs, femoral arteries. Send a medical team (inaudible). We have an active shooter, we have an active shooter inside the fairgrounds.
3rd officer: Shots fired from Mandalay Bay, there’s many people down, stage left, just be advised.
4th officer: 790RI, I’m gonna form a strike team, Mandalay Bay and the Boulevard. I need five officers on me.
5th officer (storming the room): Control to Zebra 20
Control: Zebra 20, go ahead
5th officer: Set on the suspect’s door. I need everybody in that hallway to be aware of it and get back. We need to pop this and see if we can get an inside response from this guy. To see if he’s in here or if he has actually moved out somewhere else.
Control: Copy. All units on the 32nd floor, SWAT has explosive breach, everyone in the hallway needs to move back. All units move back.
Officer: Breach, breach, breach.
5th officer: (inaudible) We have one suspect down.
Control: We need the air clear for Zebra 20, they have one suspect down inside the room. Zebra 20 has one suspect down inside the room.
Officer: Can you confirm the location of the suspect down, please?
Control: Zebra 20 is saying there is one down inside the room.
Officer: Inside the what?
Control: Inside the room at Mandalay Bay.
Officer: 7 Victor, there is one down, 32nd floor, Mandalay Bay.
Control: Is that room 135?
Officer: That’s affirmative, one suspect down in 135, floor 32, Mandalay Bay. I have the floor.
Officer: Control to 360, Can you confirm that room number?
Control: 135, 32nd floor, Mandalay Bay.
Officer: Suite 135-32, is that correct?
Control: 32nd floor, Suite 135.