Law enforcement described the heart-pounding moments before they stormed Stephen Paddock’s Mandalay Bay’s hotel room in a recent interview on “60 Minutes.” It took officers 12 minutes to breach room 32-135. During that short amount of time, officers expected to be in a firefight with multiple shooters. Instead, they found Paddock dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
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Officer David Newton, who was one of the first officers to reach the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, explained the difficulties they faced simply trying to get to the suspected floor.
The door from the stairs was jammed with screws, and as officers entered the hall leading up to Paddock’s room, they noticed wires running from a nearby service cart. Their initial thought was a booby trap, but it was later discovered that Paddock had positioned a camera to alert him when his position was compromised.
As they made their approach towards the door, Newton said the door resembled “Swiss cheese,” after one of the hotel’s security guards, Jesus Campos, had approached the door early only to be met with gunfire. Campos was shot in the leg, according to the Daily Mail.
After causing so much mayhem at the music festival, the officers getting ready to breach to room had no idea what might be waiting for them.
According to CBS News, when Las Vegas police officers entered the room, they were met with a plume of smoke and the fire alarm going off. As the men cautiously proceeded further into Paddock’s room, they realized it wasn’t a room at all —it had been turned into an armory.
As the officers continued their search of the room, Detective Matthew Donaldson said, “You know, we were still clearing that room, the curtains, moving the curtains. I wanted to make sure somebody wasn’t hiding between the windows and the curtains.”
Officer Newton recalled there was so much spent ammunition on the ground that every time someone moved you could hear the shells clinking together, according to the New York Post.
Eventually realizing that Paddock was alone, Sgt. Joshua Bitsko recognized how much planning had gone into this senseless attack.
“Days of planning,” Bitsko said. “He had toolboxes, power tools to run wires for his surveillance systems. For everything that he had, it took him days to finish.”
Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more at a country music festival on Sunday, October 1. Las Vegas police are still investigating the shooting and have yet to release a motive.