No Manifesto, No Phone Calls: Las Vegas Killer Left Only Cryptic Clues

No Manifesto, No Phone Calls: Las Vegas Killer Left Only Cryptic Clues

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Fifty-eight wooden crosses bearing the names of shooting victims were set up as a memorial along Las Vegas Boulevard.

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Read the latest on the Las Vegas shooting with Friday’s live updates.

LAS VEGAS — The man who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub last year pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, in a 911 call, as the massacre unfolded. The sniper who shot to death five police officers in Dallas told the police that his goal was to attack white people. The man who attacked a black church in Charleston posted a racist manifesto online.

In one mass shooting after another, gunmen have offered telling evidence of their motives: complaining of “baby parts” after a shooting at Planned Parenthood, sympathizing with the Islamic State with a Facebook post on the day of the San Bernardino shooting, asking members of Congress if they were Republicans before pulling the trigger at a congressional baseball practice.

But in the four days since Stephen Paddock’s attack in Las Vegas — a shooting rampage that left 58 dead and hundreds seriously wounded — what drove him has remained a mystery, vexing the public and putting enormous pressure on federal and local investigators to find answers.

“In the spirit of the safety of this community or anywhere else in the United States I think it’s important to provide that information, but I don’t have it,” Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said in an interview Thursday. “We don’t know it yet.”

No grandiose manifesto has been found. No account of Mr. Paddock behaving dangerously or holding extremist views has emerged from neighbors or relatives. Unlike past killers, Mr. Paddock did not dial up the police to explain his actions.

The F.B.I. took Mr. Paddock’s computers and cellphones to its laboratory in Quantico, Va., for review, law enforcement officials said. Agents interviewed his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, in an attempt to determine his mental state at the time of the shooting, but Sheriff Lombardo said he was “not at liberty to say” what information had been learned.

Of course, investigators could at any time come across evidence that reveals Mr. Paddock’s thinking. “I’m pretty confident we’ll get there,” Sheriff Lombardo said.

Agents have fanned out across the country, interviewing family members and friends and looking for signs of mental illness.

Mr. Paddock left a trail of clues that are, so far, more cryptic than revealing: There was a note in his hotel room whose exact contents the authorities have yet to reveal. Sheriff Lombardo said that it contained numbers that were being analyzed for their relevance, and that it was not a manifesto or suicide note.

Mr. Paddock may have scouted other locations, including Fenway Park in Boston, Lollapalooza in Chicago and the Life is Beautiful music festival in Las Vegas, before finally checking into a suite at the Mandalay Bay that had clear sight lines to Route 91, and a massive gathering of country music fans. He stockpiled expensive firearms over the course of many months.

Investigators have identified 47 firearms belonging to Mr. Paddock, including a dozen in his hotel suite that were enhanced to fire at an accelerated rate, and discovered a system of cameras Mr. Paddock set up to monitor the area around his location.

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Inside the Las Vegas Gunman’s Mandalay Bay Hotel Suite

His suite held more than 20 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.



OPEN Graphic


Mr. Paddock struck a jet fuel tank near McCarran International Airport with two rifle rounds, said Chris Jones, an airport spokesman, though a police official expressed doubt that he targeted it intentionally.

Despite the huge scale of the attack, why Mr. Paddock carried it out remained a huge and haunting question mark, said Steven B. Wolfson, the district attorney in Clark County, Nev., where the killings occurred. He estimated that in “99 percent of the cases,” the perpetrator of a drastic killing offers some kind of justification, however twisted.

“Most of the time, you don’t defend it, you don’t accept it, but you hear the why,” Mr. Wolfson said in an interview on Thursday.

“I’ve been doing this a long time and I can’t remember another homicide — and then you multiply what I’m about to say by 58 — where you don’t know why.”

Had Mr. Paddock been taken into custody “maybe we would have found out why,” Mr. Wolfson added. “Maybe he would have said, ‘this is the reason why I did it.’ But because he killed himself, we don’t know and it’s frustrating.”

Katherine W. Schweit, a former senior F.B.I. official, co-wrote a lengthy 2013 F.B.I. study that looked at 160 mass shootings in the United States. The study did not specifically examine motivation, but Ms. Schweit said many of the underlying reasons for the shootings were apparent to investigators. “A jilted lover, race or religion, someone who was fired,” she said. “Other times the motive is more elusive. This isn’t the first guy who seemed to have found a target for his anger who we can’t understand where the anger came from. Anger manifests itself in a lot of different ways.”

“I think everyone wants an answer because they are grasping to understand the senselessness of the shooting,” she said. “It reminds me exactly of the conversations we had after 9/11.”

Experts and law enforcement veterans caution that it can take time to establish a killer’s real motivations, piecing together electronic data with interviews and other shards of a life twisted into extreme violence.

Officials involved in the Las Vegas investigation have said they expect it will take an exhaustive search into Mr. Paddock’s past, spanning multiple states and decades of his life, to deduce what brought him to the windows of the Mandalay Bay hotel with such an elaborate plan for murder. In F.B.I. speak, they want to understand his “pathway to violence.”

Andrew Bringuel, a former member of the F.B.I.’s behavioral analysis unit, said investigators were undoubtedly exploring a range of motives that include personal, economic, social or political.

“He could have been seeking revenge,” said Mr. Bringuel, who retired earlier this year. “This could have been a personal grievance. He could have been a sore loser. Gamblers like to talk about their winnings, but not their losses. I worked for the F.B.I. for a long time. The F.B.I. is pretty good at looking at the nooks and crannies of someone’s life. The bureau will end up with a hypothesis. Whether the bureau can prove it is a separate question.”

Comparing the Las Vegas Attack With Daily Gun Deaths in U.S. Cities

Fifty-eight people were killed in the Las Vegas massacre. The same number were killed by gun violence in 28 days in Chicago.


Mr. Paddock would appear, in several respects, to be an unlikely perpetrator: An affluent man in his seventh decade, Mr. Paddock was both older and wealthier than the typical mass murderer, who is usually a young and isolated white man, often with a history of violence or mental problems.

Mr. Paddock’s father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, was a veteran criminal who was placed on the F.B.I.’s most wanted list, which described him as “diagnosed as psychopathic.”

But his brother Eric Paddock said his sibling was not a politically motivated person and had no apparent financial problems. He said he recognized Stephen Paddock’s methodical personality in the planning of the attack, but nothing else.

“He was able to plan this, to do this,” Eric Paddock said. “That is the person Steve was.”

Andrew G. McCabe, the deputy director of the F.B.I., acknowledged in a television interview on Wednesday that insight into Mr. Paddock’s frame of mind had been elusive so far. He declined to rule out the possibility that there was no rationale for the violence, or that investigators might never establish one.

“This one is somewhat different than many of the ones we’ve dealt with in the past,” Mr. McCabe said of the Las Vegas attack, on CNBC, “because we don’t have any immediately accessible thumbprints that would indicate the shooter’s ideology or motivation.”

Mr. Paddock, he said, was “not on our radar, or anyone’s radar, prior to the event.”

Many killers, however, are unknown to law enforcement before their attacks, and some experts caution that the mystery around Mr. Paddock may be less aberrational that it seems. A number of massacres in recent decades have gone largely or completely unexplained.

Investigators never found a convincing motive behind a 1966 massacre at the University of Texas, often described as the first modern mass shooting, in which a sniper, Charles Whitman, fatally shot 14 people from a clock tower after killing his family.

Other attacks have taken months to explain in depth, like the killing of 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in July 2012.

George Brauchler, the district attorney who led the prosecution of James Holmes, the Aurora gunman, said it was not until prosecutors obtained Mr. Holmes’s journal and a thorough psychiatric evaluation that they felt confident laying out an explanation. That information, Mr. Brauchler said, convinced them Mr. Holmes had turned to violence amid a shattering sense of professional failure and sexual rejection. Mr. Holmes was also being treated for mental health issues, and his defense described him as schizophrenic.

Still, Mr. Brauchler said, his office had meaningful clues about Mr. Holmes’s mind-set within days of the shooting, including information about a breakup with his girlfriend. The Las Vegas case was plainly different, he said.

“The scariest part of this,” Mr. Brauchler said, “is to not find or know a motive.”

Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama who has studied mass shootings, said a killer’s professed motive can also represent incomplete or self-serving information. He cited Orlando as an example: If Omar Mateen, the Orlando gunman, was driven by fundamentalist views, he also pledged loyalty to the Islamic State and expressed affinity for Hezbollah — clashing militant groups.

“In a lot of cases, even when they give a motive, what they’re saying is for public effect,” Mr. Lankford said, “not necessarily the true explanation behind their actions.”

Correction: October 6, 2017

An earlier version of this article misstated the circumstances of the death of Charles Whitman, the gunman in the 1966 University of Texas massacre. He was killed by the police; he did not kill himself.

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Las Vegas Shooting: An Officer Is Mourned as All Victims Are Identified

Las Vegas Shooting: An Officer Is Mourned as All Victims Are Identified

The search for a motive continues.

“In the spirit of the safety of this community or anywhere else in the United States I think it’s important to provide that information, but I don’t have it,” Sheriff Lombardo said on Thursday of the search for a motive. “We don’t know it yet.”

Graphic

Inside the Las Vegas Gunman’s Mandalay Bay Hotel Suite

His suite held more than 20 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.



OPEN Graphic


The F.B.I. took Mr. Paddock’s computers and cellphones to its laboratory in Quantico, Va., for review, law enforcement officials said. Agents interviewed his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, in an attempt to determine his mental state at the time of the shooting, but Sheriff Lombardo said he was “not at liberty to say” what information had been learned.

Of course, investigators could at any time come across evidence that reveals Mr. Paddock’s thinking. “I’m pretty confident we’ll get there,” Sheriff Lombardo said.

The N.R.A. calls for greater regulation of rapid-fire devices.

The National Rifle Association on Thursday endorsed tighter restrictions on bump stocks, devices that can turn a gun into a rapid-fire weapon, but did not say they should be outlawed.

Interactive Graphic

What Is a Bump Stock and How Does It Work?

Twelve of the rifles the gunman had in his hotel room were outfitted with a “bump stock,” an attachment that enables a semiautomatic rifle to fire faster.



OPEN Interactive Graphic


In a statement on Thursday, the N.R.A. said the federal authorities should “immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law.”

“The N.R.A. believes that devices designed to allow semiautomatic rifles to function like fully automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” the group said.

Last year, the N.R.A.’s online magazine, America’s First Freedom, called one of the rapid-fire devices “sublime,” and it advised users to keep copies of the firearms bureau’s ruling that such items are legal.

Video

From Single Shots to Automatics: How Firearms Work

From single shots to automatic rifles and “bump stocks,” here’s how different types of firearms and their accessories work.


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Watch in Times Video »

On Capitol Hill, support appeared to grow for a ban on the bump-stock devices, either through regulation or legislation, as Republicans — who for decades have rejected any form of gun restrictions — began increasingly to speak out. Several leading Republicans, including Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, have raised questions about the devices.

And in Las Vegas, a gun show scheduled for this weekend at the Eastside Cannery Casino Hotel has been canceled.

“This was a mutual decision with the show’s organizers,” said David Strow, a spokesman for the Boyd Gaming Corporation, which owns the casino. “Given recent events, this seemed the prudent thing to do.”

A murdered officer who was a joker and a father.

Many of the people who paid tribute to Officer Hartfield recalled his sharp sense of humor, how he was always ready with a comeback. One officer recalled wearing a kilt to a recent game of Risk, the world-domination board game.

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Charleston Hartfield.

“Charlie looked at me and he says, ‘No way I’m going to let a ginger wearing a skirt take over the world,’” the officer said.

A formal procession took Mr. Hartfield’s coffin, draped in an American flag, to the Palm Downtown Mortuary and Cemetery, followed by the candlelight vigil, accompanied by bagpipers.

His wife, Veronica; their daughter, Savannah; and their son, Ayzayah, wearing a black T-shirt printed with the words “Family first,” joined by officers and friends.

The money the gunman sent to the Philippines would not have raised flags, officials say.

Investigators are looking into a large sum of money Mr. Paddock transferred to Ms. Danley in the Philippines shortly before the attack.

Ms. Danley, who was born in the Philippines, said in a statement Wednesday that Mr. Paddock wired her the money so that she could buy a house for herself and her family. She said she feared it meant he was breaking up with her. Some media reports have put the amount of the transfer at $100,000.

Officials at the Philippines Anti-Money Laundering Council and the National Bureau of Investigation declined to comment on whether they were looking into the transaction.

Other Philippine officials, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the subject, said that any overseas transfer of more than $10,000 was supposed to be flagged for review but that few were actually examined.

The volume of money transfers is so great, they said, that only questionable transactions or those involved in a crime are investigated. Even a transfer of $100,000 would not raise have raised any eyebrows, said a former United States law enforcement official who has worked in the Philippines. About 10 million Philippines citizens live overseas and send home more than $2 billion a month, according to government figures.

Mr. Paddock, took two trips to Manila in April of 2013 and 2014, said Antonette Mangrobang, a spokeswoman for the Philippine Bureau of Immigration. Both trips coincided with his birthday on April 9 and each lasted less than a week.

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For Many on Puerto Rico, the Most Coveted Item is a Plane Ticket Out

For Many on Puerto Rico, the Most Coveted Item is a Plane Ticket Out

On the mainland, cities and states with large Puerto Rican populations are preparing for the influx by trying to help people find housing, work and schools. Florida alone — already home to 1 million Puerto Ricans — anticipates as many as 100,000 arrivals to the Orlando and the -Tampa Bay area.

In the two weeks since the storm gutted Ms. Gomez’s home on the eastern coast of Puerto Rico and ruined her dreams of renting rooms to tourists, Ms. Gomez said, her family has been surviving on canned food and boxed milk, paid for with the only cash they had on hand — her three children’s private-school fees. Her husband has been waiting in line for hours to buy fuel for their generator. She has been making two-hour trips to buy groceries from a swampy supermarket. Finally, she decided: Enough.

Relatives in Miami offered to buy plane tickets for her and the children, and Ms. Gomez made plans to use the last few gallons of gasoline in her car — it was just enough for the drive to the San Juan International Airport.

Puerto Ricans have streamed off the island for so many decades and in such numbers that migration is woven into Puerto Rico’s identity and culture. One aching anthem pines that “I’m leaving, but one day I’ll return to find my love, to dream again, in my Old San Juan.”

Now, the exodus of families like the Gomezes is accelerating a decade-long slump in population that has seen Puerto Rico lose about 400,000 people during a period of economic strain. Experts say the new wave of migration raises concerns about who will be left to rebuild the island’s shattered infrastructure, and how an economy suffocated by $73 billion in debt and 10 percent unemployment will rebound if tens of thousands more residents suddenly leave.

“It’s going to be a stampede,” said Jorge Duany, a professor at Florida International University who studies migration to and from the island — and has left the island himself. “I thought I’d go back and retire. But now it looks like it’s going to take a little longer.”

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Raymond Ortiz, left, his wife Maria Guadalupe, center, and their daughter Mia, 11, in their home in San Juan. The family is moving to Rocky Mount, N.C., so the children can attend school and the parents can find jobs to replace those they lost to the hurricane.

Credit
Kirsten Luce for The New York Times

Mr. Duany said it was too early to say how many were migrating on the packed planes leaving San Juan, or how many might boomerang back if Puerto Rico heals and life eases back to normal sooner than expected.

Working-age adults made up the bulk of migrants over the past decade, Mr. Duany said, but this storm has prompted many families to put older relatives and children onto planes, to ensure that they get necessary medical care or to salvage something of the school year.

In interviews across the island and in packed airport departures halls, people said they were already registering their children for school in Orlando, Charlotte or New York. They are starting to line up jobs and apartments with relatives across the country.

Nancy Santos, 58, who was waiting in an ice line in Ponce last week, said she plans to leave as soon as possible with her daughter and three grandchildren. They will join family in Connecticut at least until Christmas, while they wait for l conditions to normalize in Puerto Rico. Once things settle down, she plans to return to Ponce to sell her cars and furniture and then leave for good.

“Everyone will leave — everyone,” she said. “Things are so bad here. Look at us, making lines in the middle of the night for two bags of ice that are half water.” She added: “I have to do it for the kids. I am not going to think about it twice.”

Nayda Dávila, a 69-year-old retired judicial worker, said she could not stop crying as she packed her only piece of luggage by candlelight earlier this week. Her daughter in Washington, D.C., bought her a one-way ticket to get out of her rural hometown of Salinas.

“It’s the heat, the sun,” Ms. Dávila said. “There’s no water, no food, and six to eight hours for gas.”

She locked up her home, left her three dogs with a close friend and said she will remain stateside with her daughter indefinitely. She said had never considered leaving her patria, her motherland, until now.

“At my age, how much longer do I have left?” Ms. Dávila said. “And this island won’t recover for much, much longer.”

Ms. Dávila was one of the 10 passengers waiting on Wednesday to board a humanitarian flight on a private jet departing from Isla Grande Airport, a small airfield next to the convention center in San Juan where hurricane relief efforts are headquartered.

“I’m a strong woman,” Ms. Dávila said, holding back tears as she stared at the runway. “But Maria defeated me.”

Many of the dozen waiting passengers were older or had medical conditions for which treatment was impeded by the storm.

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Diana L. Caraballo said she can no longer get her cancer treatment in Puerto Rico because of the storm. She waited with her dog, Freddy, for a charter flight to Fort Lauderdale so that she can stay with her son in Vero Beach, Fla., and receive treatment there.

Credit
Kirsten Luce for The New York Times

Juan Delgado Torres, 75, was still recovering from a knee operation he had two months ago. Since Maria lashed the island, he hasn’t been able to get the medication he needs or a doctor to prescribe it. To get him stable care, his daughter in Philadelphia organized a way out of the island and offered him her home.

“I’m going one way, until things get better,” said Mr. Delgado, a retired office clerk. “It’s painful, I don’t want to do it, but I have to.”

The decision can be just as painful for the young.

Hurricane Maria’s winds blew away parts of Hacienda Don José, a popular tourist restaurant in Condado, and took José Manuel Ureña’s job as a cook with it. Left without a source of income, Mr. Ureña decided it was time to leave.

“I want a change,” said Mr. Ureña, sitting on the curb at Juan Ponce de León Avenue in Santurce, where residents gather at a popular Wifi spot, many to arrange a way out of the island. “I haven’t accomplished anything here,” he said.

On October 19, Mr. Ureña, 24, plans to board a flight to Newark where a friend, who is also leaving Puerto Rico, found him a job as a cook at a Thai restaurant. Mr. Ureña says he only knows “basic English,” but he’s migrating “with an open mind.”

“I feel nervous and scared,” he said. “As the day looms closer, the worse I feel.”

In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Monday for all 67 counties in the state, making it easier for the counties to house, educate and help Puerto Ricans by waiving regulations. The declaration could also attract more federal money to the state.

For more immediate help, the governor announced that Florida will set up three one-stop relief shopping centers inside airport terminals and the Port of Miami, where Puerto Ricans can seek assistance with jobs, education, housing and programs like Medicaid and food stamps.

But some families like the Ortizes have no idea exactly what awaits them when they step off the plane. Raymond Ortiz plans to put his teenage son and daughter on a plane on Sunday, to travel to his sister’s home in Rocky Mount, N.C. He and his wife will follow later. Mr. Ortiz, 50, was born in New York, but he has lived in Puerto Rico for 16 years, and his wife and children were born here.

He said he will probably do maintenance work, and his wife — an office assistant at a health agency — has a lead on a job at Dunkin’ Donuts. He said his wife is especially anxious because she speaks halting English and has lived only in Puerto Rico.

But the family looked at a satellite view of their new hometown on Google Maps, and Mr. Ortiz said he loved all the green he saw. The high school that his 16-year-old son will attend has two baseball diamonds — a dream for a player whose team has not had a practice or game since before the hurricane.

Mr. Ortiz had wanted to return to the mainland even before Maria, because he was fed up with the island’s schools, hospital system, politics and crime. The lingering mess created by the hurricane was the last straw for him. Still, he said he felt a twinge about leaving.

“I feel really at home here — more than those 35 years I lived in New York City,” he said. “I’m going to a place I’ve never been. I don’t know nobody. I don’t know the neighborhood. It’s like starting all over again.”

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‘I Was Just Going to Bed When the Shooting Started’

‘I Was Just Going to Bed When the Shooting Started’

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Floyd Conrade, of Emporia, Kan., checked into the Mandalay Bay on Sunday night. Right above him was Stephen Paddock.

Credit
Eric Thayer for The New York Times

Read the latest on the Las Vegas shooting with Friday’s live updates.

LAS VEGAS — Floyd Conrade, 50, a storage administrator for information technology from Emporia, Kan., checked into the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Sunday night. He was in town for a four-day conference, and assigned to Room 31-134.

He, of course, had no idea what was being planned directly over his head. Hours later, a man on the floor above — in the conjoined rooms of 32-134 (a standard room) and 32-135 (a 1,705-square-foot suite) opened fire on a crowd attending a country music concert across South Las Vegas Boulevard. In each room, the man, Stephen Paddock, broke a floor-to-ceiling window to commit the massacre.

Physically, Mr. Conrade was as close to the gunman as anyone.

Q: Where were you when the shooting began?

A: I was just kicking back for the night, getting ready for bed. I heard the first volley go off. Like everyone else says, it sounded like fireworks. I went over the window and looked out over at the concert venue, and I didn’t see any fireworks. It was about the third volley that it kicked in that it was something more than fireworks.

Q: Could you tell it was right above you?

A: About the third time, it was really loud, right above me. My assumption is that was when he went over to the other window. That’s when I started hearing the actual echoes. Echoed from the reports off the outside of the building, I guess. It was much louder, much more intense. I could actually hear debris hit my window.

Graphic

Inside the Las Vegas Gunman’s Mandalay Bay Hotel Suite

His suite held more than 20 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.



OPEN Graphic


Q: You think it was glass? Shells?

A: I couldn’t tell. I looked on the sill after the fact, but I couldn’t see anything. I could actually see the shadow of the curtain flapping in the breeze above me on Monday.

Q: What did you do once you realized it was a gunman just above you?

A: At that point, I stayed away from the window, in case anybody decided to return fire. It was like, let’s put something between me and the window. Once everything quieted down, I went and looked back out the window a little.

Q: Could you see people running? Falling? Screaming?

A: I wasn’t sure what the actual target was. I didn’t know if he was shooting at the concert venue, or at people on the street. The concert venue still pretty dark. I couldn’t see anything definitively at that point. I didn’t really know what it all looked like until the morning.

Q: How many bursts did you hear before the one that sounded right above you?

A: It was probably the third volley.

Q: How many more were there above you during the 10 minutes that he was shooting?

A: I know there was at least three, possibly four. There could have been more than that.

Q: So you believe he was alternating from one window to the next?

A: Yeah, yeah.

Q: Which one did he shoot from more?

A: I really don’t know.

Q: Would you remember if it was mostly one or the other?

A: I would think so. Seemed like he was going back and forth.

Q: Were you scared as it was occurring?

A: Concerned. The whole feeling of not knowing what was going on was keeping me at bay, I guess. I have a scanner app on my phone. I tuned it in and listened to scanner activity. After a while, there must have been enough people listening, and the internet was slow. I couldn’t tell exactly what was going on. I did hear on the scanner that an officer was shot.

Q: The police were checking floor by floor. Did they come to your room?

A: I tried to leave my room at one point. And there were police and security in the hallway. I stuck my head out, and they said, “You need to stay in your room.”

Q: Were they panicked at all, aiming guns at you, or just calmly tell you?

A: I wouldn’t say they were freaked out, but there was a strong sense of urgency.

Q: Was that when the shooting was going on out the windows?

A: (Pauses.) I think it was still going on. It took me a little bit of time to get my clothes back on, grab some things and head out.

Q: Tell me about the waiting and wondering?

A: It was pretty well quiet after that, until they started breaching the room. There was an explosion-type noise. They used, like, a flash bang to breach the room. When they breached the 2135 room it was loud. When they breached the 134 room, it actually put me on the floor. It was really loud.

Q: It physically knocked you to the floor?

A: I was sitting on side of bed, and when it went off I hit the floor. I didn’t know what was happening. Then I could hear people upstairs moving around, and moving things around.

Q: Could you hear them talking?

A: No, not talking. I could hear, like, glass breakage noises, crashes. Like they were moving furniture around.

Q: Did you ever worry for your safety? Once you realized the gunman was right above you, did you worry about stray bullets coming into the room?

A: Knowing that floor was concrete, I wasn’t afraid anything could come through the floor, necessarily. I knew the gunfire couldn’t come through the floor.

Q: There was a long stretch of time between the end of the shooting spree and the police entering the room. It’s unclear when the gunman shot himself. Did you hear any single gunshot?

A: (Pauses) No, not that I can be definite of. I know at one time before they breached the room, he shot down the hallway at an officer.

Q: You could hear it?

A: Yeah. but it wasn’t as defined. I could hear it. I did hear a few random shots here and there — at separate times, minutes apart. I remember hearing on the scanner that the officer had gotten shot. Heard that conversation going back and forth.

Q: But a single gunshot?

A: To be honest, I’m not sure. It’s entirely possible. There were never multiple semiautomatic type fire once the full-auto stuff stopped. It was pretty much silent. Just a few random shots.

Q: Did you call police or the hotel desk?

A: No, I didn’t. (Pauses) After I encountered the security in the hallway, I figured it didn’t matter. They were already there.

Q: Did you turn on your television?

A: I had it on, but not a news channel. I didn’t think about the news. I figured they wouldn’t have something on that fast anyway.

Q: When did you get here?

A: I arrived about 5 p.m., on Sunday. I checked into the conference first, and got to my room about 7. I grabbed dinner and got back to the room. I was just going to bed when the shooting started.

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Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Cases for Years

Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Cases for Years

During that time, after being confronted with allegations including sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact, Mr. Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with women, according to two company officials speaking on the condition of anonymity. Among the recipients, The Times found, were a young assistant in New York in 1990, an actress in 1997, an assistant in London in 1998, an Italian model in 2015 and Ms. O’Connor shortly after, according to records and those familiar with the agreements.

In a statement to The Times on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Weinstein said: “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”

He added that he was working with therapists and planning to take a leave of absence to “deal with this issue head on.”

Lisa Bloom, a lawyer advising Mr. Weinstein, said in a statement that “he denies many of the accusations as patently false.” In comments to The Times earlier this week, Mr. Weinstein said that many claims in Ms. O’Connor’s memo were “off base” and that they had parted on good terms.

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Some of Mr. Weinstein’s films include, from left to right, “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting.”

He and his representatives declined to comment on any of the settlements, including providing information about who paid them. But Mr. Weinstein said that in addressing employee concerns about workplace issues, “my motto is to keep the peace.”


I am a 28 year old woman trying to make a living and a career. Harvey Weinstein is a 64 year old, world famous man and this is his company. The balance of power is me: 0, Harvey Weinstein: 10.

— From Lauren O’Connor‘s memo

Ms. Bloom, who has been advising Mr. Weinstein over the last year on gender and power dynamics, called him “an old dinosaur learning new ways.” She said she had “explained to him that due to the power difference between a major studio head like him and most others in the industry, whatever his motives, some of his words and behaviors can be perceived as inappropriate, even intimidating.”

Though Ms. O’Connor had been writing only about a two-year period, her memo echoed other women’s complaints. Mr. Weinstein required her to have casting discussions with aspiring actresses after they had private appointments in his hotel room, she said, her description matching those of other former employees. She suspected that she and other female Weinstein employees, she wrote, were being used to facilitate liaisons with “vulnerable women who hope he will get them work.”

The allegations piled up even as Mr. Weinstein helped define popular culture. He has collected six best-picture Oscars and turned out a number of touchstones, from the films “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting” to the television show “Project Runway.” In public, he presents himself as a liberal lion, a champion of women and a winner of not just artistic but humanitarian awards.

In 2015, the year Ms. O’Connor wrote her memo, his company distributed “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary about campus sexual assault. A longtime Democratic donor, he hosted a fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton in his Manhattan home last year. He employed Malia Obama, the oldest daughter of former President Barack Obama, as an intern this year, and recently helped endow a faculty chair at Rutgers University in Gloria Steinem’s name. During the Sundance Film Festival in January, when Park City, Utah, held its version of nationwide women’s marches, Mr. Weinstein joined the parade.

Photo

Harvey Weinstein and Hillary Clinton in 2012. Mr. Weinstein held a fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton at his Manhattan home last year.

Credit
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

“From the outside, it seemed golden — the Oscars, the success, the remarkable cultural impact,” said Mark Gill, former president of Miramax Los Angeles when the company was owned by Disney. “But behind the scenes, it was a mess, and this was the biggest mess of all,” he added, referring to Mr. Weinstein’s treatment of women.

Dozens of Mr. Weinstein’s former and current employees, from assistants to top executives, said they knew of inappropriate conduct while they worked for him. Only a handful said they ever confronted him.

Mr. Weinstein enforced a code of silence; employees of the Weinstein Company have contracts saying they will not criticize it or its leaders in a way that could harm its “business reputation” or “any employee’s personal reputation,” a recent document shows. And most of the women accepting payouts agreed to confidentiality clauses prohibiting them from speaking about the deals or the events that led to them.

Charles Harder, a lawyer representing Mr. Weinstein, said it was not unusual to enter into settlements to avoid lengthy and costly litigation. He added, “It’s not evidence of anything.”

At Fox News, where the conservative icons Roger E. Ailes and Bill O’Reilly were accused of harassment, women have received payouts well into the millions of dollars. But most of the women involved in the Weinstein agreements collected between roughly $80,000 and $150,000, according to people familiar with the negotiations.


I am a professional and have tried to be professional. I am not treated that way however. I am sexualized and diminished.

— From Lauren O’Connor‘s memo

In the wake of Ms. O’Connor’s 2015 memo, some Weinstein Company board members and executives, including Mr. Weinstein’s brother and longtime partner, Bob, 62, were alarmed about the allegations, according to several people who spoke on the condition of anonymity. In the end, though, board members were assured there was no need to investigate. After reaching a settlement with Mr. Weinstein, Ms. O’Connor withdrew her complaint and thanked him for the career opportunity he had given her.

“The parties made peace very quickly,” Ms. Bloom said.

Through her lawyer, Nicole Page, Ms. O’Connor declined to be interviewed. In the memo, she explained how unnerved she was by what she witnessed or encountered while a literary scout and production executive at the company. “I am just starting out in my career, and have been and remain fearful about speaking up,” Ms. O’Connor wrote. “But remaining silent is causing me great distress.”

In speaking out about her hotel episode, Ms. Judd said in a recent interview, “Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.”

A Common Narrative

Ms. Nestor, a law and business school student, accepted Mr. Weinstein’s breakfast invitation at the Peninsula because she did not want to miss an opportunity, she later told colleagues. After she arrived, he offered to help her career while boasting about a series of famous actresses he claimed to have slept with, according to accounts that colleagues compiled after hearing her story and then sent on to company executives.

“She said he was very persistent and focused though she kept saying no for over an hour,” one internal document said. Ms. Nestor, who declined to comment for this article, refused his bargain, the records noted. “She was disappointed that he met with her and did not seem to be interested in her résumé or skill set.” The young woman chose not to report the episode to human resources personnel, but the allegations came to management’s attention through other employees.

Across the years and continents, accounts of Mr. Weinstein’s conduct share a common narrative: Women reported to a hotel for what they thought were work reasons, only to discover that Mr. Weinstein, who has been married for most of three decades, sometimes seemed to have different interests. His home base was New York, but his rolling headquarters were luxury hotels: the Peninsula Beverly Hills and the Savoy in London, the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc near the Cannes Film Festival in France and the Stein Eriksen Lodge near the Sundance Film Festival.

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The Peninsula Beverly Hills, a hotel where Mr. Weinstein has been accused of sexually harassing women in the entertainment industry.

Credit
FG/Bauer-Griffin, via Getty Images

Working for Mr. Weinstein could mean getting him out of bed in the morning and doing “turndown duty” late at night, preparing him for sleep. Like the colleague cited in Ms. O’Connor’s memo, some junior employees required to perform those tasks said they were disturbing.

In interviews, eight women described varying behavior by Mr. Weinstein: appearing nearly or fully naked in front of them, requiring them to be present while he bathed or repeatedly asking for a massage or initiating one himself. The women, typically in their early or middle 20s and hoping to get a toehold in the film industry, said he could switch course quickly — meetings and clipboards one moment, intimate comments the next. One woman advised a peer to wear a parka when summoned for duty as a layer of protection against unwelcome advances.

Laura Madden, a former employee who said Mr. Weinstein prodded her for massages at hotels in Dublin and London beginning in 1991, said he had a way of making anyone who objected feel like an outlier. “It was so manipulative,” she said in an interview. “You constantly question yourself — am I the one who is the problem?”

“I don’t know anything about that,” Mr. Weinstein said.

Most women who told The Times that they experienced misconduct by Mr. Weinstein had never met one another. They range in age from early 20s to late 40s and live in different cities. Some said they did not report the behavior because there were no witnesses and they feared retaliation by Mr. Weinstein. Others said they felt embarrassed. But most confided in co-workers.

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Statement From Harvey Weinstein

The New York Times received the following statement from Harvey Weinstein responding to allegations about his treatment of women in Hollywood.



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Ms. Madden later told Karen Katz, a friend and colleague in the acquisitions department, about Mr. Weinstein’s overtures, including a time she locked herself in the bathroom of his hotel room, sobbing. “We were so young at the time,” said Ms. Katz, now a documentary filmmaker. “We did not understand how wrong it was or how Laura should deal with it.”

Others in the London office said the same. “I was pretty disturbed and angry,” said Sallie Hodges, another former employee, recalling the accounts she heard from colleagues. “That’s kind of the way things were.”

The human resources operation was considered weak in New York and worse in London, so some employees banded together in solidarity. “If a female executive was asked to go to a meeting solo, she and a colleague would generally double up” so as not to be alone with Mr. Weinstein, recalled Mr. Gill, the former president of Miramax Los Angeles.

Many women who worked with Mr. Weinstein said they never experienced sexual harassment or knew of anyone who did, and recalled him as a boss who gave them valuable opportunities at young ages. Some described long and satisfying careers with him, praising him as a mentor and advocate.

But in interviews, some of the former employees who said they had troubling experiences with Mr. Weinstein asked a common question: How could allegations repeating the same pattern — young women, a powerful male producer, even some of the same hotels — have accumulated for almost three decades?

“It wasn’t a secret to the inner circle,” said Kathy DeClesis, Bob Weinstein’s assistant in the early 1990s. She supervised a young woman who left the company abruptly after an encounter with Harvey Weinstein and who later received a settlement, according to several former employees.

Speaking up could have been costly. A job with Mr. Weinstein was a privileged perch at the nexus of money, fame and art, and plenty of his former assistants have risen high in Hollywood. He could be charming and generous: gift baskets, flowers, personal or career help and cash. At the Cannes Film Festival, according to several former colleagues, he sometimes handed out thousands of dollars as impromptu bonuses.

Mr. Weinstein was a volcanic personality, though, given to fits of rage and personal lashings of male and female employees alike. When a female guest of his had to wait for a hotel room upgrade, he yelled that Ms. O’Connor would be better off marrying a “fat, rich Jewish” man because she was probably just good for “being a wife” and “making babies,” she wrote in her memo. (He added some expletives, she said.) His treatment of women was sometimes written off as just another form of toxicity, according to multiple former employees.

In the fall of 1998, a 25-year-old London assistant named Zelda Perkins confronted Mr. Weinstein. According to former colleagues, she and several co-workers had been regularly subjected to inappropriate requests or comments in hotel rooms, and she was particularly concerned about the treatment of another woman in the office. She told Mr. Weinstein that he had to stop, according to the former colleagues, and that she would go public or initiate legal action unless he changed his behavior.

Steve Hutensky, one of Miramax’s entertainment lawyers, was dispatched to London to negotiate a settlement with Ms. Perkins and her lawyer. He declined to comment for this article.

Ms. Perkins, now a theater producer in London, also declined to comment for this article, saying that she could not discuss her work at Miramax or whether she had entered into any agreements.

Months after the settlement, Mr. Weinstein triumphed at the Oscars, with “Life Is Beautiful” and “Shakespeare in Love” winning 10 awards. A few years later, Mr. Weinstein, who had produced a series of British-themed movies, was made a Commander of the British Empire, an honorary title just short of knighthood.

‘Coercive Bargaining’

For actors, a meeting with Mr. Weinstein could yield dazzling rewards: scripts, parts, award campaigns, magazine coverage, influence on lucrative endorsement deals. He knew how to blast small films to box office success, and deliver polished dramas like “The King’s Speech” and popular attractions like the “Scary Movie” franchise. Mr. Weinstein’s films helped define femininity, sex and romance, from Catherine Zeta-Jones in “Chicago” to Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook.”

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The actress Ashley Judd in the 1997 film “Kiss the Girls.” Ms. Judd said that Mr. Weinstein sexually harassed her two decades ago in his room at the Peninsula.

Credit
Paramount Pictures, via Photofest

But movies were also his private leverage. When Mr. Weinstein invited Ms. Judd to breakfast in Beverly Hills, she had been shooting the thriller “Kiss the Girls” all night, but the meeting seemed too important to miss. After arriving at the hotel lobby, she was surprised to learn that they would be talking in his suite; she decided to order cereal, she said, so the food would come quickly and she could leave.

Mr. Weinstein soon issued invitation after invitation, she said. Could he give her a massage? When she refused, he suggested a shoulder rub. She rejected that too, she recalled. He steered her toward a closet, asking her to help pick out his clothing for the day, and then toward the bathroom. Would she watch him take a shower? she remembered him saying.

“I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask,” Ms. Judd said. “It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.”

To get out of the room, she said, she quipped that if Mr. Weinstein wanted to touch her, she would first have to win an Oscar in one of his movies. She recalled feeling “panicky, trapped,” she said in the interview. “There’s a lot on the line, the cachet that came with Miramax.”

Not long afterward, she related what had happened to her mother, the singer Naomi Judd, who confirmed their conversation to a Times reporter. Years later, Ashley Judd appeared in two Weinstein films without incident, she said. In 2015, she shared an account of the episode in the hotel room with “Variety” without naming the man involved.

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In 1997, Mr. Weinstein reached a settlement with the actor Rose McGowan after an episode in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival. She had just appeared in the movie “Scream,” above.

Credit
Dimension Films, via Photofest

In 1997, Mr. Weinstein reached a previously undisclosed settlement with Rose McGowan, then a 23-year-old-actress, after an episode in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival. The $100,000 settlement was “not to be construed as an admission” by Mr. Weinstein, but intended to “avoid litigation and buy peace,” according to the legal document, which was reviewed by The Times. Ms. McGowan had just appeared in the slasher film “Scream” and would later star in the television show “Charmed.” She declined to comment.

Increased Scrutiny

Just months before Ms. O’Connor wrote her memo, a young female employee quit after complaining of being forced to arrange what she believed to be assignations for Mr. Weinstein, according to two people familiar with her departure. The woman, who asked not to be identified to protect her privacy, said a nondisclosure agreement prevented her from commenting.

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Soon, complaints about Mr. Weinstein’s behavior prompted the board of his company to take notice.

In March 2015, Mr. Weinstein had invited Ambra Battilana, an Italian model and aspiring actress, to his TriBeCa office on a Friday evening to discuss her career. Within hours, she called the police. Ms. Battilana told them that Mr. Weinstein had grabbed her breasts after asking if they were real and put his hands up her skirt, the police report says.

The claims were taken up by the New York Police Department’s Special Victims Squad and splashed across the pages of tabloids, along with reports that the woman had worked with investigators to secretly record a confession from Mr. Weinstein. The Manhattan district attorney’s office later declined to bring charges.

But Mr. Weinstein made a payment to Ms. Battilana, according to people familiar with the settlement, speaking on the condition of anonymity about the confidential agreement.

The public nature of the episode concerned some executives and board members of the Weinstein Company. (Harvey and Bob Weinstein together own 42 percent of the privately held business.) When several board members pressed Mr. Weinstein about it, he insisted that the woman had set him up, colleagues recalled.

Ms. Battilana had testified in court proceedings against associates of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy who are accused of procuring women for alleged sex parties, and the Italian news media also reported that, years ago Ms. Battilana accused a septuagenarian boyfriend of sexual harassment, a complaint that was apparently dismissed. Ms. Battilana did not respond to requests for comment. Her lawyer, Mauro Rufini, could not be reached for comment.

After the episode, Lance Maerov, a board member, said he successfully pushed for a code of behavior for the company that included detailed language about sexual harassment.

Then Ms. O’Connor’s memo hit, with page after page of detailed accusations. In describing the experiences of women at the company, including her own, she wrote, “The balance of power is me: 0, Harvey Weinstein: 10.”

She was a valued employee — Mr. Weinstein described her as “fantastic,” “a great person,” “a brilliant executive” — so the complaint rattled top executives, including Bob Weinstein. When the board was notified of it by email, Mr. Maerov insisted that an outside lawyer determine whether the allegations were true, he said in an interview.

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Mr. Weinstein in 1999 with the winners of the best-picture Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love.”

Credit
Hector Mata/Agence France—Presse

But the inquiry never happened. Mr. Weinstein had reached a settlement with Ms. O’Connor, and there was no longer anything to investigate.

“Because this matter has been resolved and no further action is required, I withdraw my complaint,” Ms. O’Connor wrote in an email to the head of human resources six days after sending her memo. She also wrote a letter to Mr. Weinstein thanking him for the opportunity to learn about the entertainment industry.

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10 Las Vegas survivors and six hours of hell

10 Las Vegas survivors and six hours of hell

More than 22,000 people are here at the Route 91 Harvest Festival but it’s like a family gathering.
Bartender Heather Gooze knows customers by name, laughing and joking in the party atmosphere all around.
Big Kenny and John Rich of Big & Rich led an emotional singalong of "God Bless America."
Performer Bryan Hopkins takes photos with fans before squeezing into the front rows to watch the final act, Jason Aldean.
Caren Mansholt and her boyfriend grab drinks and settle into bleachers to the right of the towering open-air stage.
Michael and Jamie Goguen are at the festival for the third time. They’re in the VIP section and basking in their vantage point.
Bowdien Derby apologizes after spilling beer on a young woman. His brother-in-law Madison Viray laughs with him before heading further from the stage for a quick catnap on the AstroTurf. He wakes to the roar as Aldean takes the stage.
It is a little after 10 on Sunday night.
Across the street and 32 floors up, a man is preparing to become a mass murderer.
Caren Mansholt is on her feet, clapping along, when a rapid series of pops bursts through the air.
Fireworks, she thinks, and looks to the sky to see them. Nothing is there. Strange. Back to the music. Aldean is playing “When She Says Baby.”
Then more shots come. More and more. Aldean and his band rush off the stage and the crowd realizes something is terribly wrong.
The gunfire is loud. Some people start running for exits. Others are already hurt.
“There was just a spray of [gunfire] and two guys go down right in front of us,” Hopkins, the musician, says. “I look back and the girls that are singing behind us go down.”
Mansholt’s boyfriend, Rusty Dees, screams at her to get down. They can tell the gunfire is to their right. But they think the gunman is inside the festival. Dees kicks off his flip-flops and runs toward where he thinks the gunshots are coming from to try to help, or to stop them.
Mansholt is lying between the bleacher seats, screaming his name, too terrified to lift her head. She doesn’t want to be in the line of fire.
Closer to the stage, everyone is on the ground. But Derby fears they could be sitting ducks like that. He, too, believes the shooter or shooters are on the festival grounds, perhaps heading their way.
He sees his cousin lying on top of his girlfriend to shield her. He turns to his aunt. “I’ll never forget the look in her eyes,” Derby says. “It was the look of, are we about to die? Is this it?”
The firing doesn’t stop.
On the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, Stephen Paddock is the reason.
Leaked photos published by the Daily Mail show inside Stephen Paddock's room at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
The 64-year-old has turned the luxury suite into a sniper’s nest. Twenty-three weapons, some with scopes, are in the room with him, magazines of ammunition stacked neatly on the floor.
Long guns are on bipods. They allow him to aim more easily and to fire at will onto the crowd. Many of the rifles have bump stocks. He can now effectively shoot them as automatic weapons.
Cameras in the hallway are positioned so he can see who is coming. One is on a service cart. Another through the suite’s peephole.
He’s used a hammer to smash two windows, giving him a clear view of the festival and its crowds below.
He sprays off a round of bullets. Then another series of rapid fire shots. His weapons are not designed for this intense fire and will have become incredibly hot. He does not stop.
Two windows gave vantage points over the crowds below.
On the ground, the music fans of five minutes ago are now prey. They wait for a lull in the gunfire so they can bolt. They run and hide. They duck. They dart. And then gunfire erupts again. They scream.
A bullet whizzes through a man’s baseball cap, near its Quiksilver logo. It just misses his head.
Many people are down on the ground.
Hopkins runs to what he thinks is an artists’ entrance by the stage but he can’t find a way out. Instead he sees a freezer, maybe four or five feet high and rushes people inside, repeating to all, “It’s going to be OK.” To a friend with him, he swears, “This is not where I’m going to die.”
Now Mansholt and her boyfriend are trying to make it as far as they can from the venue. But the constant barrage of gunfire stops them again and again. They run. They hear rapid fire. They hide. Once behind a tree. Again after passing a gas station as they neared the Tropicana resort parking lot. They come across a man with his grandson, maybe 3 years old, on his shoulders. They tell them to take cover behind a concrete wall.
She’s in cowboy boots, he is barefoot.
Derby is also running with his family. “A few seconds in to us trying to get away, you could hear him start rattling off again,” he says.
He sees a tent, a covered bar and grabs the hands of some young women to get them inside. He looks for his aunt, his cousin, his girlfriend — but they’re not there. They’ve lost each other.
The people with Derby are frozen. Crying. And afraid they could be targeted next. They run again, toward Las Vegas Boulevard, the Strip.
Heather Gooze has left that same bar where she was working, called to help move an injured man to a sidewalk. She kneels and holds his hand.
“I felt, like, a squeeze on my fingers, and then I just felt the fingers go loose,” she says. Jordan McIldoon dies on that sidewalk but Gooze doesn’t leave. She doesn’t want him to be alone.
A man tries to shield a woman from gunfire. The photographer reported she later got up.
So many people are on the ground now. Off-duty firefighters are performing CPR and starting to triage victims inside the festival.
As people get out, scaling walls or pushing down fences, police officers try to direct them to safety.
“Go that way! Go that way! Stay down!”
A few minutes have passed and the city’s first responders are getting alerts. Surgeons and nurses pick up ringing phones. Get to the hospital as soon as you can.
Still, the bullets are raining down.
Michael and Jamie Goguen have made it to a cinderblock wall. Michael, a helicopter rescue pilot, won’t leave. Jamie won’t leave him. They start to help.
They carry victim after victim to the festival’s medical tent that’s now a triage center. One man with a head wound doesn’t make it that far, dying in their arms on the field.
Concertgoers helped carry victims to get medical treatment.
They flag down cars and trucks.
Jamie tells them: “I need to put shot up people that are bleeding and hemorrhaging into your car and you’re going to take them to the hospital right now.”
Again and again, they cram people in. One police officer is holding a compression bandage tightly to a wound on his own neck with his left hand. He uses his right hand to help Michael shuttle another victim to a car.
Inside the Mandalay Bay, a police officer radios to base: “I’m inside the Mandalay Bay on the 31st floor, I can hear automatic fire coming from one floor ahead … one floor above us.”
On the 32nd floor, Brad Baker is woken by loud noises. As he tosses and turns, he figures it’s the concert below.
Then two police officers with guns and flashlights barge into his room and tell him to get out.
“One officer with his AR going down the hallway and another with a shotgun right next to my door,” he says. “It looked like providing cover. And they told me to get out and hug the wall and run as fast as I could to the elevator bay.”
There, five or six people are already huddled together, comforting a 4-year-old boy.
“I saw the little boy and thought about my own daughter and told myself don’t risk it, just get out as fast as you can, when you can,” Baker says.
Down the hallway, Jesus Campos, a hotel security guard, gets too close to the door to Room 32135. Paddock shoots him through the door.
Victims were piled into ambulances and civilian vehicles to get them to hospitals.
Dr. John Fildes gets to the University Medical Center — the only Level One trauma facility for Las Vegas — about 15 minutes after getting the call.
Nurses, surgeons and specialists in their scrubs are triaging the first wave of wounded in the ambulance bay.
Patients on gurneys fill the hallway. There is blood on all the floors.
The medics have clear goals — prioritize the most critical cases to get them into surgery and make space for more patients, who just keep coming and coming — more than 100 to this hospital alone.
“We got patients with clear indications to go to surgery, they wasted no time going into the resuscitation area,” says Fildes.
There are bullet wounds to chest, torso and limbs. Bones are shattered, tissue shredded.
There are injuries from when people fell, or were trampled. Others were hit by cars as they ran into the road to escape.
During lulls in the gunfire, people tried to escape.
Musician Hopkins decides to bolt. He leads his group from the freezer and finds a makeshift ramp across a fence where people are hopping over.
A police officer sweating and screaming takes off toward the shooting and shouts for them to go the other way, away from the festival area.
“We start running … and there’s a body, a body, a body and then there’s another body and this time the guy is shot in the stomach and his friends are there pumping on his chest trying to resuscitate him and one of the girls starts to panic,” he says.
She wants to call her father.
At last the shooting stops. Roughly 10 minutes that seemed like an eternity.
About 22,000 people were enjoying the festival when the shooting started.
The police change tactics — as long as there isn’t active firing they can take a little time. They know which room the shooter is in, but not what is there. They gather a team to force their way in to what could be an explosive booby trap.
“Breach! Breach! Breach!” and the thick hotel door is forced open. It’s a little over an hour after the gunfire stopped.
Inside, a corpse of a man lies on the gray striped carpet, apparently killed by his own hand. He is surrounded by his arsenal, bullet casings everywhere.
A photo leaked to the Daily Mail shows Paddock dead.
On the neon-lit streets below, the danger does not feel like it’s over.
Rumors fly.
“Did you hear that there’s car bombs?”
“Shooter!” someone shouts inside the Hooters Casino Hotel where people are seeking refuge.
That starts a stampede, and Hopkins — still with the couple of dozen people he sheltered with in that freezer — leads them again, this time to the kitchen where they lock themselves in.
Many caught up in the massacre didn't know what was real and what was not.
Nowhere feels safe. People are lost, separated from their families and minutes turn into hours.
Gooze is told it’s time to leave the body she’s been sitting with for hours.
But there are reunions, too.
Brothers-in-law Bowdien Derby and Madison Viray finally connect on the phone and meet up at the Tropicana, then move to the Hooters hotel. There’s an area for wounded victims and firefighter Viray goes to help.
People console each other in the minutes after the shooting.
After 25 minutes, Hopkins comes out of the kitchen to a scene that is surreal in its normalcy. “People are gambling and sitting around drinking,” Hopkins says.
He’s confused and exhausted. He makes it home about 4 a.m. and plugs in his phone, which had died, and sees messages from friends. He posts on Facebook that he’s OK.
Caren Mansholt and Rusty Dees make it to the Cosmopolitan, where they are staying. They watch some news of the massacre, but it’s too much.
They are among the thousands who saw such hell. They are also among the thousands that saw and performed such heroics to help friends and strangers alike.
Wallets, clothing and hats of those who fled lined the streets of the Las Vegas Strip.
They think they should try to sleep, but they’re worried the nightmare isn’t over. They go to bed wearing tennis shoes.
“We were fully dressed ready to escape again.”

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NRA calls for review of bump fire stock rules

NRA calls for review of bump fire stock rules

The group’s support comes following the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas earlier in the week and amid calls to ban the devices, which allow semi-automatic weapons to simulate automatic weapon fire.
The NRA is typically the nation’s most prominent lobbyist group against stricter gun regulations.
“The National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law,” the NRA said in a statement. “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
The debate on banning bump stocks is taking place on Capitol Hill. Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo is planning to introduce legislation Thursday to ban the sale of them.
“I think we are on the verge of a breakthrough when it comes to sensible gun policy,” Curbelo told reporters Thursday.
Curbelo said his office has been “flooded” with calls from fellow lawmakers inquiring about the bill.
The White House is open to legislation to ban bump stocks, press secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday, and added that the administration wants to be part of the conversation in the days to come.
“We’re certainly open to that moving forward,” Sanders said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reiterated her proposal to increase background checks and call on House Speaker Paul Ryan to create a select committee to find common ground on gun violence at a CNN town hall Wednesday.
Pelosi also noted that there could be bipartisan support around the banning of sales on bump stocks.
“I do think there would be bipartisan support coming together to pass a bill to make it illegal to sell those because you can buy them now,” Pelosi said Wednesday.
On Thursday, Ryan also signaled he would be open to examining the legality of bump fire stocks, telling Hugh Hewitt in an interview that “clearly that’s something we need to look into.”

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Las Vegas killer fired at airport fuel tank

Las Vegas killer fired at airport fuel tank

At Sunrise Hospital, where 200 of the killed, wounded and hurt were taken Sunday night, 45 people are still hospitalized, about half of them in critical condition, according to the medical center’s most recent update.
And it appears gunman Stephen Paddock was not just shooting at people when he killed 58 country music lovers at a festival near the Mandalay Bay hotel.
A large fuel tank at nearby McCarran International Airport was hit by two bullets, one penetrating the outer shell, officials said on the airport’s Facebook page.
But there never was any danger, officials said.
“There is almost zero likelihood gunfire damage could trigger a fire or explosion at a commercial fuel storage facility,” the Facebook post said.
There were several vigils held at twilight in Las Vegas on Thursday, including one for Officer Charleston Hartfield, who was off-duty and attending the concert when he was killed. Hundreds of people came to Police Memorial Park to honor his memory.
There is still much mystery surrounding Paddock, a 64-year-old retired accountant from Mesquite, Nevada, who liked to gamble in Vegas casinos and had more than 40 guns in two homes and his hotel suite.

Did he want to escape?

Chilling clues revealed by police suggest the man behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history planned to inflict even more carnage.
Paddock didn’t just have 23 weapons in his hotel suite, which he turned into a sniper’s nest.
He also had more than 50 pounds of explosives and 1,600 rounds of ammunition in his car in the hotel parking lot, police said.
Sources: Vegas killer paid cash for property and privacy

Sources: Vegas killer paid cash for property and privacy

Investigators think Paddock intended to survive the massacre, Las Vegas police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.
“He was doing everything possible to see how he could escape,” Lombardo said, declining to detail specifics.
But what motivated Paddock to kill dozens of strangers and whether he had help remains a mystery.
Law enforcement officials who have been briefed on the investigation told CNN on Thursday they have seen no indication that Paddock had an accomplice or that anyone was aware of his planning.

Law enforcement analyst: Car bomb possible

Of the explosives found in Paddock’s car, authorities first found several pounds of ammonium nitrate, Lombardo said.
He said a later search of cases found in the car revealed 50 pounds of Tannerite — a brand-name product that’s marketed as explosive rifle targets.
The cache of explosives in Paddock’s car could indicate plans for a car bomb, CNN law enforcement analyst Art Roderick said.
“Those explosives, that’s the scary part. What was he going to do with those? I mean, you don’t just acquire them and leave them in your vehicle and not have a plan for them,” said Roderick, former assistant director of the US Marshals Service.
“The Tannerite could have set off the ammonium nitrate,” Roderick said. “So, was he using that as a vehicle-borne explosive device?”
It’s possible no one will ever learn Paddock’s plan for the explosives. The gunman killed himself before police breached his hotel room door.

Booking rooms near other music festivals

Before checking into Mandalay Bay days before the massacre, Paddock rented a room at a Las Vegas condo complex that overlooked another music festival.
Victims of the Las Vegas shooting

Victims of the Las Vegas shooting

Paddock rented the room at the Ogden condo complex via Airbnb during the Life is Beautiful music festival, which lasted from September 22 to 25, the sheriff said.
“Was he doing pre-surveillance? We don’t know yet. This is all conjecture at this point,” Lombardo said.
And in August, a person named Stephen Paddock reserved a room at Chicago’s Blackstone Hotel during the city’s Lollapalooza music festival, said Wagstaff Worldwide, which represents the hotel.
But that person never checked into the hotel, which overlooked the festival, Wagstaff Worldwide spokeswoman Emmy Carragher said.
It was not immediately clear whether the Stephen Paddock who booked the room was the same Stephen Paddock behind the Las Vegas massacre.
The Chicago Tribune, citing an anonymous law enforcement source, reported that it was the shooter Stephen Paddock who booked the room at the Blackstone Hotel.
Wagstaff Worldwide said Blackstone Hotel is cooperating with authorities.

Victim in a coma

Tina Frost, 27, is one of those victims still in critical condition.
She was at the Route 91 Harvest festival with her boyfriend and other friends when she was shot near one of her eyes. She has been in a coma for four days.
“She has her whole life in front of her, and with one incident, we have a nightmare,” her mother, Mary Moreland, told CNN.
Frost was among the victims saved by a stranger who carried her through the carnage to a pickup truck.
An online fundraiser has accumulated almost $400,000 for Frost’s medical bills.
“I’d throw it all away to have my daughter back,” Moreland said. “It’s overwhelming.”

A new timeline

New evidence shows Paddock fired his first shots into the Route 91 Harvest music festival at 10:05 p.m. Sunday — three minutes earlier than what police previously reported, Lombardo said.
Las Vegas massacre: A timeline

Las Vegas massacre: A timeline

For 10 minutes, Paddock sprayed hundreds of bullets into the crowd about a quarter mile away. The shots pummeled the gathering of 22,000 people with devastating speed, due to the help of bump stocks — legal accessories that make weapons fire similarly to an automatic rifle.
As the indiscriminate killings continued, police said, cameras were positioned inside and outside Paddock’s hotel suite and in the door’s peep hole.
People scramble after gunfire strikes the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas.
A security guard approached the 32nd-floor suite and was shot in the leg by Paddock. The gunman fired “well over 200 rounds” into the hallway, Lombardo said.
“It’s amazing that security guard didn’t sustain additional injury,” the sheriff said.
At 10:15 p.m., Paddock fired his last shots, police said. Three minutes later, a security guard told Las Vegas police he’d been shot and directed officers to the gunman’s room.
More than an hour later, at 11:20 p.m., police first breached Paddock’s suite and found his body on the ground. Seven minutes later, officers gained access to a second room of the suite. No one else was found, and police declared the suspect “down.”

The elusive motive

As more than 100 investigators dig for answers, police aren’t sure what turned Paddock into a mass killer.
“What we know is Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo, and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood,” the sheriff said.
A man tries to shield a woman from gunfire. The photographer reported she later got up.
Investigators said something may have happened to Paddock between October 2016 and last month that compelled him to purchase more weapons. Paddock bought 33 guns, mostly rifles, during that period, an ATF spokesperson said.
10 survivors and their 6 hours of hell

10 survivors and their 6 hours of hell

A note was found in Paddock’s Mandalay Bay hotel room, but it was not a suicide note, the sheriff said. He did not detail what the note said.
No evidence indicates terrorism, FBI special agent Aaron Rouse said, but the investigation is ongoing.

Girlfriend: He sent me to the Philippines

Investigators want to know whether Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, has information that can explain what sparked the massacre.
Danley flew Tuesday to Los Angeles from the Philippines and has been cooperating with authorities, Rouse said.
Danley, through her attorney, said that she didn’t know Paddock planned to carry out a mass shooting.
Girlfriend said she didn't know Paddock was planning shooting

Girlfriend said she didn't know Paddock was planning shooting

He bought her a ticket to the Philippines about two weeks ago, then wired her money so she could buy a house there, she said in a statement. At the time, she worried he was trying to break up with her, she said.
Paddock wired $100,000 to the Philippines, a law enforcement source said. The FBI is working with Philippine authorities to get more details.
“It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone,” Danley said in the statement. “I will cooperate fully with their investigation. Anything I can do to help ease suffering and help in any way, I will do.”

The hunt for possible accomplices

Authorities are investigating whether Paddock acted alone or had accomplices. Lombardo, the sheriff, expressed skepticism that the gunman carried out his plan by himself.
“Do you think this was all accomplished on his own? You’ve got to make the assumption he had to have some help at some point,” he said.
How to help Las Vegas shooting victims

How to help Las Vegas shooting victims

Police didn’t hold a media briefing Thursday. Many officials were at the vigil for Officer Hatfield.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect time frame for when Paddock acquired 33 firearms. It was roughly 11 months.

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Hero who saved 30 people reunited with officer who saved his life

Hero who saved 30 people reunited with officer who saved his life

In an often emotional interview, concertgoer Jonathan Smith recounted the aftermath of the horrific attack in which 58 people lost their lives in the mass shooting.
It was his heroism that prevented the death toll from rising even further — Smith is credited with saving at least 30 people from the scene, although he downplays his actions.
“Everyone’s been using that word — ‘hero.’ I’ve been saying it since the whole time I got home — I’m not a hero, I’m far from a hero. I think I just did what anybody would do,” he said.
“Was it smart? Probably not. But if someone else (was) in the shoes, and they see me, I would want them to come back and at least help me.”
In the process of saving those lives, Smith took at least two bullets, one in the arm and another in his neck. That one is still in there, doctors reluctant to remove it in case they cause any further damage. The injuries mean Smith is in “constant pain,” he told CNN’s Erin Burnett.
He was dragged to safety by off-duty police officer Tom McGrath, who had to put his own fingers in Smith’s bullet wound to stanch the bleeding.

My ‘brother … never left my side’

Saying that he considers the cop his “brother,” Smith explained the debt that he owed to McGrath.
Portraits of the Las Vegas shooting victims

Portraits of the Las Vegas shooting victims

“I owe that man my life because from the moment I got hit, he was the first one to actually help me stop the bleeding,” Smith told Burnett.
He remembers telling McGrath that he didn’t want to die, but the officer had reassured him that he would be OK.
“He never left my side at all.”
After recounting the horrific events that occurred in the moments immediately after Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival to Burnett, the host introduced McGrath, who joined the interview by phone.
The Las Vegas heroes who stepped up as chaos reigned

The Las Vegas heroes who stepped up as chaos reigned

As Smith wiped tears from his eyes, McGrath said that Smith had exhibited “tremendous bravery.”
“He’s somebody who inspires me. I know he might not want to give himself all the credit, but he definitely did a wonderful job, and I was just happy to be there to help him towards the end, and get him out of there when he was hit.”
The two men had communicated earlier by phone, and had shared the traumatic experiences that they had endured together. But they also recognized the spirit of togetherness that the traumatic event had brought about.
“Through this tragedy I remember, nobody suffered alone. When people were dying there was somebody there who was holding their hands or holding them in their arms, comforting them,” McGrath said.
“When people had injuries, no matter how severe it was, (people were) trying to get them to safety, nobody suffered alone and I think that’s the takeaway from the whole entire situation.”

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Las Vegas gunman’s girlfriend says she didn’t know he was planning shooting

Las Vegas gunman’s girlfriend says she didn’t know he was planning shooting

Marilou Danley, Paddock’s girlfriend, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon through her attorney, Matt Lombard.
Danley said Paddock “never said anything to me, or took any action that I was aware of, that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen.”
“It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone,” she said in the statement.
Lombard said Danley is fully cooperating with the investigation into why Paddock, a 64-year-old retired accountant, fired for 9 to 11 minutes from his 32nd-floor hotel window into a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers in the heart of Las Vegas. Fifty-eight people were killed and nearly 500 were injured before Paddock took his own life as police closed in.
“I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man,” Danley said in the statement. “I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him.”

A plane ticket and money

Danley said that, more than two weeks ago, Paddock told her he had bought a plane ticket for her to fly to her native Philippines, saying he wanted her to visit her family.
While she was in the Philippines, Danley said, Paddock wired her money that he said was for her to buy a house for her and her family.
Danley said she was grateful but “worried” that the unexpected trip home and the money “was a way of breaking up with me.”
Paddock had recently wired $100,000 to the Philippines, a US law enforcement source confirmed to CNN this week.
Marilou Danley said she didn't know her boyfriend had planned a massacre.
Danley said she had voluntarily flown back to the United States after Sunday’s massacre because she knew investigators wanted to talk to her. She arrived late Tuesday at Los Angeles International Airport from the Philippines, and spoke Wednesday in Los Angeles with the FBI and Las Vegas police, Lombard said.
Danley’s sisters told CNN affiliate Seven Network Australia that Paddock encouraged her to leave the United States last month.
“She was sent away. She was sent away so that she will be not there to interfere with what he’s planning,” one of Danley’s sisters told Seven News from their home in Australia’s Gold Coast region.
“In that sense, I thank him for sparing my sister’s life,” she said, adding that Danley was “really in love with Steve.”
The two sisters, who spoke to Seven News exclusively, did not want to be identified by name and requested their faces be blurred.
One sister told Seven News said that Danley didn’t know anything ahead of the shooting.
“She didn’t even know that she was going to the Philippines, until Steve said, ‘Marilou, I found you a cheap ticket to the Philippines.’ “
The sister added Danley was likely “even (more) shocked than us” by his actions. Still, the sister left open the possibility that Danley could provide information helpful to investigators.
“Of all the people that they have interviewed, … no one can put the puzzles together — no one — except Marilou, because Steve is not here to talk anymore. Only Marilou can maybe help,” she said.
“If Marilou was there, this, maybe, as well, didn’t happen because she won’t let it happen.”

Danley working with authorities, sister says

After Sunday attack, authorities in the United States, the Philippines and Australia joined efforts to search for Danley, hoping she might shed some light on the motive behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
The search for her initially spanned several countries, with conflicting reports that she may have been in Japan or the Philippines at the time of the shooting.
Danley, 62, who travels on an Australian passport, arrived in the Philippines from Tokyo on September 15, then left for Hong Kong on September 22 and flew back to the Philippines on September 25, said Maria Antoinette Mangrobang, a spokeswoman for the Philippine Bureau of Immigration.
Authorities in the Philippines had communicated with the FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security regarding her travel, the spokeswoman said.
In the Seven News interview, one sister said Danley would willingly answer investigators’ questions.
“She’s a good person, a gentle soul, a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a friend,” the sister said, adding that Danley was having trouble coping with the tragedy because “she’s a very weak person.”

Paddock was ‘quiet, not sociable’

Stephen Paddock in the Philippines in April 2013
Danley lived with Paddock in Mesquite, Nevada, northeast of Las Vegas. It’s unclear when the couple met.
Danley’s sisters said they had met Paddock two or three times.
“(He was) very quiet, not sociable. He keep to himself. One question, you get your answer directly. That’s it,” one sister said.
“It’s a pity, though, because he’s the only one really who can answer this,” she said. “But he cheated. He cheated. He escaped and (left) us here putting (pieces of) the puzzles together.”
A previous version of this report incorrectly said that Marilou Danley left Tokyo on September 25. She left on September 15. This article has also been updated to reflect authorities’ revision of the number of people hurt in the shooting.

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