by Niall Bradley, Intellihub:
Three weeks on and there’s still no proper account of what happened on the Las Vegas Strip on the night of October 1st 2017. The official investigation and mainstream media coverage has focused on the massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Festival venue, apparently conducted exclusively by 64-year-old gambler Stephen Paddock from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino resort, providing the public with a nonsensical timeline and a highly suspicious explanation of events as detailed by Joe Quinn in this article.
Since then, survivors from among the 22,000 people in attendance at the venue, along with other guests, residents and employees present on the Strip that night, have begun speaking out about what they saw and heard and to say their statements diverge from the official narrative would be a massive understatement.
Comparing police reports on published audio recordings of the Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD) scanner with videos taken by multiple eyewitnesses, along with eyewitness statements made to the media on the night, and in published testimonies they have been making since then, a picture emerges of terror and chaos deliberately spread over a much larger area than just the venue, a picture that casts further doubt on the official story of a lone gunman.
The media has glossed over the reports of incidents at other locations by reminding us that police scanner audios are unreliable accounts of what did or did not happen. If a police unit is assigned to travel to a location where gunfire was reported in order to investigate the presence of an active shooter, and they then report back ‘Negative shots fired at this location’, we may correctly assume that nothing happened there and that whoever made the initial call to police was mistaken.
The problem with making this assumption, in this context, is that on the night of October 1st into October 2nd, there were so many calls to police about ‘shots fired’, at so many different locations along South Las Vegas Boulevard (aka ‘The Strip’), and up to two hours after shooting from the Mandalay Bay had ended, that a police officer radioing in to ‘clear’ the presence of a threat at any given location is unlikely to arrive in time to see a gunman who has already moved on to another location (and whose patrons are in the process of frantically dialing 9-1-1).
A helicopter flies low over the Las Vegas Strip, as police hunt for gunmen north of the Mandalay Bay, Oct 1st 2017.
The footage captured by taxi driver Cori Langdon right outside the Mandalay Bay – besides being of interest because it appears to contain audio of both distant and close automatic gunfire – is also interesting because she was listening in live to the LVMPD scanner. On her video we overhear a police report that is not heard on this ‘full’ published scanner audio that covers the same time period.
This is not to suggest that ‘false’ or ‘edited’ versions of the police scanner were published after the fact, but it does highlight that live-streamed or published scanner feeds are not necessarily complete records of every report made in and around events like this. First responders are at times communicating on different channels, talking over each other, or their reports are ‘enclosed’ and not relayed to central dispatch. Prior to ‘breaching’ suite 135-32 of the Mandalay Bay, we hear an officer suggest setting up a separate channel for exclusive use by the units that had arrived at the Mandalay Bay. At other times, we hear officers exchange phone numbers for two-way communication.
This changing-up between channels explains why we hear apparent non-sequiturs on the scanner: police officers at times seem to be ‘confirming’, ‘responding to’ or otherwise following up on previous communication between officers that we are not privy to. So yes, it is true that police scanner audio is an unreliable account of what did and did not happen, but that rule of thumb also means that there is likely more that went on than the broadcast/published scanner audio tells us.
I have found three published scanner audios that synch up to form one continuous record of the LVMPD scanner broadcast that night, lasting from roughly 10pm to 4:30am. I do not claim that this is a transcript of all police radio communications that night. Others may have scanner audio from within that time period that includes reports I did not hear. From the three that I do have, I have faithfully transcribed what I found to be relevant reports and communications, made by officers who were either reporting on-scene or relaying from a central police office, and have included these transcriptions in the annex below. I may have misheard some things, or not included data that may in fact be pertinent. In the interest of having as useful a scanner record as possible, I welcome suggested corrections or additions.
The first audio records the opening 1 hour and 22 minutes of police activity, beginning with the first report of gunfire coming from the Mandalay Bay, at roughly 10:05pm, and ending circa 11:30pm. We know at what time it ends because the LVMPD states that suite 135-32 of the Mandalay Bay was “breached” by SWAT units at 11:20pm, which we hear on this audio 10 minutes from the end
SWAT teams hunt for gunmen on the Las Vegas Strip, Oct 1st 2017. Here they’re searching outside the Excalibur resort.
The reports in the first half of this second, shorter scanner audio overlap with the last 15 minutes or so of reports in the first audio. The remaining 11 minutes of this second audio therefore extend our record of police scanner reports until roughly 11:41pm. Finally, this third audio begins, based on the opening reports we hear officers investigating and discussing being follow-ups to the last reports we hear at the end of the second audio, almost exactly (likely within minutes) where the second audio ends. The third audio therefore covers the period from about 11:42pm to circa 4:30am.
These scanner audios are therefore also useful as a timeline of events that night. They are imperfect, but they can be roughly synched with key events in the official timeline to give us an idea of what was happening where and when. The key point with respect to timing is that Stephen Paddock was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 11:20pm, right around the time an explosion of reports about gunfire at other locations comes through on the scanner.
It’s this intense activity at locations north of the festival venue and the Mandalay Bay (which continued into the early morning hours) that has been completely excised from the official version of events in Vegas that night. If these were indeed ‘false reports’ generated by confusion following the venue massacre, then there should be no evidence of gunfire at other locations. But citizens who were there say otherwise.
The first reports of gunfire occurring somewhere other than the concert venue and locations immediately adjacent to it begin at time-stamp 56:57 on the first police scanner audio, which is roughly 14 minutes before the Mandalay Bay raid, i.e. at about 11:06pm. Multiple calls are made to police about gunfire inside or next to the New York-New-York resort. In quick succession, we hear of suspects “pinned down” as far north as the Circus-Circus resort, a possible car-bomb in the Luxor resort, and gunfire at the Tropicana resort. The flurry of reports leads the central dispatcher to broadcast this report at about 11:16pm:
“Be advised, we’re getting multiple calls of active shooters at multiple locations. May or may not be diversions.”
Four minutes later they find Paddock dead in the Mandalay Bay, and then more reports come in of gunfire at the Aria, the Paris, the Bellagio, and Caesar’s Palace, which is some 1.7 miles (2.7km) north of the Mandalay Bay. No wonder we hear (on the second scanner audio) an officer suggest, at about 11:31pm:
“Let’s get someone on the Boulevard and try and stop this guy from running north anymore.”
The following video shows combined footage taken from the two western corners of the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and South Las Vegas Boulevard (The Strip), outside the New York-New York and Excalibur resorts. According to the LVMPD, the FBI and the media, ‘nothing much happened’ after 10:15pm, when gunfire from the Mandalay Bay ended. However, as should be clear from the footage, filmed roughly one hour later, the police were not just ‘following up on calls’; a veritable manhunt was underway:
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