The Mandalay Bay Resort And Casino did not call police until after Stephen Paddock began firing on the Route 91 music festival from his 32nd floor room, a source close to the investigation told the Associated Press late Wednesday.
According to the AP report, despite being warned by two employees that Paddock had turned his suite into a shooting gallery, and despite panicked calls from neighboring rooms, the MGM hotel held off on contacting authorities until after Paddock's massacre was underway.
Both the hotel and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department have faced scrutiny over what some are calling a bungled response that left country music fans below vulnerable for longer than necessary. Mandalay Bay says the LVMPD took longer than expected to arrive on scene; LVMPD says the hotel waited too long to call 911, and jeopardized both hotel guests and concert-goers below.
If true, this new development does not look good for Mandalay Bay. If the hotel waited to call authorities until after Paddock began shooting, it means they may have ignored an injured security guard, Jesus Campos — who police say Paddock wounded through his suite door before he began his attack — and a maintenance man, Stephen Schuck, who reported gunshots on the 32nd floor to the front desk.
According to Las Vegas Police, Paddock wasn't subtle in his attack on Mandalay employees. The gunman had cameras outside his room, and fired on a security guard as he investigated complaints about noise from Paddock's suite. LVPD says Paddock peppered the hallways with more than 200 bullets — a noise that attracted the maintenance worker, who was trying to fix a fire escape door that Paddock had sealed shut.
Maintenance radioed a hotel dispatcher, telling her to take action. "Call the police, someone's firing a gun up here. Someone's firing a rifle on the 32nd floor down the hallway."
But in the end, the delay cost LVMPD about six minutes. It's not clear from reports whether that six minutes was crucial to the department's response — but it does play into the tussel between the police and the hotel, and, eventually, into which entity, if either, might find themselves legally responsible for the incident, or found legally responsible by a jury in any ensuing lawsuit.