Dramatic body camera footage from the Las Vegas SWAT officers who stormed the room of mass shooter Stephen Paddock on October 1, 2017, has been released. Paddock killed 58 people and injured over 500 in the most deadly mass shooting in modern American history.
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At the beginning of the clip, officers are sweeping a hallway at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino as they make their way up to the gunman's suite on the 32 floor. A loud breaching charge goes off as they blow their way into the Paddock's suite. The video is highly edited and but the next several shots show the officers surveying the room and Paddock's lifeless body can be seen sprawled on the floor. This video coincides with leaked photos of the gunman's body that showed Paddock dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Also in the room are notepads, many, many guns, and ammo boxes strewn across the floor. The officers take note of wires that run across the room but seem to relax when they realize they are attached to a camera system. The same camera system Paddock rigged to a hotel cart to warn him of police outside his room. "He has an intricate camera system set up," one officer can be heard saying, "so he knew when officers were coming down the hallway."
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The release of the body camera footage was part of a judge's ruling that sided with media organizations in the debate that the evidence should be made public. Police argued it was not wise to release the evidence while there was still an active investigation but since the shooter is dead, there is little left to investigate.
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Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo told reporters Tuesday, "We believe the release of the graphic footage will further traumatize a wounded community. For that, we apologize. Further victimization is certain to occur and is something we wanted to avoid." Lombardo outlined a plan to release the rest of the evidence on a rolling basis starting with the two officers' body camera footage. 911 call audio is also expected to be released along with more documents and video.
"I don’t know how this footage will be played in the media, but I want to warn you, if you are a survivor or a family who lost a loved one, you should know the video from this concert is disturbing and graphic," Lombardo said. Other evidence that has been released include search warrants obtained to gain access to Paddock's homes and hotel surveillance footage of Paddock transporting his guns to his suite. Police have released a preliminary report on the deadly shooting but the motive for the attack is still unknown.
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