Released 911 calls detail chaos, agony after Las Vegas shooting
The 911 calls released by police reveal the surreal confusion on the ground during and after the massacre
By David Montero
Los Angeles Times
LAS VEGAS — The voices are sobbing at times. Panicked. Fearful. A dispatcher tries to calm one caller down.
“Hello? Are you at the Route 91?” the dispatcher asks.
“I’m going for my boyfriend who is at Route 91,” the woman says. “He’s hiding inside of a cooler.”
“OK, you tell him to stay hunkered down. We don’t have this thing contained yet and we need to get everyone — just tell him to stay put, OK?” the dispatcher responds.
That 911 call came in at 10:25 p.m., shortly after Stephen Paddock used his 32nd-floor suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino as a sniper’s perch — unleashing several hundred rounds on thousands of people attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. He killed 58 and wounded more than 700 last Oct. 1.
Las Vegas police on Wednesday released 911 calls — the fifth release of items related to the largest mass shooting in modern American history. Police already have released witness statements, police reports, body camera footage of metro officers breaching Paddock’s door and traffic camera footage along Tropicana Avenue on the night of the shooting.
The 911 calls released reveal the surreal confusion on the ground during and after the massacre.
“Hello?” a woman’s voice asks, in more of a plea than a greeting, during a call time-stamped 10:25 p.m.
The dispatcher asks if there is an emergency.
“Um, we’re at the Route 91 festival fairgrounds and there’s been a shooting,” the woman says through what sounds like crying.
“Do you see who’s shooting?” the dispatcher asks.
“I don’t know what to do,” the woman replies.
“Do you see who’s shooting?” the dispatcher asks as the woman sobs. “Do you see who’s shooting?”
“OK, are you guys in a safe place?”
“They’re telling us to move.”
“If it’s an officer, listen to them,” the dispatcher says.
The woman’s voice hitches through her crying. “I don’t know what to do.”
“OK, go to the officers telling you to move. They’re trying to get you in a safe place. Move,” the dispatcher says. “Do you see the shooter?”
“I don’t know where we’re supposed to go,” she says desperately. “I don’t know what we’re supposed to do.”
“You need to listen to the officers, OK?”
The woman’s voice rises in pitch. “There’s no officers here.”
“OK, who’s telling you to move?”
“I don’t know,” she replies.
“OK, I need you to get into a safe place. Maybe it’s security.”
The woman sounds like she’s trying to catch her breath. Fear and confusion accent virtually every word.
“Is anyone around you hurt?”
“Yeah, there’s people hurt.” She tells the dispatcher again she doesn’t know where to go. “Now we’re in the middle of nowhere.”
“They’re hurt in the tent?” the dispatcher asks.
Instead of responding, the caller appears to breathe with difficulty, as if she were hyperventilating. “OK, we’ve go to leave,” she tells the dispatcher.
The dispatcher tries to find out more information from her by asking if she saw who was shooting. The woman again says “No.”
“How many people are shot? Can you see?”
“I don’t know. I saw a couple over … ” she begins to say, then stops through sobs again.
“About three,” the woman finally says.
“Are you guys OK?” the dispatcher asks. “Are you OK, ma’am?”
The woman asks the people she’s with. “We’re OK, right?”
“Yeah, we’re OK,” she tells the dispatcher.
After a few seconds, the dispatcher asks the woman if she can get her group to a safe place. “We’re trying,” the woman responds.
Police don’t have a motive for the shooting, though Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo has suggested Paddock had been on a gambling losing streak. Paddock shot himself in the head while inside his suite.
Lombardo, who is running for sheriff this year, spoke at a luncheon for the Republican Men’s Club at the Bali Hai Golf Club on Tuesday and told the group that a final report on the shooting would be released in July, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Copyright 2018 Los Angeles Times