(Reuters) – Las Vegas police faced new questions on Tuesday about their response to this month’s mass shooting after a county sheriff disclosed the gunman shot a security guard before, not after, opening fire on a crowd below his window at the Mandalay Bay hotel.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Aden Ocampo-Gomez said the office will respond later to questions involving police response time to the shooting that killed dozens of people at an outdoor concert.
On Monday, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo disclosed that gunman Stephen Paddock shot a hotel security guard responding to a door alarm near his 32nd-floor suite six minutes before he began firing out his window. Officials initially said Paddock shot the security guard after he began raining bullets down on the crowd.
“What we have learned is (the security guard) was encountered by the suspect prior to his shooting to the outside world,” Lombardo said.
Paddock, 64, killed 58 people and injured hundreds, before fatally shooting himself as police responded. Nine days later, his motive remained a mystery.
Lombardo did not address whether the mass shooting could have been prevented based on the new timeline, but said it was unclear why Paddock stopped firing on the concert.
In an active shooter situation, response time can be as fast as three minutes, said Sid Heal, a retired Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department commander and tactical expert. He questioned why it took police so long to reach the room if hotel security immediately called them.
“Someone needs to account for those minutes,” he said.
Nevada Lt. Governor Mark Hutchison told CNN on Tuesday that there was a lot of information to evaluate, but acknowledged that Paddock did not stop firing because of the guard, Jesus…