The 2017 concert mass shooting in Las Vegas resulted in suspect Stephen Paddock, 64, killing dozens of people, and it could have been worse. He accidentally shut himself off from heavy guns he stored in a side room, preventing a possible ambush on law enforcement, a responding officer told the Coptales and Cocktails podcast.
Ashton Packe, a now-retired Las Vegas police sergeant who arrived at the scene, told the Law&Crime podcast that police believe the shooter was prepared to attack officers arriving at his hotel rooms. Paddock, however, tripped himself up; he broke open glass in both a suite and a side room to carry out the shooting, resulting in a draft of air shutting a door between both rooms. The shooter had stored heavy .308 guns and a key card on the beds in that side room, Packe said.
“What we probably guesstimate that he was going to use [the heavy guns] to try to ambush our SWAT officers,” Packe said. “Like I said, I don’t want to call it a miracle, but if there’s anything positive in the energy of the universe that night, it was just a little bit of physics in that wind shut that door on him.”
The retired sergeant, as well as the podcast hosts–retired Tulsa police Sgt. Sean “Sticks” Larkin and ICU nurse Howard Doss–pointedly refused to say Paddock’s name on the show.
Perched from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, the 64-year-old opened fire on a nearby country music concert. Fifty-eight people initially died in the Oct. 1, 2017 shooting. Two more died from injuries in the ensuing years.
Authorities said Paddock shot himself at the scene. The motive for the mass shooting remains a mystery.
Packe spoke of the tragedy and heroism he witnessed and heard about that night. For example, he told the story of a southern California police officer who was there and survived getting shot in the head. The man’s then-fiancée, now wife, was a dispatcher. She put his skull cap back on his brain. She sustained two shots to the chest, then called out to two “cowboys,” telling them to get her then-fiancé out of there.
Packe voiced awe at the incident.
“Okay, we responded that night,” he said of the well-equipped responding officers. “I had body armor and an AR-15. We have all this equipment.” Then he compared that to the concert goers. “I’m not drinking a whiskey at the concert and I take a round. And she saved his life. And then I get to meet their newborn baby that would not be alive today had he not survived.”
[Screenshot via Coptales and Cocktails]
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