Las Vegas gunman shot security guard minutes before massacre, police say

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A handful of quick-thinking Las Vegas police officers may have prevented a thousand deaths after they stormed a hotel and killed the lone shooter, the Sheriff of America's gambling hub, who had visited Mumbai to study the 2008 terror attack, has said.

The source of the gunfire was located after a Mandalay Bay security guard was shot at in the 32nd floor hallway, through Paddock's door. After Jesus Campos, a hotel security guard, took fire on the 32nd floor - Paddock blasted rounds through his door - officers headed up the stairs and found the barricaded stairwell door.

Paddock shot the guard at 9.59pm local time, Lombardo said, shortly before raining down bullets on the Route 91 Harvest festival in an attack that began at 10.05pm and lasted 10 minutes.

"What we have learned is Campos was encountered by the suspect prior to his shooting to the outside world", Lombardo said.

Police first knew about Campos when they arrived on the 32 floor at 10:17 p.m. and met him in the corridor.

Officers then went through the room to make sure no one else was hiding behind a curtain or in the bathroom.

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Campos was shot while investigating an alarm that was unrelated to Paddock's room.

Police were not in a hurry to enter Paddock's suite because the security guard's arrival had halted the shooting, police implied in previously describing the timeline.

United States authorities have received more than 1,000 tips, but are still struggling to determine what motivated Paddock, who did not have a criminal record, to carry out the carefully planned attack.

"That's been a matter of discussion, whether what I said was accurate or not".

"We're past the response portion of this disgusting incident", Clark County Emergency Manager John Steinbeck said at a news conference. The Post also reports that a former employee with Atlantis Casino and Resort said Paddock had a "God complex".

Eric Paddock said he answered questions for about four hours during a session with Federal Bureau of Investigation, a Las Vegas police detective, and a psychologist.

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Paddock had power tools and was attempting to drill a hole in an adjacent wall, perhaps to mount another camera or to point a rifle through, but he never completed the work, Lombardo said.

Newton said he saw so many guns. "It just looked like nearly a gun store", he said.

Sgt Bitsko added: 'We were tripping over guns, there were so many'. "So many magazines. Stacks and stacks of magazines everywhere". Lombardo said that while 12 minutes sounds like a long time, it's actually a very short period of time to "get the intelligence, figure out what the hell is going on".

Authorities also said Monday that Paddock targeted aviation fuel tanks, stocked his vehicle with explosives and had personal protection gear as part of an escape plan. "So he had had that written down and figured out so he would know where to shoot to hit his targets from there".

"I could see on it he had written the distance, the elevation he was on, the drop of what his bullet was gonna be for the crowd", Newton said.

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