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Coroner releases autopsy reports of 58 victims from Las Vegas shooting

Updated January 31, 2018 - 9:06 pm

The Clark County coroner’s office complied with a court order late Wednesday and released the autopsy reports of 58 people killed in the Oct. 1 mass shooting on the Strip.

District Judge Timothy Williams also ordered the agency on Tuesday to release the autopsy report of the shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, but that report has not been made public. Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg indicated that he would not release Paddock’s autopsy report until it was “finalized.”

Paddock, a high-stakes gambler, opened fire from his 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay suite onto the Route 91 Harvest festival grounds, just east of the the hotel-casino.

Authorities said Paddock turned a gun on himself before police entered the suite. He died from a gunshot wound to the head that entered through the mouth. The coroner’s office has ruled his death a suicide.

Names of the victims, which officials previously released, were redacted from the 58 reports made public Wednesday.

The coroner’s office has fought to keep autopsy reports confidential. The reports contain such information as location of wounds, the time and date of death, and the time and date the autopsies were performed.

A December report issued by the coroner’s office confirmed that all of the victims died from at least one gunshot wound. Six died from multiple gunshot wounds, and each of the deaths was ruled a homicide. Most people were shot in the head, chest or back.

The last victim was pronounced dead on Oct. 3. All of the examinations of the victims’ bodies were completed by Oct. 5. At least six forensic pathologists performed the autopsies, which took place during all hours.

Medical examiners often are able to determine how a bullet struck a person and the path it made through his or her body. Some reports of the Oct. 1 victims noted that the wounds showed “no evidence of close-range firing.”

Bullet fragments were recovered from many victims’ bodies. Some of the autopsy reports indicate that these fragments were submitted to police.

Many of the reports also reveal whether victims had drugs or alcohol in their systems at the time of death. They do not detail the location of death or note whether victims were transported to hospitals. Many of the victims’ bodies showed signs of medical intervention, such as those left by intravascular catheters in their arms.

According to a Metropolitan Police Department report released Jan. 19, 20 victims died near the festival stage, four victims died at the festival’s medical tent, and seven were found dead at locations off the festival grounds. The remaining victims were pronounced dead at area hospitals.

As of Wednesday, it remained unclear when Paddock’s autopsy report would be released.

Three weeks ago, a judge ordered the coroner to pay about $32,000 in legal costs to the Las Vegas Review-Journal for refusing to release public records to the newspaper.

Contact Anita Hassan at ahassan@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4643. Follow @anitasnews on Twitter. Contact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @rachelacrosby on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writers Jeff German, Mike Shoro and Madelyn Reese contributed to this report.

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