Updated June 14, 2018 - 12:01 am
Officers rush toward the sound of gunfire as a concert ground becomes a war zone in body camera footage released Wednesday by the Metropolitan Police Department.
The sixth batch of Route 91 Harvest festival shooting records included 28 body camera videos and about 500 audio files from the night of the tragedy, which left 58 concertgoers dead and hundreds more injured.
The videos ranged in length from a few seconds to more than two hours and provided the most detailed look yet inside the concert venue during the shooting. Metro released the clips under court order after a monthslong legal battle brought on by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and other media organizations.
One 28-minute clip captures the full sweep of the attack, from the first shots to the frantic race to get the wounded to the hospital.
A Metro officer working security at the festival gets separated from his partner as he scrambles to find cover from the bullets.
He ends up huddled with a growing group of panicked concertgoers behind a stainless steel food cart, where he shouts instructions and curses the invisible shooter with each new burst of gunfire.
Later he helps two men carry a woman with a gunshot wound out of the venue to a nearby parking lot, where a triage area has sprung up next to two ambulances.
There the officer reunites with his partner, and the two of them tie a tourniquet around the leg of a woman bleeding badly into her cowboy boot. Then they load her and her friends into their patrol car and race to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
“That was f—-ing horrible,” his partner says to him with emotion in his voice as they speed toward the hospital. “Sorry I got separated from you, bro.”
Legal fight goes on
None of the footage released Wednesday included the names of the officers behind the cameras. When the Review-Journal asked Metro for that information, the department’s public information office never replied.
Instead, Metro’s private attorneys contacted the newspaper’s lawyer and threatened “judicial intervention” should reporters continue to ask police employees for additional details, clarifications or “any other subject matter involving this litigation.”
The original lawsuit sought the release of Oct. 1 records including body camera footage, 911 calls and interview reports.
“Attorneys for Las Vegas police are breaking new ground for absurd, vindictive legal arguments,” Review-Journal Executive Editor Glenn Cook said Wednesday. “Making reporters direct questions about police records to private lawyers is a slap in the face to taxpayers.”
‘Keep talking to her’
One of the most harrowing videos released Wednesday shows a pair of officers rushing a gravely injured woman to University Medical Center.
They encounter her about three minutes after arriving at the scene, and together they help lift her into the back of their patrol car. Continuous gunfire pops in the background.
Just as the pair begin to hop into the front of the car, a man shouts, “I’m her husband!”
He climbs in the back as the officers rev their engine down the Strip and toward the hospital.
“You’re all right, baby,” the man can be heard saying in the back. “We’re gonna be OK.”
He shouts for the officers to drive faster with panic in his voice.
“Keep talking to her,” an officer says as they get closer to the hospital. “Put pressure on those wounds.”
When they pull up to the hospital, the officers help carry the woman onto a bed inside the trauma center as medical staff encircle the woman and wheel her away.
The officers pace, panting, with blood smeared on their uniforms. The video ends as the officers throw away their surgical gloves and begin washing their hands, the sink swirling in red.
Clearing the casino
Body camera footage from inside Mandalay Bay shows eight officers moving across the casino floor, weapons out in search of suspects.
A pair of officers clear the bathrooms, checking every empty stall.
Slot machines flash and the country song “Legends” by Kelsea Ballerini blares through loudspeakers above the nearly deserted casino.
“Guys, we got SWAT in the building,” one officer says as a man in tactical gear appears on camera.
“How do I get to the 32nd floor?” he asks.
‘Welcome to training’
In another video, filmed sometime after the gunfire ended, a male officer sits facing a metal barrier near a trailer where, about 20 minutes earlier, he switched off a bright light illuminating the faces of concertgoers crouched on the ground, trying to take cover.
No people are visible in the clip, but the officer with the camera can be heard talking to another officer about what they just experienced.
“There’s so much you can’t do, you know?” he says.
“I feel like a bad f—-ing cop,” the other officer replies.
The officer with the camera stands silent for a while, listening to police radio chatter.
“Welcome to training,” he finally says to his colleague, shortly before the video ends. “Welcome to training.”
Contact Henry Brean at email@example.com or 702-383-0350. Follow @RefriedBrean on Twitter. Contact Rachel Crosby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5290. Follow @rachelacrosby on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writers Jessie Bekker, Natalie Bruzda, Michael Scott Davidson, Meghin Delaney, Briana Erickson, Wade Tyler Millward, Jamie Munks and Madelyn Reese contributed to this report.