Surveillance video shows frantic flight during Las Vegas shooting

Updated June 6, 2018 - 11:16 pm

The Oct. 1 shooting and its immediate aftermath were captured in harrowing detail by surveillance cameras on the roof of Mandalay Bay and the street corner closest to the Route 91 Harvest festival.

Las Vegas police released footage from those cameras Wednesday under a court order.

The camera on top of Mandalay Bay was already trained on the festival grounds at 10 p.m. Oct. 1, providing a vantage point not so different from what the gunman may have seen from his 32nd-floor windows.

The camera at the northeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Mandalay Bay Road was pointed diagonally across the intersection, where pedestrians and a police officer working traffic duty on the sidewalk in front of Mandalay Bay moved about normally, even after the shooting started.

Here is what the two cameras recorded minute by minute, with approximate times listed, as the attack unfolded:

In the minutes before the first shots, the Mandalay Bay rooftop camera shows fans packed shoulder to shoulder in front of the main stage. Stage lights pan across the crowd, painting festivalgoers in streaks of color as Jason Aldean performs.

The surveillance video is soundless. One can’t hear the music or the gunshots or the screaming.

It’s hard to pinpoint the moment the crowd begins to react to what’s happening, but by 10:06 p.m. there is an unmistakable stream of people rushing toward the exits on the east side of the concert grounds.

Less than a minute after people can be seen starting to flee, bright lights come on at the front of the stage, illuminating the crowd.

10:07 p.m.: Now the crowd is scattering away from the stage to the east and north. Some people can be seen running along Las Vegas Boulevard just outside the venue. When they realize they’re still in the line of fire, they duck behind a block wall along the sidewalk.

A half minute later, the camera zooms in on the crowd for the first time. People flee in multiple directions, mostly in groups of two, holding hands.

10:08 p.m.: As more people flee, those who don’t become visible. Some are ducking from the shots, some are wounded, some may already be dead. People can be seen huddled over the fallen, trying to help them to their feet or pick them up or tend to their wounds.

The picture zooms in closer, and now one can easily see identifying details of the fleeing concertgoers — their clothes, body type, gender, approximate age. Then color blinks out as the camera switches to an enhanced black and white night-vision setting.

In the middle of the frame, a man in a black T-shirt, maybe a festival staff member, waves his arms, directing people to flee to the east. Then he moves to help another man pick up a wounded woman and carry her out of the frame.

It’s at about this time that the street-level camera begins to move, zooming out and panning left and then right before settling on an out-of-focus view due west down Mandalay Bay Road.

10:09 p.m.: A police car with its lights flashing makes a U-turn from southbound to northbound Las Vegas Boulevard. Five more Metropolitan Police Department vehicles, including a detention van, quickly follow. One can’t see it in the video, but Metro police officer Casey Clarkson will be shot in the neck moments later while sheltering near the van. He survived the wound and kept working to get people out of the concert venue.

Seconds later, the rooftop camera records the crowd coming under fire. Almost in unison, the fleeing people suddenly begin to duck and run faster, including one group of five people holding hands in a chain.

A few people stumble and fall as they run, but it’s unclear if they’ve been shot. One group of three tips over a garbage can and shelters briefly behind it after two members of their group fall down during the barrage. A few second later, they all get up from behind the bin and run off, seemingly unhurt.

10:10 p.m.: The street-level camera pans to the festival grounds and pulls in as people flee and others crouch at the base of buildings, fences or whatever else they can find.

The camera zooms in further, catching a woman running in the opposite direction as everyone else before stopping and dropping to the ground, perhaps at the sound of more gunfire. After a few seconds, she gets up and keeps running out of the right side of the frame.

10:11 p.m.: From the rooftop feed, several people can be seen throwing themselves over a barrier fence in the middle of the concert grounds blocking off the sound engineer’s booth. Even from this distance, one can clearly see people on the other side of the fence helping others make it across.

10:12 p.m.: The shooting appears to start again. People who were running suddenly duck or dive to the ground, some on top of each other. By now, the crowd that once filled the frame from edge to edge has been reduced to a few dozen people, running or hiding or not moving at all.

A woman running by herself suddenly drops to the ground facedown in the upper right of the frame. For just over a minute, people run past her on all sides. Finally, a woman stops to check on her. Seconds later, a man coming from another part of the venue stops, too, and the two good Samaritans drag the wounded woman by her arms to a nearby tent, her fate unknown.

People get up and start to flee again, maybe taking advantage of a pause in the gunfire. The size of the crowd seems to suddenly swell, and it becomes evident for the first time how many people had been piled in behind the engineer’s booth in the middle of the frame.

10:12 p.m.: Back at street level, a woman in a black top and a long skirt, brown or maybe purple, runs into the frame from the right and then drops suddenly in the middle of the picture. She stirs after a moment and crawls forward before appearing to collapse again. A tree blocks her from the camera, so it’s unclear whether she ever gets back up.

10:13 p.m.: To the right of where she fell, a man and a woman try to drag a woman to safety by her arms but only make it a few feet. A second man joins them. They try to lift the facedown woman in the white shirt and black shorts, but they can’t carry her limp body. After a few seconds, they turn her over and begin performing CPR.

The people who are running stop in their tracks and collapse to the ground again. Mixed in among those trying to flee or hide are a few people who stand still, looking dazed, or stroll across the grounds as if nothing is happening.

10:16 p.m.: In successive waves, small groups of people begin to emerge from where they were sheltering to hurry out of the grounds. The shooting is over, the gunman dead, but no one knows this yet.

10:17 p.m.: The field is almost completely empty now. From the left side of the rooftop view, a shirtless man stands up from where he has been hiding and limps as quickly as he can across the grounds to the east. He appears to have something wrapped around one leg, maybe his shirt.

Right behind him, a group crosses the frame from left to right, pushing someone in a wheelchair.

10:21 p.m.: The camera on the street corner pans slightly to the right to reveal another group of people huddled over more shooting victims. As they work, the woman in the white shirt and black shorts is dragged by her arms out of the frame to the left by two of the men who were working on her.

After about five minutes without gunfire, those who are left on the grounds seem to sense an opportunity to leave. People begin to emerge from behind almost every structure, tent, building or barrier in the frame and run away from where the bullets were coming from.

10:24 p.m.: Someone kills the lights on the festival grounds, turning the running figures into smudgy ghosts — all except one man, who runs across the field carrying a light, maybe from his cellphone.

The rooftop camera eventually pans away, focusing for the first time on Mandalay Bay, where it scans around for signs of the shooter. The mirrored flanks of the hotel reflect the flashing lights of emergency vehicles moving along the street below.

10:33 p.m.: A helicopter flies through the top edge of the frame, and then its spotlight can be seen briefly tracking across the face of the hotel and the roof of the casino below.

The camera slowly rotates to scan the rooftop where it is mounted. The only thing that moves is a cockroach a few feet from the lens.

10:35 p.m.: The street-level camera stays trained on the festival grounds, but the dark obscures any detail. All that can be seen are occasional flashlights and the faint silhouettes of people moving back and forth, some of them running.

Contact Henry Brean at or 702-383-0350. Follow @RefriedBrean on Twitter.

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