Witness reports give insight into Las Vegas shooting

Updated May 17, 2018 - 12:08 am

In loopy yet neat handwriting, the woman wrote detail after detail about what she saw the final night of the Route 91 Harvest festival.

It was about an hour after sunrise Oct. 2 as pen swirled across paper — not yet a day since she saw her friend die.

Her account is one of hundreds that Las Vegas police released Wednesday, totaling more than 1,200 pages of witness statements from the mass shooting. Her name was redacted from copies released to the media.

Most statements — like the anonymous woman’s account — describe the chaos and bloodshed of friends, family and strangers. Many descriptions take up several pages. Some only fill a few lines.

“I was standing several feet away from the stage (do not know the distance),” the woman first wrote. Here, her letters stand straight and tall, absent the lean of cursive penmanship.

“I heard pop pop pop pop. …” she wrote. “I turned around to see if anyone shot firecrackers.”

A few seconds later, she heard “pop pop pop pop” again.

Her handwriting was still shipshape as she described the moment she realized those sounds were gunfire.

“People started screaming and saying, ‘get down, get down, down now!’” she continued. “My friend was next to me, and she was down too.”

Together, they waited a few minutes as the gunfire kept popping. Then the woman got up and told her friend to start moving. “But she was not moving,” the woman wrote.

Click to see the handwritten statement

witness statement page one

witness statement page two top

witness statement page two bottom

Her handwriting begins to stretch here. Her letters appear a little bigger. Her words are slightly more spaced out on the page.

“I was checking her pulse, her lips were blue, and her eyes did not move,” she wrote.

A man nearby “started doing chest compressions” on her friend as others “were yelling to get off the field.”

The anonymous author took cover, but after a few moments, she ran right back to her friend.

“I asked her again and again to get up and move but she was not responsive,” she wrote. “I stayed next to her and tried to find her pulse again but was not able to find it.”

Two men then approached. One checked her friend and said, “NO PULSE,” then placed a red bandana over the friend’s face.

The woman’s handwriting is large now. Some letters take up three lines on the official document, titled “VOLUNTARY STATEMENT.”

She tried to find her friend in the “medical area” later that night, she wrote, but did not see her.

“I stayed there for a while,” her last line reads, “and then went to my room at Tropicana.”

Trauma of thousands

The statements released Wednesday paint a detailed picture of the trauma thousands experienced the night of the mass shooting.

They also mark the first records of their kind released since the Oct. 1 tragedy, which left 58 people dead and hundreds more wounded.

While all the documents came from the Metropolitan Police Department, the source of the material released Wednesday varies.

Some documents are topped with letterheads that read “Federal Bureau of Investigation,” “Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican” or “Henderson Police Department.”

At least one document lists a police department in Texas, which interviewed a woman who was shot in the foot but managed to fly home and then seek treatment, since many Las Vegas area hospitals were overwhelmed.

One statement, taken by a Henderson police officer, was that of Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos, who was shot in the leg in the 32nd-floor hallway — the same hallway as the gunman’s suite.

The document — like all others — is redacted, and Campos’ name is not visible. But the details in the handwritten statement match details Metro previously has released about Campos.

“Shots were fired as I was leaving and I got hit on my left calve (sic),” according to the guard’s statement, which indicates he then called for backup.

The statement was only a page long. Another document, which appears to be a transcribed interview between Campos and Metro investigators, suggests Campos did not “frequently” work in the Mandalay Bay tower where he was shot.

“It just happened to be that day that I was working those floors,” he said, according to the document.

They're shooting to kill us all Las Vegas Review-Journal

Another employee, described only as “sec dispatch,” described coming in to work Oct. 3 and reviewing “any recording of the ‘sec/engineering’ transmission.”

The employee noted that, as he was copying the files onto a disc, he discovered “the time stamp was incorrect.”

“Time stamp was 20-30 min ahead of actual time,” the employee wrote. He then indicated he “corrected time to match” the rest of the security system.

“No other system time were adjusted at this time,” the employee also wrote.

In the first two weeks after the shooting, Metro revised its timeline of events at least twice in a series of news conferences.

According to a separate document, a Metro investigator asked a Mandalay Bay security employee in the days after the tragedy if the hotel had a policy regarding how to handle evidence related to criminal investigations.

“No, we don’t,” the employee replied.

Small details

It remains unclear how many witness interviews were completed throughout the mass shooting investigation.

The statements released Wednesday were mostly collected in the days immediately after the shooting, according to the dates on the documents. Several include transcriptions of interviews that took place in local hospitals.

Even the shortest of statements reveal small, painful details.

A pregnant woman wrote about running for her life that night with her husband.

“My body wasn’t responding well,” the woman, who was six months along at the time, wrote. “I was very scared. My whole body felt very heavy.”

Several people pointed out they tried to call 911 but could not get through.

When the gunshots started, one woman was using a festival restroom. Her wife pounded on the port-a-potty door.

She bolted out of the bathroom and began running with her wife.

The couple made it all the way to the Tropicana, where they hid behind air conditioners on the roof of the hotel, praying together high above the Strip.

Legal battle

The document dump came about two weeks after Metro released body camera footage from two of the officers who helped breach the gunman’s Mandalay Bay suite the night of the shooting. The first officer to breach the room, Levi Hancock, did not activate his camera.

Those clips were the first of many that Las Vegas police must release over the next several months in compliance with a court order.

The order came after a lengthy court battle in which the Las Vegas Review-Journal and other media organizations sued for Metro to release records from the mass shooting investigation, including body camera footage and 911 calls.

It remains unclear when the next batch of records will be released.

Contact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-8301. Follow @rachelacrosby on Twitter. Contact Review-Journal Capital Bureau reporter Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter. Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter. Contact Madelyn Reese at mreese@viewnews.com. Follow @MadelynGReese on Twitter.

Review-Journal staff writers Michael Shoro, Blake Apgar, Michael Scott Davidson and Jeff German contributed to this report.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Driver dies in single-vehicle crash
One person is dead after an early Wednesday morning crash in the northwest valley. The single-vehicle crash was called in about 1:35 a.m. on Jones Boulevard just north of Deer Springs Way, according to Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Robert Stauffer. The driver, who was the only person inside the vehicle, died at the scene.
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services On Thursday, Uber launched its Uber Health platform for healthcare providers. Medical facilities, rehab centers, clinics and hospitals can book rides for patients from a centralized dashboard – no app required. According to Techcrunch, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber noted some 3.6 million Americans miss appointments due to lack access to reliable transportation. Uber’s endeavors into health care trace back to 2014, when Uber first offered on-demand flu shots in large markets across the U.S. Since then there have been similar efforts throughout the world, from diabetes and thyroid testing in India, to subsidized rides for breast cancer screening in the U.S., to many more. Last summer, over 100 healthcare organizations joined the platform during a private beta. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Crime
1 dead in shooting at southwest Las Vegas home
A dispute between roommates led to the fatal shooting of one man in the backyard of their southwest Las Vegas Valley home on Monday, April 23, 2018. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Henderson Police Seek Armed Bank Robbery Suspect
This afternoon a male suspect entered the Bank of America, located at 2638 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway, at about 12:40 p.m. As he entered the bank, he pulled a black mask down to conceal his face.The suspect is described as a late-forties to early-fifties white male adult, approximately 5 foot 8 inches to 5 foot 10 inches tall and weighing approximately 160 to 180 pounds He was last seen wearing a dark colored beanie, a grayish blue plaid shirt, dark jeans and dark colored shoes. His head was shaved on the sides and the top of his hair was dark in color. Vehicle was described as possibly a gray 2012-2014 four door Ford Focus. The license plates were covered with black tape. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous. Do not attempt to contact the suspect but call police immediately. Anyone with information is urged to call the Henderson Police Department at 702-267-4911, to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.
Sunset Park Homicide (update 2)
LVMPD gives update about suspect in homicide at Sunset Park (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide (update)
Update from LVMPD on Sunset Park homicide. Releasing suspect's name (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide
Police give details about Sunset Park homicide on Sunday, April 15, 2018. (Blake Apgar)
Security guard thwarts mailbox vandals
A security guard at the Covington at Coronado Ranch apartment complex ended up in the hospital after thwarting a group of mailbox vandals on Monday morning. According to Las Vegas police, about 12:45 a.m. the guard saw a group of people trying to break into mailboxes at the central Las Vegas complex when he confronted them. The group jumped into a vehicle and while trying to flee, struck the guard. The guard was hospitalized with injures that were not life-threatening. The suspects fled and remain at-large.
Las Vegas police looking for robbery suspects
Authorities are looking for three men who police said used a weapon on their victims in a recent string of robberies across the Las Vegas Valley. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Las Vegas police looking for robbery suspects
Authorities are looking for three men who police said used a weapon on their victims in a recent string of robberies across the Las Vegas Valley. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Metro investigates an officer-involved shooting in east Las Vegas
Las Vegas police investigate an officer-involved shooting at Madge Lane and Mabel Road, between Charleston Boulevard and Stewart Avenue, Friday, April 6, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Robbery Surveillance Video
Police are searching for a man suspected of robbing two Las Vegas clothing stores in one week.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Paintball Attacks -- People injured in Las Vegas (LVMPD)
A recent series of drive-by paintball shootings in Las Vegas has resulted in the endangerment and injury of multiple people. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
USPS truck carjacked
Surveillance video of a USPS truck being carjacked on March 10. Search for suspects and pictures of suspects.
New York New York Robbery (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
A white man suspected of robbing a Strip casino in blackface in January was charged Friday in federal court, records show. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Las Vegas police arrest man with guns and ammo
Las Vegas police arrested a man sitting in car who was found with guns and ammo in his trunk. The video was captured by Steven Gibson and posted to his Facebook page.
LVMPD Seeks Assistance Identifying Suspects In Lottery Ticket Scam
During the month of February, two victims have been identified by LVMPD Financial Crimes detectives as being victims of a lottery ticket scam. These victims were approached by a suspect who claimed to have a winning lottery ticket and needed legal assistance to cash it.
Metro Lt. Raymond Spencer discusses details of a murder-suicide in the east valley
Metro homicide Lt. Raymond Spencer discuses details of a murder-suicide in the east valley that left two men dead on March 6. (Blake Apgar/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Lounge Shooting
Las Vegas police on Wednesday released surveillance video of man suspected of firing several shots into the Las Vegas Lounge late last week. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like