Questions arise about Paddock’s rooms at the Mandalay Bay opening at the same time - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Questions arise about Paddock’s rooms at the Mandalay Bay opening at the same time

LAS VEGAS — When the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released August 3 its final criminal investigative review on the October 1, 2017 massacre, included in that report were lock interrogation (LI) reports.

Those LI reports detailed lock activity on lone gunman Stephen Paddock’s rooms at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, 32-134 and 32-135 during his stay.

The LI reports confirmed that Paddock was alone in the rooms during the time he was firing down into the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival and after he had stopped firing, however the police did not explain in the final report how the LI reports confirmed that.

In the Baltimore Post-Examiner September 24 story, Stephen Paddock was lone shooter in Mandalay Bay suite, lock report confirms,’ I went into detail explaining how the LI reports not only confirmed that Paddock was the lone shooter inside those rooms, but also dispelled any conspiracy theories to the contrary.

In the Baltimore Post-Examiner September 25 story, Las Vegas police report indicates Paddock was in two places at the same time,I pointed out a discrepancy with the timeline of Paddock’s movements on the 28th and 29th of September 2017 as was documented in both the police preliminary and final reports. The police never explained this anomaly.

The LVMPD also listed the wrong time in both the preliminary and final reports as when the deadbolt was engaged on room 32-134. The police state it was 9:46 p.m. when the correct time according to the LI report was 9:47 p.m. on October 2017.

The police state in their final report, this report was derived from the LVMPD’s preliminary investigative report that was released on January 18, 2018. The findings from that preliminary report remain accurate and in accordance with this final report.

I would have to disagree with that statement. There are other inconsistencies in both police reports which I will cover in future stories. Things like that bother me in any investigative report, let alone when it is the criminal investigative report on the worst mass shooting in modern American history. There is no excuse for it.

Could both rooms 32-134 and 32-135 have been accessed in sixty seconds?

There has been discussion on social media sites concerning both rooms opening within a sixty-second period and whether there was another person assisting Paddock beforehand who departed before Paddock deadbolted both doors prior to opening fire.

The hotel electronic room door locks record all access to the guest rooms and what key cards were used, along with the date and time. The lock also records activity with the deadbolt and when the door is opened from the inside.

A LI report cannot identify the actual person who placed the keycard in the electronic lock to access the guest room. It can only identify who the keycard was issued to. It also cannot tell you how many, if any, other persons entered the room with the holder of the key card. Without video surveillance footage in the rooming areas, you cannot determine if any person entered a guest room when the guest opens the room door from the inside.

A guest can only throw and release the room door deadbolt from inside the room.

The Mandalay Bay Hotel has no video surveillance cameras in the guest room towers, either on the individual floors or in the fire exit stairwells. They do have surveillance cameras inside their guest elevators and the service elevators.

Room 32-135, Paddock’s suite has an adjoining room door for access to room 32-134.

The time in question is 9:29 p.m. on October 1, 2017.

The lock interrogation report for room 32-134 indicates the following:

  • 10/1/2017 7:40 PM – Deadbolt thrown.
  • 10/1/2017 9:29 PM – Deadbolt released. The door is opened from the inside. Guest card accepted. The door is closed.
  • 10/1/2017 9:31 PM – Guest card accepted. The door is opened. The door is closed.

The lock interrogation report for room 32-135 indicates the following:

  • 10/1/2017 6:50 PM – Deadbolt thrown.
  • 10/1/2017 9:29 PM – Deadbolt released. The door is opened from the inside. Guest card accepted. The door is closed.
  • 10/1/2017 9:33 PM – The door is opened from the inside. Guest card accepted. The door is closed.

Both rooms 32-134 and 32-135 had their deadbolts thrown. The only way to release the deadbolts and open either door was from inside the rooms.

In that same sixty-second time period, 9:29 p.m., both rooms have their deadbolts released and the doors are opened from the inside. During that same time period a guest keycard is put into both room doors and then both doors close. The keycard used according to the lock interrogation report was issued to Paddock.

Analysis

As to the question did Paddock or someone else have enough time within that sixty-second time frame of 9:29 p.m. to release the deadbolt on one room door, open the door from the inside, put his guest card back into the door and then go through the adjoining room door to the other room and do the same thing.

It’s possible that it could be done, sixty seconds is a long time, however without having access to both rooms to conduct a test I cannot say definitively.

The reason I say Paddock or someone else is like I said earlier, without video surveillance footage I cannot say with any certainty that it was Paddock or someone else. Any time a guest door opens anyone can be entering or leaving.

You cannot determine from the LI report which room’s door lock activity occurred first because they both were in that sixty-second time frame of 9:29 p.m.

Paddock or someone else, either entered the room after using the keycard or they remained outside in the hallway.

Either way both doors are now closed at 9:29 p.m. according to the LI reports.

The next time either one of the room doors open is at 9:31 p.m. and that is room 32-134 when the guest card is accepted, the door is opened and then the door is closed, which would indicate Paddock or someone else was outside in the hallway.

Room 32-135 is then opened from the inside at 9:33 p.m. There is no mystery here because whoever it was went back in 32-134 at 9:31 p.m., simply walked through the adjoining room door into 32-135 and opened that door from the inside at 9:33 p.m. as indicated in the LI report.

It was most likely only Paddock, but I can’t say for sure.

Keep in mind that both lock interrogation reports indicate multiple door lock manipulations, i.e. deadbolts thrown and released, doors opening and closing and keycards accessing both rooms starting at 9:29 p.m. and continue up until the time that the deadbolts on both room doors engage for the last time, at 9:36 p.m. for 32-135 and 9:47 p.m. for 32-134.

I believe that it was during this time frame that the “L” bracket was installed onto the fire stairwell door and the cameras placed on the room service cart outside of 32-134, hence the multiple door lock activity on both room doors.

By placing the bracket on the fire stairwell door and putting those cameras on the room service cart with the cables running under the door too far in advance would run the risk of detection by hotel staff.

As I have stated other articles, Mandalay Bay Security Officer Jesus Campos never called in immediately when he first discovered the door when he was trying to access the 32nd floor from the fire stairwell. He never investigated the drilling sounds coming from Paddock’s suite. During his recorded interview with the police Campos never once mentioned Mandalay Bay Maintenance Engineer Steven Schuck as being on the 32nd floor with him while Paddock was firing. Campos also said he did not see the room service cart in the hallway in front of room 32-134.

As you can see in the attached LVMPD crime scene photograph, the room service cart would have been easily seen by anyone walking past room 32-134 to get into the fire stairwell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


About the author

Doug Poppa

Doug Poppa is a US Army Military Police Veteran, former law enforcement officer, criminal investigator and private sector security and investigations management professional with 40 years of experience. In 1986 Mr. Poppa was awarded “Criminal Investigator of the Year” by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. He was also re-assigned to the Northern Virginia Regional Narcotics Enforcement Task Force for 18 months. In 1991 and again in 1992 Mr. Poppa’s testimony under oath in court led to the discovery that exculpatory evidence was withheld from the defense by the prosecutor and sheriff’s office officials during the 1988 trial of a man accused of attempted murder of his wife that led to his conviction. As a result of his testimony the man was ordered released from prison, given a new trial in 1992 and found not guilty. Mr. Poppa became the subject of local and national news media attention as a result of his testimony which led to the demise of his 12-year police career. After losing his job, at the request of the FBI, Mr. Poppa infiltrated in an undercover capacity a group of men who were plotting the kidnapping of a Dupont Chemical fortune heir and his wife in 1992. His stories have been featured on Inside Edition, A Current Affair, and CBS News’ Street Stories with Ed Bradley. Contact the author.
COMMENT POLICY

HOME / ABOUT / CONTACT / JOIN THE TEAM / TERMS OF SERVICE / PRIVACY POLICY / COMMENT POLICY