May 3 (UPI) — Las Vegas police released dramatic body camera footage Wednesday from their sweep of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino last October as a gunman was firing on a crowd of concert-goers.
The footage from the Oct. 1 shooting — in which Stephen Paddock killed 58 people — consists of eight total clips from the body cameras of canine officers, and officers Joshua Bitsko and David Newton.
One clip shows Bitsko and Newton racing toward Mandalay Bay in their squad cars as police radio traffic describes the shooting.
Another clip shows officers taking cover in a stairwell and covering their ears for protection as they breached paddock’s hotel room door with explosives.
Upon entering the room, officers found the suspect lying on the floor in a pool of blood with guns scattered about the room, and a series of wires running to a system of cameras.
“He has an intricate camera system set up so he knew when officers were coming down the hallway,” one officer said.
The videos were released as part of a cache of evidence media outlets sued Las Vegas police to release after their initial request was denied.
A Clark County district judge ruled all body camera footage and 911 calls from the shooting must be released on a “rolling basis” within six months.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo estimated the next batch of records will be released in two weeks. He was critical of the court’s decision to require the evidence be released, saying it would be difficult for the department to handle the releases — and the footage may be harmful to survivors and families of victims.
“We believe the release of the graphic footage will further traumatize a wounded community. For that, we apologize,” Lombardo said. “Further victimization is certain to occur and is something we wanted to avoid.”