Smoke Alarm Led Police to Vegas Shooter
Gunman's weapons apparently set off the detector in the Mandalay Bay resort
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2017 11:29 AM CDT
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In this frame from video, people leave the scene of a deadly shooting in Las Vegas.   (Shawn Kilgore via AP)

(Newser) – It's a sign of just how much firepower Stephen Paddock had in his Vegas hotel room: Police were able to zero in on him because his weapons set off the room's smoke alarm, reports the Washington Post. Given that the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino has more than 3,300 rooms, the clue helped police locate him more quickly—about 20 minutes in all—than had they been forced into a room-by-room search. As it was, Paddock managed to kill at least 58 people and wound more than 500 others from his 32nd-floor room. "The way the shooter was identified was not from the muzzle flashes, but the smoke detector in the room went off from the amount of smoke that came from firing that fully automatic weapon," former Vegas police officer Randy Sutton explained to CBS, per the Week.

"He rained down hell on those people," Sutton tells the Post. "Hundreds of rounds." Police say they found multiple weapons inside the room. Witnesses on the ground tell WSLS that the gunman would unleash a round, then apparently pause to reload, over and over. During the pauses, those at the music festival would begin running to escape before having to dive for cover again. "It kept happening and happening," says one attendee, a nurse. "There were short increments where there were breaks. But it felt like it continued for 20 minutes straight." Police entered the hotel room using an explosive device, and they think Paddock then killed himself. (The shooter's brother is "completely dumbfounded.")

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