The heavily armed officers sweep the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on their way up to the gunman’s suite on the 32nd floor, telling patrons to leave and head south away from the shooting.
They climb the stairs, arriving at the room and bursting open its double doors with an explosive, only to find the suspect lying on the floor in a pool of blood in the room, which is darkened with its blinds tightly closed.
Large firearms are strewn about in a haphazard manner. Officers notice the wires that go through the suite, but they relax when they realize they’re connected to a sophisticated system of cameras: one mounted on a service cart outside the room, and another attached above the peephole.
READ MORE: Did Drake kill XXXTentacion (Facts check)
“He has an intricate camera system set up,” one of the first officers to arrive in the suite observes, “so he knew when officers were coming down the hallway.”
The tape, which was made public for the first time on Wednesday, was captured on body cameras worn by two of the first police officers to arrive at gunman Stephen Paddock’s hotel suite in the moments following the bloodiest mass shooting in modern American history.
According to officials, Paddock shot himself in the head after killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more at a nearby country music festival.
The videos are part of a cache of evidence to be made public after a judge sided with media organizations in a legal debate with the Las Vegas police, who had sought to delay the release of the video footage and records because they are part of an ongoing investigation.
But media organizations — including The Washington Post — argued in court that the department should have to make public the recordings, 911 calls, affidavits, and interview reports.
The cameras capture officers responding to a massacre that would have been unthinkable in previous eras: the frantic tone of a police dispatcher shouting “Multiple casualties!” over a radio; the confused looks of gamblers in the hotel lobby as heavily armed police rush in; the beads of sweat on an officer’s upper lip as he makes his way towards the gunman’s suite.