World & Nation

500 recordings of 911 calls detail chaos, agony and determination after Las Vegas shooting

Las Vegas police released 911 calls and surveillance video Wednesday in the fifth release of records on the largest mass shooting in modern American history.

The voices are sobbing at times. Panicked. Fearful. A 911 dispatcher tries to calm one caller.

“Hello? Are you at the Route 91?” the dispatcher asks.

For the record:
11:10 AM, Jun. 07, 2018 An earlier version of this story said gunman Stephen Paddock wounded more than 700 people during the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Paddock wounded 422, and 429 others were injured.

“I’m going for my boyfriend who is at Route 91,” the woman says. “He’s hiding inside of a cooler.”

“OK, you tell him to stay hunkered down. We don’t have this thing contained yet and we need to get everyone — just tell him to stay put, OK?” the dispatcher responds.

That 911 call came in at 10:25 p.m., shortly after Stephen Paddock used his 32nd-floor suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino as a sniper’s perch — unleashing several hundred rounds on thousands of people attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. He killed 58 and wounded 422 on Oct. 1. An additional 429 were injured.

Las Vegas police on Wednesday released 911 calls — the fifth release of items related to the largest mass shooting in modern American history. Police already have released witness statements, police reports, body camera footage of metro officers breaching Paddock’s door and traffic camera footage along Tropicana Avenue on the night of the shooting.

In some recordings, the caller, likely distracted, never speaks directly with the dispatcher. All that is heard are sounds of chaos and agony.

“Do you need police, fire or medical?” the dispatcher asks. “Hello? This is 911. Hello? This is 911. Hello? Hello, this is 911. Hello?”

“No!” a voice — guttural and raw — screams. “No! No! No! No! No!” In the background, another voice can be heard saying, “Try to stay with us.”

The recording cuts off after 20 seconds as they figure out how to get to the hospital.

Police also released video footage taken from a surveillance camera at Mandalay Bay Road and Las Vegas Boulevard — its lens at several points aimed toward a portion of the concert venue during the shooting.

There is no audio from the camera, but a thick crowd of people can be seen running and then suddenly stopping and ducking in choreographed terror. Some then make a break across the grass. A few sprint. One person in a black shirt strolls, however, barely breaking his stride.

The camera zooms in about 10:10 p.m., and within the frame, three people, one in shorts, can be seen trying to lift a limp body and carry it to safety. But the body slips from their grasp. A man wearing a cowboy hat puts his hand on the back of the person in shorts who is bent over the body.

For 11 minutes, the body is never left alone, even as the shooting continues. A shirtless man approaches to try to help. Behind and around them, a crowd of people runs together — darting for cover. At another point, a person crawls on all fours to where the person in shorts remains with the body.

People continue to cross the grassy area, littered with debris. Others are seen huddled around people lying on the ground. At 10:22 p.m., the camera captures three people finally dragging the body that hadn’t been left alone out of the camera’s view.

It is unclear whether the person was dead.

Other video released was taken from a camera called “Mandalay Bay Roof North.” At 10:06 p.m., it showed the crowd suddenly beginning to flow out of the concert venue amid the shooting. Less than 25 minutes later, the area is virtually empty.

Another camera called “Mandalay Bay SC” is facing the casino and zooms in on a flashing blue light at 10:12 p.m. that is coming from one of the windows.

The 911 calls released reveal the surreal confusion on the ground during and after the massacre.

“Hello?” a woman’s voice asks, in more of a plea than a greeting, during a call time-stamped 10:25 p.m.

The dispatcher asks if there is an emergency.

“Um, we’re at the Route 91 festival fairgrounds and there’s been a shooting,” the woman says through what sounds like crying.

“Do you see who’s shooting?” the dispatcher asks.

“I don’t know what to do,” the woman replies.

“Do you see who’s shooting?” the dispatcher asks as the woman sobs. “Do you see who’s shooting?”

“No,” she replies.

“OK, are you guys in a safe place?”

“They’re telling us to move.”

“If it’s an officer, listen to them,” the dispatcher says.

The woman’s voice hitches through her crying. “I don’t know what to do.”

“OK, if those are the officers telling you to move, they’re trying to get you in a safe place. Move,” the dispatcher says. “Do you see the shooter?”

“I don’t know where we’re supposed to go,” she says desperately. “I don’t know what we’re supposed to do.”

“You need to listen to the officers, OK?”

The woman’s voice rises in pitch. “There’s no officers here.”

“OK, who’s telling you to move?”

“I don’t know,” she replies.

“OK, I need you to get into a safe place. Maybe it’s security.”

The woman sounds like she’s trying to catch her breath. Fear and confusion accent virtually every word.

“Is anyone around you hurt?”

“Yeah, there’s people hurt.” She tells the dispatcher again she doesn’t know where to go. “Now we’re in the middle of nowhere.”

“They’re hurt in the tent?” the dispatcher asks.

Instead of responding, the caller appears to breathe with difficulty, as if she were hyperventilating. “OK, we’ve got to leave,” she tells the dispatcher.

The dispatcher tries to find out more information from her by asking whether she saw who was shooting. The woman again says, “No.”

“How many people are shot? Can you see?”

“There are people shot.”

“How many?”

“I don’t know. I saw a couple over...” she begins to say, then stops through sobs again.

“About how many?”

“About three,” the woman finally says.

“OK. OK.”

“Are you guys OK?” the dispatcher asks. “Are you OK, ma’am?”

The woman asks the people she’s with. “We’re OK, right?”

“Yeah, we’re OK,” she tells the dispatcher.

After a few seconds, the dispatcher asks the woman if she can get her group to a safe place. “We’re trying,” the woman responds.

There were more than 500 recordings of 911 calls released by authorities.

Some of the callers spoke in more level tones. Several sounded like they were trying to have conversations with people around them along with the dispatchers. One caller urged another person to talk to a wounded person.

“He’s going to be fine,” she repeatedly said while the dispatcher kept her on the line.

Not all the calls were from within the concert venue. There were some who reported they were hiding in a basement at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino.

One man, identified as Richard, reported hearing a lot of gunfire near the Oasis Apartments.

“A lot of people were running through our apartments,” he said in a low, quiet voice.

“OK,” the dispatcher said.

“Screaming. They were knocking on our door to let them in.”

A woman identified as Brianna called to say her sister had been shot at the concert.

“Are you injured?” the dispatcher asks.

“No, I’m not,” Brianna says. “But my little sister is.”

She tells the dispatcher that she is in her car and had gotten separated from her sister. She says she got a text saying her sister was by McCarran International Airport.

“Do you know where she is injured?”

“There is a paramedic that’s like an off-duty paramedic that was with her and said it looked like it went through her intestines,” Brianna tells the dispatcher as she’s driving to Henderson toward safety.

david.montero@latimes.com

Twitter: @davemontero


UPDATES:

7:50 p.m.: This article was updated with additional 911 calls.

5:25 p.m.: This article has been updated with details on videos taken during the shooting.

This article was originally published at 2:25 p.m.