A cop’s swift call to a Nevada judge suggests authorities may have witnessed the suicide death of Las Vegas Strip killer Stephen Paddock in his high-rise hideout, court records show.
It was widely reported that the man behind the rapid-fire massacre took his own life by shooting himself in the mouth as police closed in on his Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino suite, according to an autopsy.
Officials with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department have said he was found dead of that self-inflicted gunshot wound on the floor of the 32nd floor room.
In the hours after the attack, police Sgt. Jerry MacDonald contradicted that narrative during a 3 a.m. phone call requesting a search warrant from a judge, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, citing recently unsealed court documents.
One page states that “as SWAT officers breached room 135, they observed Stephen Paddock place a gun to his head and fire one round,” according to the paper.
Police shared photos from Stephen Paddock’s high-rise suite where he unleashed his rapid-fire attack.
The Review-Journal reports that MacDonald helped draft the preliminary report on their investigation into the mass attack, which left 58 people dead and 500 more wounded. He is expected to address the discrepancy later on Wednesday.
The case kicked off to a tumultuous start with numerous tweaks to law enforcement’s timeline of how the attack unfolded. Paddock’s firearm cache and lifeless body were pictured in leaked crime scene photos weeks after the deadly assault.
His motive for unleashing the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history remains a mystery.