The New York Times has now formed it’s own timeline of the Las Vegas massacre, which places the shooting of Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos about one minute into the attack — and not before, like authorities claim.
Digital investigators working for the newspaper’s video unit pieced together footage that was captured at the scene and apparently discovered that local police were wrong yet again about what happened that night.
Instead of being shot right before the assault, they claim that Campos was targeted at 10:06 p.m. — one minute after Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
The Times investigators admit that their timeline could be off, but insist that it’s been developed by a team of experts using 30 videos filmed by concertgoers, the Las Vegas police and bystanders.
“Ours isn’t the definitive picture of what happened, more information will emerge, but it does give us new insights into what happened,” Senior Story Producer Malachy Browne told CBS News.
According to the new timeline, Paddock began firing at 10:05 p.m. and continued until 10:15 p.m., which matches the latest police report.
The Times video team — which is made up of video producers and former Marines — was able to figure this out by taking the camera footage and audio that they obtained and analyzing it carefully. They ultimately used timestamps, geolocation information and other metadata to pin down what happened and when.
“The process can be as simple as comparing a video with Google Street View to identify camera location or extracting file data with a smartphone app — or as difficult as analyzing each frame of a video and the amplitude and frequency of every second of audio,” Browne wrote in a Times article that was published Monday, along with a video mapping out the new timeline.
Using this system, digital investigators discovered that Paddock’s massacre could be broken down into twelve individual bursts of gunfire.
“We analyzed every single burst of gunfire, which had its own fingerprint,” Browne explained.
Since investigators had loads of material to work with, but no specific way to reconstruct it, they used the bursts as “scaffolding” for the timeline.
“Together, the footage conveyed the horror and brutality of the assault from multiple locations,” Browne tweeted. “But the chaos it showed needed structure.”
After analyzing the visual and audio evidence, the Times investigative team came to the conclusion that Paddock was shooting into his 32nd floor hallway at around 10:10 p.m. — five minutes before he stopped shooting at concertgoers. The sound of muffled gunfire reportedly indicates this.
Paddock wound up blasting over 900 rounds into the crowd that night, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds more.
His rate of fire was described by Browne as being “relentless in frequency,” with three intervals of over the span of a minute.
Strangely, though, video footage captured outside the Mandalay Bay during the shooting shows no cops — or panicked hotel guests.
“Everybody’s just standing around,” Taxi driver Corey Langdon told CBS, describing the clips.
One big question that also remains is why authorities took so long to arrive on the 32nd floor. The new timeline puts officers outside Paddock’s door at 10:22 p.m. — a full seven minutes after the shooting started.
In addition, investigators have been unable to determine Paddock’s motivation or why he took his own life.
According to the new timeline, the 64-year-old retiree ended his killing spree more than an hour before cops stormed his room and found his body.
“We need to pop this and see if we get any type of response from this guy to see if he’s in here or if he’s actually moved somewhere else,” an officer says in an audio clip, which was recorded around 11:20 p.m. and obtained by the Times.
“Breach, breach, breach,” another says. “We are clearing this room. We have one suspect down.”
Police claim that Paddock put a pistol in his mouth and pulled the trigger as SWAT officers were closing in on him. It’s unclear, though, if he did this immediately after the massacre or right before cops arrived.
Authorities, including the FBI and ATF, are still investigating.