• Jim Leach


Updated: Aug 17, 2018


There was a media release tonight that I think could be significant.

Many of us who have been following this case have formed opinions based on reported information that said the killer shot a security guard who was in the hallway and all shooting stopped after that. The original information indicated the murderer had already been shooting into the crowd for ten minutes before the guard was shot.  My theory has been that the murderer thought police were closing in on him and he figured it was all over and shot himself. Of course, if the killer was alone, the shooting into the crowd would cease at the point.

Police are now reporting that the security guard, who was responding to an unrelated door alarm going off, was actually shot six (6) minutes BEFORE the shooter began firing on the concert crowd! In my mind this could change the whole hypothetical scenario.

I totally understand that law enforcement is not divulging everything they know, and as I have said many times, they shouldn’t.

The question now becomes why the killer stopped after ten minutes of shooting while he still had plenty of ammunition? Did he stop shooting after ten minutes and kill himself? Did he stop after shooting for ten minutes and then wait for about an hour until he knew police were breaching his room and then kill himself? Maybe after a certain amount of adrenaline or anger was spent, he was all done and just wanted to end it all. There is the possibility that this whole event was designed to fulfill some demented fantasy and the fantasy had to end in the killer taking his own life. We may never know the answer.

Of course, there could be another answer. A second person in the room, maybe even the person who was the actual shooter! Paddock has no military or police experience and there has been no reporting of him having any extensive firearms training. Authorities are now saying the note found in the hotel room described calculations concerning distance, altitude and trajectory of the shots that would be taken from the hotel room to the concert venue. In 1983 when I was at the FBI National Academy I took a sniper course and I was taught how to make these calculations. It is not real simple. The shots were taken from about three hundred feet in altitude and about four hundreds away. That is a pretty good shot even though he was shooting into a target rich environment.

Another question is why the shooter waited six minutes after shooting the security guard before firing on the concert crowd? Perhaps he wasn’t set up to begin shooting at the crowd, but he obviously was prepared enough to shoot the guard. Maybe shooting the guard shook the killer up a little and he had to regain his composure before he began his murderous rampage. On the other hand, it’s possible one person in the room got mad at the second person in the room for shooting the guard in the first place. Remember, we now know there was no reason at all to shoot the guard. There had been no shooting from the room when the guard arrived on the 32nd floor. He was responding to an unrelated door alarm going off down the hall. Shooting the guard did nothing to accomplish the “mission”, it only served to draw attention to the killer(s). If there were two killers in the room, a mistake in operations like this could easily cause an argument. An argument in the middle of this much tension could easily cause a six minute delay in operations. It could also cause one conspirator to kill the other, shoot at the crowd for a few minutes, and escape down the stairwell in the confusion. They might even hope to get to Paddock’s vehicle where the explosives were located and produce a secondary attack.

An accomplice is probably a farfetched idea but this revelation does bring that possibility into consideration. Police have processed the hotel room for DNA, prints, trace evidence, etc.. to discover evidence of someone besides Pollack being in the room. Since we are talking about a hotel room, any evidence of this nature could be compromised.

We also learned tonight that Paddock booked into the room three nights before he actually stayed in it.

I feel certain the investigators were aware of the accurate information but this is what can happen if the media spokesperson does not really know what is going on. This situation is a good example of why law enforcement may be hesitant to talk to the press early in an investigation.

Paddock probably acted alone, but I felt it was important to bring up this latest development for those of you who actually work and can’t keep up with the news all day like I do!

Jim Leach served as Special Agent in Charge for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. His book, “You Can Tell ME, a simple guide to effective interviewing” can be found at

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