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‘They’re shooting to kill us all’: Police interviews with Las Vegas rampage survivors are released

A broken window where a gunman opened fire from an upper story of Mandalay Bay resort on a country music festival across the street on the Las Vegas Strip, leaving 58 dead and more than 500 injured, shown on October 2, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Las Vegas police released more than 1,200 pages of witness interviews and officer reports Wednesday that detail the harrowing moments after a mass shooting that killed 58 in October.

The documents were the second wave of items released by police after the Nevada Supreme Court ordered the department to provide the materials after media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, sued for them.

Two weeks ago, the department released several hours of body camera footage — including video of the first officers to breach the room where Stephen Paddock had been firing down from the 58th floor of a hotel into a crowd of 22,000 at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival Oct. 1.

In a hospital interview with a pair of Las Vegas police detectives two days after the shooting, one victim, whose name was redacted in a police report, described a chaotic, disorienting scene trying to escape the bullets.

A detective — identified as Detective D. Jappe in the transcripts — asks the victim to describe what happened after hearing the gunfire, described as a sounding like fireworks.

“And then I would say, a couple of seconds later, um, I fell to the ground and I couldn’t feel my arm,” the victim said. “So I just kept yelling, ‘I can’t feel my arm. I can’t feel my arm. I can’t feel my arm.’ Um, and then my aunt was with me and she was just like — You’re fine. Get up. Jason’s performing (country western artist Jason Aldean). What are you doing on the ground? Like and then she saw blood coming from my arm.”

The victim said after a second round of bullets, everyone hit the ground.

“There was like a bunch of people on top of us — on top of me specifically — um and then when it stopped we knew we had to get up to get going,” the victim said. “And I remember not being able to get up. I just remember telling (name redacted) like ‘Get off me. Get off me. Get off me.’”

Hundreds were wounded during Paddock’s rampage from his perch at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. With his arsenal of ammunition and cache of weapons — including at least one AR-15 rifle equipped with a bump stock to simulate automatic fire, Paddock killed 58 people in about 15 minutes before shooting himself in the head. The gunman was dead when police breached his hotel room door.

The victim told the detectives that trying to get to the hospital was a frenetic and sometimes dispiriting journey.

A cab driver rolled up his window and drove off when the victim asked for a ride to the hospital. A limousine driver, after initially directing the victim to a row of ambulances, changed his mind and agreed to drive the victim to Desert Springs Hospital and Medical Center.

“The hospital was on lockdown and people were arriving in pickup trucks,” the victim said.

The victim later was transferred to Sunrise Hospital.

“It was just, like, chaos,” the victim said. Later the victim told the detective: “People were just in hallways in stretchers.”

The victim said the volume of patients was so great that “they couldn’t get the names of everybody … so they just had a paper and they just wrote, like, ‘She had morphine.’ They had an X-ray. But because they took the X-rays before my registration, they couldn’t tie it to me, so they couldn’t diagnose what was the issue.”

Police said they plan to roll out the release of more Oct. 1 documents, video footage and 911 calls over the coming months in compliance with the court ruling.

© 2018 Los Angeles Times

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