Las Vegas massacre 911 calls give glimpse of panic
In one of the first 911 calls after the shooting began at the Route 91 Harvest festival last year, a woman plaintively screams in the background as an operator tries to get her to give her location and what kind of emergency is happening.
The call is one of more than 500 released Wednesday by Las Vegas police from the investigation into the massacre that took 58 lives. They give chilling evidence of the chaos that ensued as hundreds of shots came down on thousands of concertgoers and people called for help and tried to escape the bloodshed.
The operator hears that woman wail, “Please send help,” that someone has been shot and that the caller needs an ambulance. The operator transfers the call to the medical unit, but neither dispatcher can get the woman to give them details about what is going on.
The country music event was taking place October 1 just across the street from the Mandalay Bay resort, from where a gunman was firing a multitude of semiautomatic weapons at the suddenly panicked crowd of 22,000.
Video from a hotel surveillance camera, also released by police, shows a mass of people fleeing the shooting in one area of the festival grounds.
Couples hold hands. Groups of about five, six, seven people link hands to keep from being separated. People help others who are wounded or too hurt to walk, lending a shoulder or an arm.
They navigate around three people attending to someone who is down on the ground. They eventually drag the person out of the camera frame. Others who are wounded lay there as people scurry past them.
One man calls to tell the 911 center to “send everyone!”
He says there are people firing guns everywhere.
“The whole concert is down on the ground,” he yells into the phone. “Just send everybody.”
He frantically says there are 100 people down, bleeding out. The man says one of them is his best friend who has been shot in the stomach. Another person is shot in the leg.
“Please hurry up,” he pleads.
The 911 calls were stacking up.
“We have 33 calls holding,” one operator tells another as they listen to the woman and try to get her attention.
“We possibly have 20 subjects down,” the operator says.
“What?” the other says.
It is unclear what happened to the woman or the person who was shot. The eight-minute recording ends when the first operator drops off.
Another call that came at 10:06 came from a woman who called in a shooting at the concert. How many people are involved? “Thousands of people,” the caller says.
The caller describes the scene as gunshots continue.
“Everybody is just running,” she says.
Police have said they believe the gunman, Stephen Paddock, acted alone but they have been unable to determine his motive for the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
This is the latest in a series of investigation materials made public after media organizations, including CNN, went to court petitioning for their release.