Mandalay Bay Revolver Revealed: Smith & Wesson 342 Airlite Ti

One of the leaked photographs from the Mandalay Bay shooter’s suite shows a revolver he apparently used to commit suicide. From page 30 of the January 18, 2018,  initial report of the lvmpd.com:

Team 2 encountered Paddock lying on the floor on his back. A small frame revolver was observed on the ground above Paddock’s head. Apparent blood was located on the revolver and a pool of blood had formed around Paddocks head.

The officers believed Paddock had a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The large window at Paddock’s feet was broken out and the curtain was blowing into the room. On the floor next to the Paddock’s feet was a small sledge hammer and Paddock was laying on top of a rifle. The officers also observed several more rifles, spent ammunition throughout the living area, and several loaded magazines.

From page 39 of 81

Decedent Stephen Paddock

Paddock was on the floor south of the chair and side table. He was wearing black pants, a long sleeve brown shirt, black gloves, and grey shoes.

Paddock was on his back with his head to the south, feet to the north, and arms at his sides. There was apparent blood surrounding his nose and mouth, and on the floor under his head. There was also apparent blood on the front of his shirt. A rifle was on the floor under his legs.

A grey box cutter was on the floor between his feet. There were casings on the floor surrounding him. A silver/black colored “Smith & Wesson” revolver with apparent blood on it was on the floor south of Paddock’s head.

The revolver is a Smith & Wesson 342 AirLite Ti, one of the lightest .38 Special +P rated revolvers commonly in use. It has substantial recoil because of its light weight.

The grips, aluminum frame, front sight and dull gray Titanium cylinder give it a distinctive appearance. It is very similar to the 340 SC, but the grips are different. The report cited above confirms the model of the revolver on page 42:

Smith & Wesson 342 AirLite Ti CDZ7618 .38 caliber revolver with 4 cartridges, 1 expended cartridge case.

Link to graphic photo of dead shooter.

The report has a number if informative pictures, but none showing the shooter’s body or the revolver. The report does not identify the remaining cartridges, or say if the empty case is and projectile found in the shooter’s body are consistent with the unfired cartridges.

Presumably, a final report will eventually become available. Some questions for the final report to offer hypothesis on are:

What mechanism resulted in the trail of blood spots from the pool of blood under the shooters head to the revolver?

How did the revolver come to be positioned about 16 – 20 inches (as estimated from the .223 cases lying on the carpet) south of the shooter’s head?

How did the shooter come to be laying flat on his back with arms straight and hands close to his sides?

How did the blood from the shooter’s head seem to follow two separate paths and result in two blood pools that are connected, but seem from different temporal events, as if the body had been moved a small amount?

One Internet observer claimed that in the picture, there was a spent round lying on top if the revolver. Close examination of the picture indicates that was an optical illusion from the shape of the lower frame of the revolver. The close up shows there is no spent round on top of the revolver.

Pure speculation: the shooter was lying down on his back, with the rifle over his feet, when he fired the suicide shot with the revolver in his mouth. Recoil took his hand and the revolver to the South, then muscle convulsions brought the hand back along his side. The different blood flows occurred when the blood flow began from the left nostril, was internally blocked, then continued from the mouth.

This timeline, from the initial Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Report is interesting:

– Armed security from the Mandalay Bay reached the 32nd floor about 22:12.

– The firing stopped about 22:16.

– The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers reached the 32nd floor, where the shooter was, about 22:56.

– They breached the door to suite 32-135 about 23:20. That was about an hour after the shooting stopped.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch

comments

  1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

    The head wound may not have been instantly fatal. He may have thrashed about a little until he completely shut down.

    Over the years I’ve heard of a number of people surviving gunshot wounds to the head. I knew a man that got shot in the jaw with a .38. He was already past 80 and lived.

    1. avatar CalGunsMD says:

      Remember that the Son of Sam killer used a snub nosed .44 at close range. He shot several people in the head and some survived.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      I shot a guy in the head with a 300 Winchester Magnum. Straight through the ear. He thrashed around for minutes until he died, from what we assume was suffocation.

      1. avatar anonymoose says:

        You probably just barely missed his temporal lobe and brainstem if he was still flopping around.

      2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        ‘Died’ is a somewhat subjective term. Chickens are well known to run around after you chop off their heads, but that only means that the cells in their nervous system and muscles are still alive and have sufficient oxygen to continue doing what they normally do, only without any neurological control. This continues long after their little chicken souls get settled in in chicken heaven. They’re dead, they just don’t know it yet.

        1. avatar American Patriot says:

          Yeah…That kinda sounds like the democraps that’s in office now.

      3. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

        Right ear or left ear?

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Yes.

          It was a .300 Win-mag for Christsakes. It was in one ear and out the other!

        2. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

          Guv, guv,guv……..If I have to explain them either I’m not good at pitching or you’re not good at catching. 🙂

          A bit of dark humor.

          Completely unrelated to you. But read the remarks above us. With the type of real world experience that the average TTAG regular has why would anybody push us into a corner.

          Do the anti gun folk really want to travel that road?

        3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Well I’ve always held that dark humor should be met with dark humor. Otherwise, I’ve got a balky knee and hip and just getting into a catcher’s squat is an hour long ordeal for me, so it’s probably not your pitching.

          Yes, we not only have the gunz but the vast majority of combat vets support the 2A. Of course, none of the gungrabbers are willing to do their own dirty work.

      4. avatar ironicatbest says:

        Draw the x dead center

      5. avatar Accur81 says:

        Jeez!

        Our head shots with .223 and 64 grain Speer Gold Dots have yielded instant results. Every shooting is different.

    3. avatar Hank says:

      Yep. It’s very possible he died of suffocation or bleeding out. Good.

  2. avatar CalGunsMD says:

    “How did the revolver come to be positioned about 16 – 20 inches (as estimated from the .223 cases lying on the carpet) south of the shooter’s head?

    How did the shooter come to be laying flat on his back with arms straight and hands close to his sides?

    How did the blood from the shooter’s head seem to follow two separate paths and result in two blood pools that are connected, but seem from different temporal events, as if the body had been moved a small amount?”

    Getting shot in the head leads to convulsions – involuntary movements which can last for some time. Then the decedent – in the process of dying – assumes decerebrate and/or decorticate posture. This also takes some time.

    sites.google.com/site/neuro82010/decorticate-and-decrebrate-rigidity

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      I have heard that is is somewhat rare for a suicide by gunshot to have the gun still in their hand when found.

      And it is assumed suspicious by homicide investigators, meaning, the death scene was staged…

  3. avatar Mike Hawkizard says:

    Seems pretty damn clear he was hoping he’d make the fuel tanks explode with the AP incendiary rounds in those AR10’s.

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      Yeah, they found some dents on the tanks, I think.

  4. avatar Dave says:

    There’s only one pool of blood. It looks like that because of the way blood clumps up when it coagulates on carpet

  5. avatar st381183 says:

    I hate to say it but it was satisfying seeing that a-hole with a big hole in his head. And they say guns don’t do any good……

  6. avatar Just Wondering says:

    A question for you LEO types. On page 39, when Paddock was first discovered, the report states “He was wearing black pants, a long sleeve brown shirt, black gloves, and grey shoes.” During the autopsy, on page 49, under “The following items of evidence were retained by the FBI’s Evidence Recovery Team:” item #4 is “One pair of black slip on shoes.” From the report, it sounds like the Coroners office photographed him clothed, then undressed him for the autopsy. I presume this is when the FBI took procession of his cloths. How would you account for the change in shoe colors? As an aside, no belt was mentioned, and its not noted if the FBI took his gloves. Am i expecting too much detail for a preliminary report?

  7. avatar Pecos Phil says:

    With a room(s) full of rifles, why did he need a pistol to commit suicide?

    1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

      It’s easier to point a pistol at your self.

      Who knows what a madman is thinking in his last moments?

      1. avatar MightyJackhammer says:

        The bits of evidence and rumors that have surfaced lead me to believe the we should be calling him “Steven Patsy.”

  8. avatar Aaron says:

    that dude really did a number to those carpets.

  9. avatar Chris Sorenson says:

    In spite of the fact that Paddock had probably chowed down on a lot of Valium in preparation for the stress he anticipated experiencing from what he had planned, I think he was *not* in fact prepared for the level of stress that he experienced. So, after ten minutes of shooting, with some fairly long pauses in between volleys of fire, the stress overwhelmed him and he killed himself. No doubt adding to the stress was that people showed up in the hallway outside his room far sooner than he had expected. Obviously, he was prepared to do a lot more shooting than he actually did.

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