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.
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.
– 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