Police body-cam footage shows tense moments after Vegas shooting

The video recording offers a glimpse of police in the moments before they breached the gunman's suite.
The video recording offers a glimpse of police in the moments before they breached the gunman's suite.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Police have released video footage of heavily armed officers storming the Las Vegas hotel room of the man behind the worst mass shooting in modern US history.

The body-camera footage, which the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department publicly released on Wednesday (May 2), shows police assembling outside the 32nd floor Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino suite of Stephen Paddock, who turned his gun on himself after raining bullets over a country music festival, killing 58 people and wounding 851 more.

The video recording offers a humanising glimpse of police in the moments they responded to the bloody October massacre.

"Breach, breach, breach," an officer says in hushed tones in the clip, before the door explodes open.

After entering the room, police find the gunman already dead, saying "we found him like this", and then securing the room, which is full of weapons, the blinds drawn shut.

Police note an intricate system of wires linked to an elaborate camera system, which they say Paddock used to monitor the hallway for the authorities.

The footage's release came after a judge sided with media organisations including The New York Times and The Washington Post that lobbied in court that the evidence be made public.

Paddock, a 64-year-old wealthy retired accountant, amassed an arsenal of weapons including assault rifles in his hotel room and unleashed fury on the evening of Oct 1, 2017, firing more than 1,100 rounds.

The authorities have yet to pinpoint a motive for the attack, which galvanised oft-repeated appeals to tighten US gun laws.

Since then, advocates have intensified those calls in the wake of subsequent shootings, including at a Florida high school in February that saw 14 teens and three adult staff shot dead by a troubled former classmate armed with an AR-15-style automatic weapon.