The deadliest shooting in recent US history unfolded — as most do — in a storm of chaos and confusion.
58 people were killed and more than 850 injured when a gunman opened fire at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip on October 1.
By the time the general public knew a shooting was underway, the gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, was already dead.
Despite an extensive investigation lasting the best part of a year, authorities ended their efforts without being able to determine Paddock’s motivation.
Here, moment by moment, is how the attack unfolded:
September 25, 2017: Stephen Paddock checks into the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip.
Paddock first arrived at the Mandalay Bay almost a whole week before the shooting.
Police originally said he checked in on Thursday September 28, but later updated the date to Monday 25, three days before.
According to the Associated Press, he asked for a high-level suite overlooking the Route 91 Harvest festival — but couldn’t immediately get one.
A hotel source said that he didn’t move in to the 32nd-floor room he used for the shooting until Saturday, the night before the attack.
The AP said he “was given the room for free because he was a good customer.”
Paddock transports huge quantities of weapons and ammunition into his room.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) say they found 23 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition in his room.
He appears to have planned meticulously for the attack. As well as a large number of guns, Paddock set up at least three cameras to monitor the corridor outside, police said.
October 1, 9:40 p.m.: Route 91 Harvest festival begins its closing act.
According to Fox News, the country star Jason Aldean went onstage at 9:40 p.m. on the night of the shooting. He played for half an hour before the shooting began.
Las Vegas radio station 95.5 The Bull shared the line-up on Twitter before the event.
Aldean escaped unharmed and later paid tribute to his fans who were hurt and killed.
10:05 p.m.: Paddock starts shooting out the window.
The shooting began with a hail of bullets on the crowd below, fired from Paddock’s hotel room.
Using multiple rifles, Paddock opened fired on the crowd of 22,000 people below him, from a distance where he would have had no ability to distinguish individual targets.
Officers started to exchange radio messages about the shooting.
Las Vegas police say that Paddock fired “a dozen or so volleys” overall during the shooting.
Watch footage from the scene here.
(NB: Earlier versions of the police timeline said the shooting began at 9:59 p.m. They have been revised.)
10:06 p.m.: Paddock shoots a security guard inside the Mandalay Bay.
Very soon after, Paddock turned his fire inside the building, and hit, but an employee just outside his hotel door.
In its final report into the shooting, the LVMPD said that security guard Jesus Campos was shot in the leg at 10.06 p.m. on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay.
Campos was investigating an open door — not the door to Paddock’s room — when he was hit in the leg. He alerted hotel security and stayed on the floor until police arrived.
10:12 p.m.: Police inside the hotel start to close in.
The first police to respond were officers who happened to be inside the Mandalay Bay for an event.
Seven minutes after the first shooting, they had made their way to the 31st floor, according to an official police timeline, and knew the shooter was one floor above them.
10:13 p.m.: Police outside realise where the shots are coming from.
Citing police radio transmissions, The New York Times said officers around Route 91 Harvest were still working out what was happening while colleagues inside the hotel were closing in.
Here two lines time-stamped 10:13 p.m.:
“It’s coming from like the 50th or 60th floor, north of the Mandalay Bay! It’s coming out a window.
“We’re seeing local flashes in the middle of Mandalay Bay on the north side, kind of on the west tower but towards the center of the casino, like one of the middle floors.”
10:15 p.m.: Paddock stops shooting out the window.
Police say that Paddock kept firing for “nine to 11 minutes.” In a press conference in the days after the attack, a police spokesman gave a final time for the end of the attack as 10:15 p.m.
The New York Times cites police radio at 10:20 p.m. as saying “it’s been a while since we’ve heard any shots.”
10:16 p.m.: News hits social media.
One of the earliest records of the shooting is a tweet from the user @GLOKMIN.
“i’m pretty sure a terrorist attack just happened next to me im at mandalay bay,” they wrote.
10:17 p.m.: First police arrive on Paddock’s floor.
The LVMPD timeline says that two of its officers were on the 32nd floor by 10:17 p.m., 12 minutes after the attack began. They found Campos, the wounded security guard, who told them which room is Paddock’s.
They were soon joined by eight more officers, and spent some of the following 15 minutes systematically searching the floor’s other rooms and evacuating guests.
10:24 p.m.: Police officers gather near Paddock’s room.
Again citing police radio, The New York Times said officers were right outside Paddock’s hotel room at 10:24 p.m., 19 minutes after the shooting began.
One message said: “I’m on the 32nd floor. The room is going to be 135.”
Another said: “It’s room 135 on the 32nd floor. I need the SWAT.”
It would be almost another hour, however, until officers would break into Paddock’s room.
10:25 p.m.: The police issue an active-shooter alert locally. They thought there could be as many as 3 gunmen.
Taxi drivers in the area received a message direct from the police at 10:25 p.m. telling them to avoid the Mandalay Bay area.
According to Reuters, it said: “Drivers avoid LV Blvd and Tropicana. Active shooting from Mandalay Bay. Possible 3 shooters.”
Approximately 10:30 p.m.: Officers on the scene order passersby to take cover.
Reuters reported that minutes after the alert to cab drivers, the police started herding people inside Mandalay Bay to get them out of the line of sight of the gunman.
10:38 p.m.: The police publicly confirm an active shooter.
Almost 40 minutes after the attack began, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department wrote on Twitter that it was investigating an ongoing shooting.
10:40 p.m.: Police wait for back-up.
According to Newsweek, officers asked permission to enter Paddock’s room sooner but were told to wait for SWAT teams.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Undersheriff Kevin C. McMahill defended that decision in a press conference.
He said officers were right to wait because Paddock was “contained” and had stopped firing out of the window.
He said: “The floor had been evacuated of any guests, the suspect was contained and isolated within a room.”
11:20 p.m.: SWAT teams break into Paddock’s room and find him dead.
One hour and five minutes after the first shots were fired, a police SWAT unit detonated an explosive device to break down Paddock’s door, according to the police timeline.
By this time Paddock had already killed himself.
“The Strike Team reported Paddock was down from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head,” the final report said.
11:20 p.m.: Officers break down a second door and declare the scene safe.
SWAT officers noticed a second, closed, door when they burst into Paddock’s suite, and could not immediately be sure what was behind it.
They used a second explosive charge to burst it open, at which point they could see the entire suite and were certain that Paddock had been alone.
11:58 p.m.: The police confirm that the gunman is “down.”
Two minutes before midnight, and almost two hours after the first shots were fired, the Las Vegas police tweeted confirmation that “one suspect is down”.
October 2, 2017 12:31 a.m.: Incident declared over.
It was not until 31 minutes past midnight — more than an hour since Paddock was found dead — that the police department sent a follow-up tweet saying it thought the dead man was the only attacker.
Two hours, 26 minutes after it began, the massacre was officially over.
The final death toll was 58. More than 800 people were injured.
August 3, 2018: Police release their final report on their investigation.
Police concluded their investigation ten months after the shooting, and said they could not determine the motivation behind it.
Paddock did not leave a suicide note, the investigation concluded. There was no evidence he belonged to any terrorist organizations or hate groups, and he did not have a criminal record.
Police determined that he acted alone.
Investigators followed 2,000 leads, watched 22,000 hours of video, and examined 252,000 images.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow
Drastic life changes affecting mental health
Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.
Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.
Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.
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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.
In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020. It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.
A study by Dr. Habil Otanga, a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.
KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.
Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.
As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.
“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”
Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.
“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.
Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.
“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”
Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.
“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.
Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.
Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.
She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.
Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.
“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added
Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.
“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and also engage in reading that would help expand their knowledge.