Police bodycam footage has started to emerge from the Las Vegas shooting, revealing how officers at the country music festival frantically searched for the source of gunfire.
A three-minute clip released by authorities shows a police unit working to locate the shooter and direct festival-goers to safety, amid the crackle of automatic gunfire.
One officer at ground level is heard shouting, “We see muzzle flashes from the Mandalay Bay! I can see the room.” Just as the man urges people around him to “get down, get down,” bullets begin to fly again.
Another group of police is seen shouting at members of the public, some of whom are asking if the sounds are fireworks, that they should find cover and get to safety.
The officers themselves shelter behind a breeze block wall, above which the Mandalay Bay can be glimpsed in the distance.
The video reflects the chaos of the few minutes in which the massacre was carried out. At this stage, police and festival goers alike believed they might be confronting multiple gunmen. “They’re shooting right at us,” one officer can be heard saying.
Footage from another team captures an eight-second burst of fully automatic fire. An analysis of the audio played at half-speed suggests a rate of fire of as many as nine rounds per second.
The video will fuel the public debate around the availability of military-style assault weapons in the US.
But asked on Tuesday whether it was time to discuss gun control measures in the wake of the country’s worst mass shooting in modern times, President Donald Trump said: “Perhaps that will come. But that’s not for now.”
It is believed the Las Vegas killer obtained his weapons legally – he had nearly two dozen in the hotel room alone – and modified at least two with a so-called “bump stock”, an add-on that uses a rifle’s recoil to increase the rate of fire.
The modification turns a semi-automatic weapon, which requires a shooter to pull the trigger to fire each round, into one capable of firing continuous streams of bullets.
Fifty-nine people were killed on Monday and more than 500 injured.
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