I am of the opinion that we will never know the real details of the Las Vegas Massacre, that we will never know how many shooters were involved, what weapons they used, where they were located, etc etc.
Why? For the simple reason that the FBI has not and will not conduct a proper investigation, furthermore, they will obstruct and derail any legitimate investigations the LVMPD will attempt.
The morning after the shooting, the bodies of the victims have been removed but the sheer amount of detritus left behind is plain to see, and all of this stuff is evidence, all of it should be photographed in situ then tagged, bagged and collected for later forensic analysis.
An example of a fired bullet recovered from a crime scene in order to be forensically analysed. There must have been hundreds of bullets to be recovered in Las Vegas, but why have we not been shown a single one?
FBI agents strolling round the crime scene in Las Vegas, this hardly looks like a thorough forensic crime scene analysis.
So in the absence of a proper investigation, just what do we have to guide us towards forming at least a viable hypothesis of the real events in Las Vegas?
Precious little, but one piece of analysis work we do have to work with is an excellent piece of Forensic Audio Analysis that I previously wrote about:
The map diagram below is based on this Forensic Audio Analysis, possible locations for shooters have been marked in yellow:
Here I have marked on the map the three most likely positions for a shooter to have fired from and designated them A, B and C:
I discounted the positions south of the venue as they do not offer a clear field of fire, being blocked by the stage. I also discounted the fuel tanks due east as they offer only a restricted field of fire.
Looking north from the front of the stage, the three positions are clearly visible:
Position A – Corner of Hotel
There are a couple of reasons why, after further thought, I don’t think this was one of the gun positions. Firstly, that obelisk is in the way, and secondly, when Jason Aldean and his band ran off stage, they ran to the left of the stage, which would be towards the Mandalay Bay and Luxor; I doubt anyone would run towards the sound of gunfire, far more likely they ran in the opposite direction from where they heard the gunfire coming from. If someone did fire from this location, that obelisk would be pockmarked with bullet strikes from stray rounds, perhaps someone who happens to be passing by the Strip in the near future can take a look at the upper half of the obelisk on the side facing the Luxor and see if there are bullet holes in it.
This is as close to the corner of the hotel as I could get in Google Earth and there is not getting around it – that obelisk is right in the middle of the target, a shooter in this position could only hit a small part of the crowd, as illustrated by the arc of fire I have drawn on the image.
Position B – Elevated Billboard
This position is due north of the concert venue and offers a clear, unobstructed field of fire from an elevation of roughly 30 feet. The platform of the elevated billboard offers a suitable location to place a bipod mounted machine gun with the shooter lying prone on the platform.
This is the view from the front of the stage looking north, the billboard is clearly visible.
Zoomed in as much as Google Earth will allow, the clear, unobstructed field of fire is obvious:
The billboard is next to both an ARCO filling station and an AMPM convenience store, both of which are open 24/7 according to the online info. This means that customers at either would have been within feet of the shooter on the billboard platform. Therefore one has to wonder if the store and the filling station were closed at the time of the shooting. If this was the case, then it strongly suggests the billboard was indeed a shooting position and the businesses were closed in order to keep people away who would have witnessed clearly the gunfire coming from that position.
Position C – Tropicaire Apartments
93 E Reno Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89119
This is a low-rent pretty seamy looking set of small apartments. The property changed hands in July, 2016 for 1.25 million USD, according to this site:
Google Streetview does not allow you to navigate to the exact corner of the building we are interested in, but I have marked it on the closest view available:
Looking at the apartment building from above, we see it is symmetrical:
This view from E.Reno Ave is sadly obscured by trees, but I have drawn on a green box that shows the front of the building facing the Route 91 festival.
This view shows that there would be a clear field of fire as there is nothing in the way other than flat, open parking lots:
This map view shows the field of fire:
View from point X back along the line of sight to the Tropicaire:
The second image above is an enlarged, zoomed-in view and as you can see, there are two red painted doors right at the corner of the building where we suspect a shooter may have been located.
If a proper forensic investigation was carried out, with every bullet strike located, marked and noted, then the oval pattern of the ‘beaten zone’ of fire from each gun would be clearly seen and the location it fired from pinpointed.
I strongly suspect that the shooters used belt-fed machine guns, such as these:
M240/FN MAG in 7.62×51 NATO, with it’s smaller M249/Minimi sibling in 5.56×45 behind it:
The M240 can also be mounted on a tripod:
Russian PKM equivalent in 7.62x54R, also can be mounted on a tripod:
One little clue that might indicate a tripod mounted machine gun was fired from inside a room at the Tropicaire apartments is that fact that one of the guns heard firing on the audio recordings has a distinct echo – is this echo caused by the fact the gun was inside an apartment, firign through a window or doorway?
This brief analysis is not intended as anything other than a speculative look at a possible scenario and as I stated at the beginning, we will probably never know the real events as there is no proper investigation nor analysis being done. The evidence we need to be more certain about what happened is simply not forthcoming and almost certainly never will be.