Las Vegas Shooting: How Stephen Paddock Busted Through Vegas Hotel Windows That Don’t Open

Most strip casino room windows do not open

Stephen Paddock shot and killed at least 58 people from his room at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Sunday — but how did he bypass the windows to commit such heinous slaughter? As many know, most Sin City strip hotel windows do not open, due at least partially to the threat of suicide that unfortunately too-often mixes with booze and gambling.

“We believe he had a device similar to a hammer to smash the window,” Clark County sheriff Joe Lombardo said Monday during yet another press conference. He’s been updating the media every few hours since last night’s late-breaking mass shooting.

There are safety tools manufactured specifically to break car windows, which are generally kept in automobiles in case one crashes into a body of water and needs to escape without functioning electronics. Lombardo did not specify if that was exactly what Paddock used to smash out his hotel windows, but it sure sounds like it.

Previously, it was believed that perhaps Paddock shot through his windows before opening fire on the Harvest 91 country music festival, injuring more than 500 people. Another theory was that Paddock fired through a “ventilation strip,” which is a feature some of of these high-rise hotels utilize to allow a little fresh (desert) air in. Those are purposefully not large enough for a body to fit through.

Though the Mandalay Bay has not yet responded to TheWrap‘s request for comment on if the 32nd floor — where Paddock was staying and fired from — had such a feature, this 2008 question and answer from TripAdvisor says the hotel does have ventilation strips:

17. Re: windows opening- do any strip hotels have windows that open?
Mar 06, 2008, 11:49 AM
“Mandalay Bay also has those little ‘ventilation strips’ that you can slide open if it’s the phobia about air circulating…???