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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke October 21, 2022

Video doesn’t prove two gunmen during the Las Vegas shooting. Authorities say he acted alone

If Your Time is short

  • Las Vegas police and the FBI investigated the deadly 2017 shooting on the Las Vegas Strip and found that Stephen Paddock acted alone. 
  • A video showing a strobing light as gunfire can he heard doesn’t prove there was a second gunman.  

About three years ago, on Oct. 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock shot into a country music concert crowd on the Las Vegas Strip from a Mandalay Bay hotel room, killing 60 people and injuring hundreds more. 

Joe Lombardo, the sheriff of Clark County, where Las Vegas is the county seat, and the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Nevada, has said that the shooter acted alone. So did the state’s top FBI official.

And yet, conspiracy theories continue to spread online that there was another shooter. 

One recent Instagram post wrongly claims the government orchestrated the shooting, and includes an old blog post claiming that "close up video shows 2nd shooter firing out of the lower-level window at Mandalay Bay in Vegas."

The post also has a video from the vantage point of a cab on the Las Vegas Strip. Gunshots can be heard and flashing lights from what appear to be floors below the 32nd floor, where police said Paddock was positioned. 

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The blog post in the Instagram post is no longer online.  

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Las Vegas police and the FBI investigated the shooting for 10 months, and when authorities released their final report in August 2018, Lombardo said the investigation revealed there were "no other gunmen" and that Paddock acted alone.

He is the sole suspect listed in the investigative report,

"Despite early reports of multiple shooters in different locations, no evidence exists to substantiate any of those reports," the report says. "Thousands of hours of digital media were reviewed, and after all the interviews were conducted, no evidence exists to indicate Paddock conspired with or acted in collusion with anyone else. This includes video surveillance, recovered DNA and analysis of cellular phones, and computers belonging to Paddock."  

As The New York Times noted in its 2017 debunk of claims that there were multiple shooters, the footage in the Instagram post doesn’t prove the hypothesis. 

"The light and the gunshot sounds do not match" in that video and another that circulated at the time," the Times said. "And further, footage taken before and after the shooting shows that the light consistently flashed through the night."  

The light’s visible in this video posted on Instagram that was taken during a performance by country music duo Big and Rich, two hours before the shooting started. 

We rate claims that there was a second gunman in the Las Vegas mass shooting False. 


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Video doesn’t prove two gunmen during the Las Vegas shooting. Authorities say he acted alone

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