Las Vegas concert attendee and massacre witness, Rick Ardito, appearing on the Jeff Rense Show on October 16th, became another in the lengthening list of witnesses at the concert who insist there was more than one gunman.
Ardito says he heard closer gunfire coming from his right, from the direction of the stage, as he and his party frantically attempted to exit the venue. Ardito, who says he is a shooter who belongs to a private gun club, says a ground-level shooter was no more than one-hundred-and-fifty to two hundred yards away. The Mandalay Bay shooting location of the alleged sole shooter, Stephen Paddock, was about 400 yards away in a different direction than the one Ardito describes, on the 32nd floor.
"I remember three long volleys before we were able to get out that back fence where we could get out, and there was another long volley, as we were exiting that fence and we briefly ducked behind a police SUV...I was looking for threats, I was looking for a way to go, and as I was ducked behind that police SUV all of the sudden I heard from my right side...to the left of the stage, I hear B-B-B-BRAT really loud, too close to be the original shooter...it wasn't coming from the direction of the hotel, it was to my right hand side...if you look at Google pictures of the venue, there's a construction site behind the stage, it was from that general area...I'm a shooter, I belong to a private gun club...that sounded like these people were within maybe 150, 200 yards at most...this gun couldn't have been more than 200 yards away from us based on how loud it was from where we were."
The "construction site" referred to by Ardito is the location of a low dirt mound and two Ferris wheel towers.
Describing the sound of bullets "whooshing " by, Ardito said:
"we were running out of the venue and it sounded like there was a shooter to the right, I heard that loud sound of someone who was closer, and nothing hitting the ground, they went right on by."
Ardito was with another witness, Kimberley Suchomel, now deceased, who also adamantly maintained there was more than one shooter, and also described shooting at ground level. Suchomel suffered from a serious illness and passed of natural causes soon after the massacre. Suchomel wrote in a Facebook post days after the massacre:
"Every single survivor I have talked to also remembers multiple shooters, and at least one from the ground- why aren’t we being taken more seriously? Tons of things don’t add up."
Other witnesses have described shooting from ground level, as well as from locations far removed from the alleged sole shooter's location. (See: "Sixth Las Vegas Witness Unequivocally Described Shooters From Within Venue")
"all of the sudden we hear the little whizzing flying by us.., and the bullets were just flying by, when somethings coming up and down, at least from a different angle, a lot of things are going to happen, when someone's shooting from a straight horizontal line it's just going to keep flying. As soon as we heard a little break in it we knew we had to keep running, we heard the gunfire approaching where we were, it just started getting closer and closer and louder and louder, and I knew we were getting gunshots closer to us than where they originally started."
Palermo candidly stated his belief that there was a shooter or shooters inside the venue:
"I do believe here were people inside of the venue...once the initial shooting started and everyone kind of panicked running..once the lights turned onto the stage, and kind of lit everything up, it was a lit target."
Palermo said that upon leaving the hospital for his injuries, he told two "federal agents" in an exit interview of his conviction that there were multiple shooters, with no follow up since. He stated that:
"I told them the same thing that I'm telling you, I definitely believe that there were at least three to five shooters, 100% there was not just one person shooting from the 32nd floor."
Palermo maintained that his recollection was not isolated, and that:
"every other person that I've talked to, that unfortunately did get hit as well, have all said the same things."
Going into great detail, Ardito said that when rounds being rained down from above hit near him, his wife, and their friends, they could hear the rounds hitting pavement, but rounds from the nearby bursts flew past, flying level.
Ardito is now one of many witnesses who dispute law enforcement's contention that there was only one shooter, Stephen Paddock.
Ardito says following the media's and the government's version of events makes him feel "angry" and "betrayed."
Ardito then said:
"it feels like we are being attacked by our own government...my wife says it feels like we're in the Hunger Games...we're being betrayed"
The pertinent part of the interview begins at around minute 23:00 in the video, posted below.
The witness testimony seems to buttress other video and audio evidence taken by survivors and bystanders. In one video taken by a taxi driver, the sound of a far-off gun can be heard 40 seconds after an ear-splitting burst overhead coming from the Mandalay Bay, in the first minute of the video, re-posted below. And in another video taken as pandemonium ensues, a man in a security vest seems to crouch, level a weapon, and fire, although the image is brief and grainy.
Other inconsistencies raised by witnesses seem to mount. Among them:
- Witnesses report that most of the usual exits on Las Vegas Boulevard, the nearest exit points to the Las Vegas Strip and the casinos, were all blocked on the night of the shooting, unlike every other night of the three-night engagement of the band and contrary to strict fire code. The blocked exits created a "kill zone."
- Some bursts of fire which can be heard are over 150 continuous rounds, at the precise cyclical rate-of-fire of an M-240B light machine-gun, 600 rounds-per-minute. Bump-fired AR and AK-style rifles of the kind Paddock allegedly used have a maximum capacity of 60 to 100 rounds per magazine, and have a roughly 800 round-per-minute rate of fire, which is variable and inconsistent. This is with the exception of double 100-round drum magazines, none of which are pictured in the stacks of 60-round SureFire magazines in Paddock's room, and still have an inconsistent higher rate-of-fire.
- AP has reported that the hard drive in the laptop used by Stephen Paddock is missing. Law enforcement has said that Paddock set up surveillance cameras in the hallway to his room at the Mandalay Bay. The hard drive may have contained, among other pieces of evidence, surveillance footage taken by Paddock's surveillance system.
- Fox News' Tucker Carlson recently aired a string of pointed questions on why star witness Jesus Campos, the wounded Mandalay bay security guard, was allowed to leave the country in the middle of an investigation into one of the deadliest mass shootings in US history. A government leaker revealed that Campos had left the country for Mexico soon after the massacre, and then re-entered the US in a rented car a week later
- Authorities received a barrage of criticism for changing fundamental elements in the timeline of events numerous times. Initially authorities told the media that Campos used his radio to call in an active shooter after interrupting Paddock's shooting on the crowd below, and getting shot in the leg as Paddock unleashed a 200-round barrage through his hotel room door. Later authorities changed the timeline to Campos being shot 8 minutes before Paddock ever started firing on the crowd, a detail which is hard to reconcile, even accounting for the confusion of the moment. Campos initially said that he heard the shooting and thought it was "drilling." The story then changed to Campos drawing Paddock's attention as he checked an unlocked door, getting shot, then Paddock opening fire on the crowd 8 minutes later. The stories are not remotely similar.
- Police scanner audio from the start of the shooting reports a number of times "confirmed multiple shooters."
- Police scanner audio throughout the night, even after Paddock was found dead, reveals a mass confusion of reported shootings at a number of hotel-casinos, including Hooters, MGM, Tropicana, and New York New York, with police teams responding to one after another.
(Below: Compilation of witnesses testifying to multiple shooters in Las Vegas, back-up file here.)