When Stephen Paddock began firing on concert attendees at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, police were initially unable to pinpoint his exact location. The gunfire was most definitely coming from somewhere in or near the Mandalay Bay luxury resort and casino, which is across the Las Vegas Strip from the festival grounds, but the resulting chaos made determining Paddack’s vantage a problem. According to CBS News, when police eventually did figure out where the suspect was located, it wasn’t due to eyewitness accounts of muzzle flashes. Rather, he was found thanks to his hotel room’s smoke detector.
Per CBS News, authorities revealed the smoke detector located in Paddock’s room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay “went off from the amount of smoke that came from firing that fully automatic weapon.” It seems that is “how they were able to close in on him so quickly.” While police have yet to reveal precisely what happened once they confronted the suspect, who was subsequently killed in an indeterminate manner, they did release a brief audio clip of the moment when officers breached his hotel room door.