MGM Resorts International has no plans to rent out the 32nd-floor suite from where Stephen Paddock carried out the worst mass shooting in American history.
The resort operator made a statement to that effect on Thursday as a judge weighing a civil suit from one of Paddock’s victims ordered the hotel to preserve evidence in the suite.
The 1,700-square-foot suite with 180-degree views and floor-to-ceiling windows will be closed indefinitely.
“This was a terrible tragedy perpetrated by an evil man. We have no intention of renting that room,” MGM Resorts International said in an emailed statement.
“We’ve been cooperating with law enforcement from the moment this happened, which includes preserving evidence.”
The company did not say what, if any, long-term plans it had for the room.
Paddock’s ability to plant security cameras in the hallway and remain locked in his suite while firing hundreds of rounds onto festival goers below for 11 minutes has raised questions about the hotel’s security response.
Gus Castilla, the father of one of the victims, has filed a lawsuit naming several defendants, including the Mandalay Bay and its parent company, MGM Resorts International, for his daughter’s death.
Andrea Castilla, 28, was celebrating her birthday with her sister and boyfriend when one of Paddock’s bullets hit her in the head, killing her.
Another civil suit filed by one of the shooting victims prompted a Clark County District Court judge to grant a temporary order to preserve evidence of the shooting and hand over all of Paddock’s gambling records.
The judge ordered the hotel to preserve photos, surveillance video, and other evidence related to the shooting, according to several media reports.
Calls to the law office responsible for the suit were not returned by the time of publication.
According to News 3 Las Vegas, the suit was filed on behalf of Rachel Sheppard, a California woman who was shot three times in the chest and survived.
“There’s evidence that’s coming out about surveillance cameras that he may have set up himself, evidence about ways that he may have altered his room or that hallway,” Sheppard’s lawyer Brian Nettles told News 3.
Nettles, a high profile Nevada attorney, was recently named President of the Nevada Justice Association.
Sheppard’s lawsuit, like Castilla’s, alleges the hotel and its parent company were negligent and that negligence contributed to the Paddock’s massacre.
“The shooter was in that hotel for six days,” says attorney Brian Nettles.
Nettles told Fox5 that his client needs answers in order for the case to be fairly prosecuted, and that victims need answers so they can move on with their lives.
According to New 3, Judge Mark Denton granted an order that restrains Mandalay Bay from destroying anything of evidentiary value until another hearing set for Oct. 30.
MGM Resorts International can argue against the ruling at that hearing, if it chooses, before the judge decides on whether to make the order permanent.