LAS Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock made chilling internet searches days before the 2017 massacre that remains one of America’s most tragic mysteries.
The new documentary series 11 Minutes follows the harrowing shooting and its media storm aftermath as it’s revealed Paddock spent days researching before the event including searching the internet for “how to be a social media star.”
On October 1, 2017, Paddock opened fire on hundreds of festival-goers with his arsenal of semi-automatic weapons from a hotel room of the Mandalay Ray Resort Casino.
Now, survivors of the shooting are coming forward with their stories in the new Paramount film which aims to highlight courage and survival amid frightful darkness.
“I’ve never felt more useful or more like the universe put me exactly where I was supposed to be,” said Ashley Hoff, the executive producer of 11 Minutes.
This sentiment might not be what you expect from a woman who narrowly escaped Jason Aldean’s concert with her life.
Hoff told the AP that she and her husband heard popping sounds at the show that they first dismissed as fireworks.
However, when she turned around to look at her husband, she witnessed a victim get struck in the face by a bullet.
The two fled, aiming to run away from where they heard the gunfire.
Hoff even had to shake off her cowboy boots while she made a mad dash for her life.
Thankfully, the couple escaped, and after a visit from the FBI, the future filmmaker saw the importance of sharing her story.
Nine months later, an FBI agent who was part of a little-known unit that returns property left behind by people caught in these incidents returned the cowboy boots.
Already working in the film business, Hoff thought this could be an intriguing gateway to tell the story and pursued other victims who were willing to recount their tragic experiences.
11 Minutes follows much of the day’s events including brutal cell phone videos and body cam footage recovered from the shooting.
“Is it easy to watch? No, but it shouldn’t be easy to watch,” said Sirius XM host Storme Warren who was onstage that night.
“I don’t know why you would tell the story if it were easy to watch.”
In the wake of the shooting, police recounted hearing the rings of cellphones among the bodies as people desperately called to check on their fallen loved ones.
Paddock killed himself before police barged into his hotel room, leaving his motivations a massive mystery.
The mass murderer, 64, is understood to have smashed the window of his hotel room with a hammer, giving himself a deadly sniper position.
Paddock used tripods to steady his weapons so he could unleash a hail of bullets onto the Route 91 music festival crowd of 40,000.
Despite the frustrating mystery and tragic deaths, Hoff encourages people to watch her film and hang it for goodness at the end.
“There are extraordinary acts of courage and human beings helping human beings,” said Zirinsky, chief of the See It Now Studios production company.
“They’re just regular people. In the darkest hours, people found each other.”
The four-part documentary debuts Tuesday on the Paramount+ streaming service.
Hoff said she made the film with the intention of looking evil in the face and in order to be galvanized to create effective change.
“We need to stop turning away, and we need to understand what going through this was like,” she said.
“It changes a person forever.”