While we still have the unanswered question of why Stephen Paddock unleashed a hail of bullets from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel on concertgoers, killing 58 and injuring almost 500 more, we now know more about how he carried out his attack.
The 64-year-old Mesquite, Nevada, resident opened fire on a country music festival from the Mandalay Bay hotel across the Las Vegas Strip Sunday night, the shots began at 10:05 p.m. local time and lasted for ten minutes.
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said he believes that Paddock was “solely responsible” for the attack, but he may have had help and planned his own escape. Lombardo said that he has seen evidence for both of these theories, but refused to elaborate further and said nobody so far has been able to dismiss the theory.
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“He had to have some help at some point,” Lombardo said. “Maybe he’s a super-guy. … maybe he’s super-yahoo, was working out all this on his own, but it would be hard for me to believe that.”
NEW: LVMPD determining if another person of interest exists in Vegas shooting case. https://t.co/mg9fgOzmLA
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ABC News suggested that in the last years of his life, he may have descended into some sort of madness, saying he was losing weight, looked “sickly” and had “crazy eyes,” according to witnesses.
Paddock checked into the resort on Sept. 28, bringing with him 10 bags and at least 23 guns, including high-powered rifles, some fully automatic and others equipped with “bump stocks,” which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at a frequency similar to an automatic rifle.
The gunman set up at least two surveillance cameras – one on a service cart outside the room in the hallway and another attached to the peephole in the door.
He also apparently had a camera set up to record his massacre. He even received room service during his stay at the hotel and spent the last day before the attack playing video poker for hours.
When authorities searched Paddock’s car, they found several cans of tannerite – used to make exploding targets – and 1,600 rounds of ammunition.
He used a “hammer-like device” to smash two of the windows in his room before opening fire, shortly after the crowd sang a rendition of “God Bless America.”
Despite the nature of the attack, the motive remains unclear, even though it was “obviously premeditated” and the shooter “evaluated everything he did.”
In a news conference today, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the attack doesn’t “seem to have a terrorism nexus.”
An employee at the casino said she spent a total of 16 hours over two shifts serving Paddock over that weekend. He gambled for eight hours in one stretch – from Saturday night to Sunday morning, playing video poker in a cornered off, “exclusive” section of the casino.
Jill Snyder, the special agent in charge at the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told “CBS This Morning” in an interview Wednesday that Paddock had been stockpiling firearms since 1982. He bought nearly 50 guns legally, she said, but none of those purchases set off any red flags for the ATF.
“From October 2016 to Sept. 28, 2017, he purchased 33 firearms, majority of them rifles,” Snyder said. “We wouldn’t get notified of the purchases of the rifles. We would only get notified if there was a multiple sale, which would be two or more handguns in an individual purchase.”
H/T: The Daily Wire