With 58 dead and nearly 500 injured after Stephen Paddock opened fire, this month’s Las Vegas massacre is the worst mass shooting in American history. But incredibly, it could have been even worse.
CNN reports that they’ve heard from law enforcement sources that Paddock also fired incendiary rounds at a 43,000-barrel fuel tank at the McCarran International Airport, which was close to the hotel from which he opened fire, obviously attempting to cause an explosion by igniting the jet fuel in the tank.
The ammunition was reportedly found both in Paddock’s hotel room and on the airport grounds. It was previously known that Paddock attempted to shoot at the tank with conventional rifle rounds, but the revelation that he also used incendiary ammo shows the extent to which he attempted to cause even more death and destruction.
The sources, briefed on the investigation but not authorized to speak publicly, said the incendiary rounds were recovered in an area near the tank.
It is unclear if the rounds that struck the tank were also of the incendiary variety. Chris Jones, an airport spokesman, said he was unaware of any rounds being recovered other than those that struck the tank […]
Airport officials last week downplayed the potential of an explosion being caused by gunfire, noting that jet fuel is designed to withstand a brief exposure to flame without igniting.
“Contrary to speculation, there is almost zero likelihood gunfire damage could trigger a fire or explosion at a commercial fuel storage facility,” an airport statement dated October 5 read. The statement did not reference an incendiary bullet or say whether it would have made a difference.
CNN’s report goes on to note a few more updates on investigators’ findings: Paddock had in his room bulletproof vests and a breathing apparatus, raising questions about whether he had intended to leave the hotel alive after his crime rather than committing suicide as he ultimately decided, as well as tracer rounds, which generate a flame a shooter can follow to aid his precision, though investigators do not believe Paddock used any of them that night.
It will come as little comfort to the loved ones of the victims, but it truly is remarkable that but for a handful of variables going differently, many more people in the area could have died.
What do you think of these revelations? Share your thoughts in the comments below.