The case of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock becomes more disturbing as additional information becomes available. Reports indicate Paddock was actively looking for targets to carry out mass murder upon prior to deciding on the country music concert outside the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.
According to Fox News, Paddock reportedly booked hotel rooms overlooking other concerts in the weeks leading up to his killing of 59 and wounding of more than 500 in what is being called the biggest mass shooting in modern American history.
One of the venues Paddock looked into was another Las Vegas hotel, The Ogden. Authorities believe he looked into striking at the Life is Beautiful festival held just one week before the shooting. Had Paddock attacked there, the results may have been even more catastrophic.
Life is Beautiful was a major concert featuring some the country’s top pop music acts, including Chance the Rapper, Lorde, and Blink 182. But Paddock didn’t limit his nefarious site-seeing to his home state of Nevada.
In August, Paddock booked two rooms in Chicago’s Blackstone Hotel located across the street from the world-famous Lollapalooza festival in Grand Park. Lollapalooza, which hosted bands like Muse and The Killers, was attended by 400,000 people–including Barack Obama’s daughter Malia.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Sheriff Joseph Lombardo says Paddock, a 64-year-old millionaire with no criminal record or history of mental illness, spent years living a “secret life.”
During that time, Paddock stockpiled immense numbers of weapons. As Christian News Alerts, notes, 23 firearms were discovered in Paddock’s suite at the Mandalay Bay. Another 19 weapons were found in his Mesquite, NV home.
In addition to guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, Paddock was found to be in possession of explosives. Investigators found ammonia nitrate, a chemical often used in the making of bombs, in the shooter’s car.
Paddock’s operation was carefully orchestrated, the result of prolonged planning. As noted by ABC News, police believe the shooter had an escape plan. Although he took his own life before being apprehended by police, Paddock left no suicide note. He set up surveillance cameras inside and outside his suite, including two cameras on a food service cart outside his door and a baby monitor in the living room.
The meticulous premeditation of the crime has led to speculation that Paddock had an accomplice. Sheriff Lombardo has stated it is logical to “make the assumption” Paddock had “some help at some point.” Even some lawmakers, such as Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) have expressed doubt in the prevailing narrative that Paddock worked alone. As yet, police have neither confirmed nor denied the existence of an accomplice.
LV shooter reportedly booked hotel rooms overlooking other concerts in the weeks leading up to the massacre. Was he shopping for a venue?
The grizzly act of violence has left Americans in shock. Democrats have used the Las Vegas shooting to push for stricter gun control, taking particular aim at bump-fire stocks, a rifle accessory that increases the rate of fire of semi-automatic firearms. As Breitbart notes, bump-fire stocks were found in Paddock’s possession.
Although bump-fire stocks were green-lighted for public use by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) under the Obama administration, the National Rifle Association has stated it is willing to submit bump-fire stock use back to the ATF while Congress works on passing national concealed carry reciprocity, which would require states to recognize the concealed carry permits issued by other states.
It is uncertain whether or not banning bump-fire stocks would have prevented Paddock from accessing them — or using some other method to carry out this evil act.