The nation is still trying to make sense of the Las Vegas mass shooting that left 59 dead and close to 500 wounded. Americans are perplexed at why a man with no criminal record, no history of mental illness, and apparently no political or international terror ties would suddenly carry out such a despicable act.
As the public attempts to gather the facts, new information has come to light regarding killer Stephen Paddock’s murderous intentions. As noted by Fox News on Twitter, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Sheriff Joseph Lombardo has reported that ammonia nitrate was found in Paddock’s vehicle. Ammonia nitrate is regularly used as a component in explosive mixtures.
Sheriff Lombardo’s statement read: “There was ammonia nitrate recovered but there were several cases within the car that had not been searched yet.” The evidence suggests Paddock was planning on constructing a bomb.
Clearly, Paddock was extremely determined to carry out mass murder and was willing to use any method to achieve his goal. As Newsweek noted, police found 23 firearms in Paddock’s hotel room on the 32nd story of the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.
Another 19 guns were found in his home in Mesquite, NV, along with several thousand rounds of ammunition and explosives. According to additional information, Paddock did not care about limiting his inhuman acts to the country music concert he ultimately selected as a target.
As covered by NBC News, the Las Vegas shooter scouted other locations. One of his potential targets was Chicago’s recent Lollapalooza festival. He even booked a room in a Chicago hotel but did not show up.
Paddock also researched hotels around Fenway Park in Boston, but most hotels in the area lack a clear view of Fenway. Paddock never went to Boston either. Investigators are also trying to determine whether Paddock targeted the larger Life is Beautiful music festival the weekend before Las Vegas massacre.
It is believed that Paddock rented units at a luxury high-rise prior to that festival, although authorities have yet to confirm. Police are unsure whether the shooter acted alone or had help. Sheriff Lombardo has not ruled out the possibility of there being an accomplice. According to WREG, Lombardo questions how Paddock was able to take such a large arsenal of weapons into his hotel room without arousing suspicion.
“It’s troublesome this individual was able to move this amount of gear into a hotel room unassisted,” Lombardo said. “It’s troublesome for the amount of stuff he had at both residences unassisted.” The sheriff’s remarks echo the sentiment of Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chair of the House Oversight Committee.
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo has reported that ammonia nitrate was found in Paddock’s vehicle. Did he have bigger plans?
As reported by Christian News Alerts, Gowdy has also questioned the notion that Paddock could have carried out his actions–which included setting up cameras inside and outside his hotel room–without being seen.
“It’s an incredible level of premeditation that you don’t ordinarily see,” Gowdy said. “And it is difficult to believe that a single person could have done this without detection.”
As the Washington Post noted, Stephen Paddock, the 64-year-old son of a convicted bank robber, was a millionaire former accountant and property manager with a penchant for gambling, staying weeks at a time in hotel casinos.