Stephen Paddock carefully planned the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, to the extent of stationing cameras around the pricey hotel suite he’d turned into a sniper’s nest on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Two cameras had been put just outside his suite, and one on the door’s peephole, so Stephen Paddock could monitor police and security approaching him. That kind of detail of planning by a murder is something we have not seen previously, Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said in his latest presser, Tuesday afternoon.
Lombardo said he was not aware of any transmission of the images, but the cameras were being evaluated by the FBI.
Paddock fired out of broken windows, spraying bullets at the 22K attendees of the country music festival across the Strip for nine minutes. The first 911 call came in at 10:08 PM Sunday. When it was determined the bullets were coming from that hotel, Vegas police and hotel security identified the floor and went to the room after evacuating nearby suites, Lombardo described.
Paddock shot through the door, hitting a hotel security guard in the leg. Cops pulled back and waited for the SWAT team. Breaching the suite door, they discovered Paddock already dead.
A search of Paddock’s home in Reno turned up another five handguns and two shotguns, which, added to the weapons found in his Mesquite home and in the Mandalay Bay Hotel suite, brings the total to nearly 50.
Paddock’s companion, Marilou Danley, is in the Philippines and is being brought back to the United States, Lombado said, calling her a person of interest. He said he anticipated getting “substantial information” in the next 48 hours and said he was confident a motive would become clear.
All but three of Paddock’s 59 victims have been identified, Lombardo said. The number of concert-goers injured in the mass shooting has gone down by “maybe 20” people, owing to a “double count error at one of the hospitals” to which victims were taken.
Asked to confirm the legitimacy of photos of the hotel suite after the SWAT team entered that had been published by a media outlet, Lombardo said “What I can tell you, I’m very troubled by that.” He said he has launched an internal investigation as to how those photos were obtained by the public. The photos show Paddock dead on the floor, multiple weapons, and what may be a suicide note.
Asked if he is concerned by the thoroughness of Paddock’s arrangements and the weapons at his disposal, Lombardo responded. “I am absolutely concerned. The world has changed. Who would ever have imagined this situation. I couldn’t.”