On the night of October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, leaving 58 people dead and 546 injured. Between 10:05 and 10:15 p.m. PDT, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, fired hundreds of rifle rounds from his suite on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel. About an hour after Paddock fired his last shot, he was found dead in his room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His motive is unknown.
The incident is the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States. It reignited the debate about gun laws in the U.S., with attention focused on bump firing, a technique Paddock used to allow his semi-automatic rifles to fire at a rate similar to that of a fully automatic weapon.BackgroundLocation:
Since 2014, the Route 91 Harvest country music festival has been held annually at Las Vegas Village, a 15-acre lot on the Las Vegas Strip used for outdoor performances. The venue is 450 meters (490 yards) from the Mandalay Bay hotel in Paradise, Nevada, diagonally across the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Mandalay Bay Road.Preparation:
Paddock may have researched the possibility of attacking other outdoor concerts, including the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago in August 2017. The week before the shooting, Paddock booked an apartment at The Ogden in Downtown Las Vegas, which overlooked the open-air Life Is Beautiful festival.
Paddock arrived at the Mandalay Bay hotel on September 25, 2017. He booked a suite on the 32nd floor of the hotel, which was diagonally adjacent to his shooting targets in the festival lot. He placed a "Do not disturb" sign on his door, organized the room, and stockpiled an arsenal of weapons. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Paddock carried more than ten suitcases into his hotel suite during his preparation for the shooting.
Twenty-three firearms, a large quantity of ammunition, and numerous high-capacity magazines capable of holding up to 100 rounds apiece were found in the suite. The firearms included AR-15 variants manufactured by Daniel Defense, FN Herstal, and Lewis Machine and Tool Company; Kalashnikov and AR-10 pattern rifles; and a handgun. Two of the rifles were equipped with telescopic sights and mounted on tripods. In the month preceding the shooting, he attempted to purchase a large quantity of tracer ammunition, but the gun dealer he approached did not have the item in stock. Audio recordings of the attack indicated Paddock sustained a high rate of fire, using either a fully automatic weapon, or a semi-automatic weapon utilizing devices to simulate fully automatic fire. Bump fire stocks were found on twelve of the guns, which allowed for the recoil to actuate the trigger at a rate of 90 bullets in 10 seconds. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined the guns were legal and legally acquired by Paddock.
Investigators found hidden surveillance cameras that were placed inside and outside the hotel room, presumably so Paddock could monitor the arrival of others. The cameras were not in record mode. Officer Dave Newton said police found a handwritten note indicating Paddock had been calculating the distance, wind, and trajectory from his 32nd floor hotel suite to the concertgoers he was targeting on the festival lot.
At a press conference on October 4, Sheriff Lombardo stated there was evidence—which he declined to discuss—that Paddock intended to escape the scene, and that Paddock may have had assistance from an accomplice. Investigators searched Paddock's room and found a bulletproof vest and breathing apparatus, which were survival gear that Paddock never used. Shooting
Country music singer Jason Aldean was giving the closing performance for about 22,000 people on the third and final day of the festival.
Shortly before 10 p.m. PDT, hotel security guard Jesus Campos was sent to the 32nd floor to investigate an open-door alert of a guest’s room. He encountered a barricaded door that prevented him from immediately accessing the floor. After arriving on the floor, he was shot at about 10:05, the approximate time when Paddock began firing into the crowd. It is unknown whether Campos was shot before, after, or at the same time Paddock began firing into the crowd. Campos was hit in the right thigh and immediately informed the hotel by radio and cellphone that he had been shot. At the same time, maintenance worker Stephen Schuck was on the same floor to check out a report about a jammed fire door. Campos, who was already injured, encountered Schuck and told him to take cover. Schuck contacted hotel dispatchers over his radio, informed them of the ongoing shooting, and told them to call the police. Campos stayed until the police arrived. Neither the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department nor the Mandalay Bay Hotel have confirmed when information about the initial shooting was relayed to the police. Published reports do not indicate whether the open-door alert originated from Paddock's suite or whether the reported jammed fire door was the barricaded door encountered by Campos.
Paddock broke two of his suite's windows with a hammer. He began shooting through the broken windows at about 10:05 p.m., ultimately firing hundreds of rifle rounds approximately 490 yards into the festival audience. Many people in the crowd initially mistook the gunfire for fireworks. During the shooting, a security fence hindered concertgoers from fleeing the 15-acre concrete lot. The gunfire continued, with some momentary pauses, over the span of ten minutes and ended by 10:15 p.m.
Two of the bullets fired by Paddock traveled 2,000 feet (600 m) to hit a large aviation fuel tank at McCarran International Airport. One of the bullets penetrated the tank, but the fuel did not ignite or explode, and was unlikely to have done so.
During the shooting, police officers were initially confused whether the shots were coming from the Mandalay Bay, the nearby Luxor hotel, or the festival grounds. There were also multiple false reports of additional shooters at other hotels on the Strip. Officers eventually spotted multiple flashes of gunfire in the middle of the Mandalay Bay, on the northern side, and responded to the hotel. At 10:12 p.m., two officers on the 31st floor reported the sounds of gunfire on the floor above them. When officers arrived on the 32nd floor at 10:17 p.m. and encountered Campos a minute later, he directed them to Paddock’s room and helped others evacuate until being directed to seek medical attention for himself.
Between 10:26 and 10:30 p.m., an additional eight officers reached the 32nd floor. They could no longer hear gunfire and moved systematically down the hallway, searching and clearing each room, using a master key provided by Campos. At 10:55 p.m., the officers finished evacuating guests. At 11:20 p.m., police breached Paddock's room with explosives. Paddock was found dead, having shot himself in the head before the police entered. At 11:27 p.m., officers announced over the police radio that one suspect was down.Casualties
Fifty-eight people (excluding Paddock) died as a result of the shooting, most by gunshot wounds. They included 36 women and 22 men. The oldest was 67, the youngest 20. Six were from Nevada, 35 from California, 13 from other states, and four from Canada. An additional 546 people were injured. In the aftermath, many victims were sent to area hospitals, which included University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, and at least one of the six hospitals of Valley Health System.
The incident is the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States, surpassing the death toll of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, where 49 died, excluding gunman Omar Mateen.Perpetrator
The dead gunman in the hotel room was identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, a resident of a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada. The 23 firearms found in his hotel room, along with more guns found in his homes, had been legally purchased in the states of Nevada, California, Texas, and Utah. During subsequent investigations, ammonium nitrate, often used in improvised explosive devices, was found in the trunk of his car, along with 1,600 rounds of ammunition and 50 pounds (23 kg) of Tannerite, a binary explosive used to make explosive targets for gun ranges. Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said that while Paddock had "nefarious intent" with the material, he did not appear to have assembled an explosive device.
Police believe Paddock acted alone and have not yet determined his motive, despite following more than a thousand leads. Police said they had no investigative information or criminal history showing he was dangerous. His only recorded interaction with law enforcement was a minor traffic citation years before the shooting, which he settled in court.
The week before the shooting, Paddock wired US$100,000 to an account in the Philippines, the country where his live-in girlfriend had traveled, and the transaction did not raise any suspicions. Police, relatives, and neighbors described him as a high-stakes gambler. Police said he had made casino transactions in the tens of thousands of dollars prior to the shooting, but did not specify whether these transactions were losses or wins. He gambled at a high enough level to earn valuable comps, free benefits like rooms and meals; the Mandalay Bay suite in which he died had been provided to him as a comp. He was a familiar figure to casino hosts but not well known among high-stakes gamblers in Las Vegas, since he mostly played video poker. Anthony Curtis of the Los Angeles Advisor told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that according to his sources, Paddock kept to himself and was a heavy drinker.
Court records show Paddock married and divorced twice. He had no known children. His younger brother and others who were in close contact with him described him as an ordinary man with no apparent religious or political affiliation.
Paddock was the son of Benjamin Paddock, who was a bank robber that was placed on the FBI's most-wanted list in 1969 after he escaped from federal prison. The elder Paddock was taken off the list in 1977 "when it was felt he no longer fit the 'Top Ten' criteria," according to the FBI's fugitive archive. The FBI wanted poster said he was "diagnosed as psychopathic" and had "reportedly suicidal tendencies".Source for this thread[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]