Vegas Gunman's Preparations Included Hidden Cameras

Stephen Paddock was prescribed anti-anxiety medication in June
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2017 5:07 AM CDT
Updated Oct 4, 2017 5:43 AM CDT
Sheriff: Vegas Shooter 'Preplanned Extensively'
Drapes billow out of broken windows at the Mandalay Bay.   (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

"For this individual to take it upon himself to create this chaos and harm is unspeakable," Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Tuesday as he released new details on the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. The sheriff says gunman Stephen Paddock had "preplanned, extensively" for the Las Vegas massacre, hiding a camera in the peephole of his hotel suite and two more in the hallway, one of them on a service cart, to watch for police, the Washington Post reports. Lombardo said Paddock shot through the room door, injuring a security guard, before putting a gun in his mouth and killing himself as a SWAT team closed in. The latest developments:

  • Authorities say Paddock had attached "bump stock" devices to 12 of the 23 guns he had in the Mandalay Bay hotel room, allowing the semiautomatic rifles to fire as fast as fully automatic weapons, USA Today reports. ATF Special Agent in Charge Jill Schneider says authorities determined the weapons were legal.

  • In body camera footage released by police on Tuesday, officers can be heard shouting at bystanders to get away and trying to determine the source of the gunfire, the New York Times reports. "Hey, they’re shooting right at us, guys," one officer says. “Everybody stay down, stay down." Another says: "North of the Mandalay Bay, it's coming out of a window."
  • A law enforcement source tells the Daily Beast that Paddock may have originally planned to attack a different musical event. The source says the weekend before he opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest festival, the gunman rented multiple condos in the Ogden tower, which overlooked the Life Is Beautiful music festival. Lorde and Chance the Rapper headlined the event this year.
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Democrat who authored the 1994 ban on assault weapons, has renewed her call to ban bump stocks, the Guardian reports. "This is the least we should do in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in US history," she says. "It should be our highest priority."
  • The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Paddock, whose motive is still unknown, was prescribed the anti-anxiety medication diazepam in June. Studies have shown that the drug, brand name Valium, can trigger aggressive behavior.
  • The International Association of Fire Fighters union says that out of the many off-duty firefighters who were at the festival, at least a dozen were shot, two of them while they performed CPR on victims, the Las Vegas Sun reports. Some firefighters brought injured loved ones to safety before immediately returning to the scene to help the wounded.
  • Marilou Danley, Paddock's girlfriend, returned to the US on a flight from the Philippines early Wednesday after having been out of the country for weeks. Her sisters say they believe Paddock sent her overseas so she wouldn't interfere with his rampage, the AP reports. Danley was met by FBI agents at Los Angeles International Airport.
(More Stephen Paddock stories.)

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