Investigators: Vegas Shooter Was 'Descending Into Madness'

Meanwhile, Trump visits Vegas and commends law enforcement, others
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2017 3:34 PM CDT
Trump in Vegas: 'Americans Defied Death and Hatred'
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump meet with first responders and private citizens that helped during the mass shooting, during a event at the Las Vegas Police command center, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

"In the depths of horror, we will always find hope in the men and women that risk their lives," President Trump said during a press conference in Las Vegas. "America is truly a nation in mourning." CNN reports Trump visited the city Wednesday after a gunman killed 59 people and injured hundreds more when he opened fire on a country music concert from a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. Trump praised the Americans who "dashed into a hail of bullets to rescue total strangers" and "defied death and hatred with love and courage." He added: "A grateful nation thanks you." Here are the newest updates on the mass shooting:

  • Earlier Wednesday, Trump visited with some "absolutely terribly wounded" shooting victims, who he said made him "proud to be an American," the New York Times reports. While he wouldn't answer questions about gun control, the president praised the "professionalism" of hospital staff and law enforcement.
  • Meanwhile, ABC News reports investigators say shooter Stephen Paddock was "descending into madness" in the months before the shooting, losing weight, ignoring his appearance, and obsessing over his girlfriend's ex-husband.
  • Investigators are still hoping that girlfriend, Marilou Danley, will be able to provide a motive for the mass shooting. The New York Times reports Danley was being interviewed at an FBI building in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon.
  • Eric Paddock tells Reuters his brother loved Danley and "doted on her." He says she was "absolutely the closest person to Steve" but worries "she's not going to know any more than anyone else."
  • His description of the couple's relationship is in stark contrast to what others saw from Paddock and Danley. Employees at Paddock's local Starbucks tell the Los Angeles Times Paddock would berate Danley "a lot" in public. "'I’m paying for your drink, just like I’m paying for you,'" a Starbucks supervisor says Paddock would tell Danley. "Then she would softly say, ‘OK’ and step back behind him. He was so rude to her in front of us.”
  • Reynaldo Bustos, Danley's brother, tells ABC News his sister told him she didn't know anything about the shooting before it happened. "She said, 'Relax, we shouldn't worry about it. I'll fix it. Do not panic. I have a clean conscience.'"
  • CBS News reports Paddock legally bought nearly 50 guns over the past 35 years but dramatically stepped up his gun purchases in recent months, buying 33 guns—most of them rifles—from October 2016 to September 2017. As for why that didn't draw the attention of law enforcement: There are no federal laws requiring the notification of authorities when someone buys multiple rifles at once as there are for handguns.
(Read more Las Vegas shooting stories.)

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