Saturday 21 July 2018

Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock had child abuse images on his computer - police

Gunman: Stephen Paddock
Gunman: Stephen Paddock

Caroline Mortimer

Child abuse images, snorkel equipment and handwritten notes were among the items found in the hotel room of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, police have revealed.

Following a three-month investigation, Las Vegas Police released a 81-age report on the mass shooting which killed 58 people and injured at least 500 more in October.

Paddock opened fire on a crowd of approximately 22,000 at country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip from the balcony of his 32nd-floor hotel room before killing himself.

When police broke in they found a stockpile of weapons – all of which had been bought legally – but, unlike other mass shooters, Paddock did not leave a manifesto or suicide note explaining his actions. 

The preliminary report said police had found “several hundred images” of child pornography on a computer hard drive when they searched the four laptops belonging to Paddock, but officers are still investigating the source of the images.

Police also found notepads strewn around the room which had technical notes and reminders such as “unplug phones” and measurements including distance and bullet drop calculations.

A man pauses at a memorial for the victims of a mass shooting in Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock opened fire on an outdoor music concert killing 58 people and wounding 500. Photo: AP
A man pauses at a memorial for the victims of a mass shooting in Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock opened fire on an outdoor music concert killing 58 people and wounding 500. Photo: AP

Surveillance equipment and snorkel gear including a blue plastic tube with a snorkel mouthpiece, a scuba mask and a snorkel tube were also recovered from the room.

During a press conference, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said investigators had “gone over 2,000 leads and looked at 21,560 hours of video.”

October 7, 2017: A member of the FBI walks among piles of personal items at the scene of the Las Vegas mass shooting, days after the attack on October 1. Gunman Stephen Paddock fired more than 1,100 rounds in 10 minutes from his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel into a crowd of thousands of people attending a music concert below. He left 58 people dead and 546 injured. Photo: AP Photo/John Locher
October 7, 2017: A member of the FBI walks among piles of personal items at the scene of the Las Vegas mass shooting, days after the attack on October 1. Gunman Stephen Paddock fired more than 1,100 rounds in 10 minutes from his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel into a crowd of thousands of people attending a music concert below. He left 58 people dead and 546 injured. Photo: AP Photo/John Locher

He said: “This report won’t answer every question, or even the biggest question as to why he did what he did.

“We are all going to have to be patient and let the investigation run its course.”

He added that all though they believed Paddock was a lone gunman, they are still investigating a person of interest in the case.

This is not Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who was previously a person of interest but has denied having any knowledge of his plans.

The Mandalay Bay hotel and police have differed over the events leading up to the mass shooting
The Mandalay Bay hotel and police have differed over the events leading up to the mass shooting

Sheriff Lombardo said it was unlikely that she would face criminal charges.

The report also tried to shed light on Paddock’s mental state in the weeks and months leading up to the shooting.

People hug and cry outside the Thomas & Mack Center after a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
People hug and cry outside the Thomas & Mack Center after a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: People tend to the wounded outside the festival ground after an apparent shooting on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
A pair of cowboy boots is shown in the street outside the concert venue after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas StripY
Police vehicles block a street corner after a deadly shooting at a music festival (AP Photo/Ronda Churchill)
A woman sits on a curb at the scene of a shooting outside of a music festival along the Las Vegas Strip
Blurred image of heavily armed police officers running
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01 People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
People react at gunshots heard at music festival in Las Vegas, U.S., October 1, 2017 in this picture obtained from social media. @RTBLECKvia REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Police officers advise people to take cover near the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Las Vegas Shooting
Las Vegas Shooting
Las Vegas Shooting

Weeks before the shooting, the couple stayed at Mandalay Bay hotel together but Paddock was acting strangely, Ms Danley told investigators.

She remembered him constantly looking out the windows overlooking an area where the concert would be held the next month.

He moved from window to window to see the site from different angles, the report said.

Paddock had become "distant" in the year before the shooting and their relationship was no longer intimate, Danley said during an interview with investigators. She described him as germophobic and said he had strong reactions to smells.

He had previously told friends and relatives that he always felt ill, in pain and fatigued.

His doctor thought he may have had bipolar disorder but told police that Paddock refused to discuss the possibility, the report said.

The doctor offered him antidepressants, but Paddock accepted only a prescription for anxiety medication. Paddock was fearful of medication and often refused to take it, the doctor told investigators.

The 64-year-old retired accountant and real estate investor had lost a "significant amount of wealth" since September 2015, which led to "bouts of depression," Sheriff Lombardo said.

Paddock had paid off his gambling debts before the shooting, according to the report. 

Additional reporting by agencies

Independent News Service

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News