Monday 11 December 2017

Las Vegas shooting: Suspect set up cameras inside and outside hotel room

Stephen Paddock
Stephen Paddock
The Mandalay Bay resort and casino, right, overlooks an outdoor festival grounds across the street (John Locher/AP)
A candlelight vigil is pictured on the Las Vegas strip following a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017. Picture taken October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
A night time view of the scene of a mass shooting, bottom right, on the Las Vegas Strip, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The suspect accused of killing 59 and injuring more than 500 as he fired gunshots from a perch in his Las Vegas hotel had cameras set up inside and outside his hotel room, authorities said today.

"I anticipate he was looking for anybody coming to take him into custody," Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said today.

He added that FBI agents took all digital and electronic evidence into custody.

Law enforcement officials puzzled on Tuesday over what motivated a retiree with no criminal record to assemble an arsenal in the high-rise Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and rain gunfire onto a outdoor concert for nine minutes, killing at least 59 people.

The Mandalay Bay resort and casino, right, overlooks an outdoor festival grounds across the street (John Locher/AP)
The Mandalay Bay resort and casino, right, overlooks an outdoor festival grounds across the street (John Locher/AP)

The gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, ended Sunday night’s shooting spree, the deadliest in modern U.S. history, by killing himself.

He left an arsenal of 49 guns but no clear clues as to why he staged the attack on a crowd of 20,000 from a 32nd-floor window of the Mandalay Bay hotel. More than 500 people were injured, some trampled.

Paddock fired on the crowd for nine minutes, Lombardo told reporters on Tuesday, adding that investigators have identified all but three of the victims.

Federal, state and local investigators have found no evidence that Paddock, (64), had even incidental contacts with foreign or domestic extremist groups, and reviews of his history show no underlying pattern of lawbreaking or hate speech, a senior U.S. homeland security official said on Tuesday.

A candlelight vigil is pictured on the Las Vegas strip following a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017. Picture taken October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
A candlelight vigil is pictured on the Las Vegas strip following a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017. Picture taken October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

“We cannot even rule out mental illness or some form of brain damage, although there’s no evidence of that, either,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the probe.

Paddock’s brother, Eric, has described himself as mystified by the attack.

“It just makes less sense the more we use any kind of reason to figure it out,” Eric Paddock said in a text message on Tuesday. “I will bet any amount of money that they will not find any link to anything ... he did this completely by himself.”

He said the family did not plan to hold a funeral for his brother, who was not religious, saying it could attract unwanted attention. He described his brother as a financially well-off enthusiast of video poker and cruises, with no history of mental health issues.

A night time view of the scene of a mass shooting, bottom right, on the Las Vegas Strip, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
A night time view of the scene of a mass shooting, bottom right, on the Las Vegas Strip, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday that Paddock had been “a sick man, a demented man.”

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