Las Vegas Shooting Suspect May Have Planned to Escape
By Faith Magbanua, October 06, 2017 00:10 AM
Stephen Paddock, the gunman behind Sunday night's mass shooting in Las Vegas has planned to flee, and he may have had help with planning the massacre, according to authorities.
Paddock has been "living a secret life, much of which would never be fully understood", Sheriff Joe Lombardo told reporters in his press briefing on Wednesday.
According to sources, the gunman's girlfriend said she had no idea what he was plotting, further disabling the authorities as to what his motives are.
Police found the 64-year-old former accountant dead in a room on the 32nd floor of a hotel after he sprayed bullets on concert-goers below, injuring hundreds in the process. It is believed that he apparently turned one of his many guns on himself as police closed in.
In a press conference that took place on Wednesday, Clark County Sheriff Lombardo was asked if he saw evidence that Paddock had planned to escape after the attack.
The sheriff said "yes". Asked what it was, he said: "I can't tell you."
Sheriff Lombardo was asked by a reporter if he thought Paddock had carried out the attack alone. "You've got to make the assumption he had to have some help at some point," the sheriff replied.
"Maybe he's a super guy, maybe he was working out all this on his own, but it would be hard for me to believe that."
The possibility that Paddock could have had an accomplice is a twist in the investigation. However, in light of the aftermath of the shooting, the officials described him as "a lone wolf" and said he was "solely responsible for this heinous act".
FBI's Aaron Rouse said that no link to terrorism had been found so far, but they would not discard the possibility.
Sheriff Lombardo also revealed that Paddock had been gambling just hours before he began shooting. The suspect had also booked into an apartment at the high-rise Ogden in downtown Las Vegas a week earlier during a different open-air festival where acts including Muse, Lorde, Chance the Rapper and Blink-182 were due to play.
The hotel security guard who led the police to Paddock's room was shot as well and according to investigations, there were 200 rounds of ammunition fired in the corridor but the guard continued to help until he was ordered to seek medical attention
The sheriff said more than 100 investigators had been combing through Paddock's life "to produce a profile of someone I would call disturbed and dangerous".
Paddock, he said, was "a man who spent decades acquiring guns and ammo".
The gunman had around 23 weapons with him in the room, many of which were modified to make them shoot more quickly. The police also found explosives in his car at the hotel, along with about 1,600 rounds of ammunition.
The bulk of Paddock's weaponry was bought in the last year, but Sheriff Lombardo said it was not clear what motivated him to start buying so much equipment.
"Anything that would indicate this individual's trigger point and that would cause him to do such harm, we haven't understood it yet," he said.
Paddock had set up cameras both inside and outside the suite to see anyone approaching the room, police said.
Paddock's girlfriend Marilou Danley, who was out of the country at the time of the shooting, has been described by US authorities as a "person of interest." She voluntarily flew back to Los Angeles from the Philippines on Tuesday night to speak to the FBI.
About two weeks ago, she said that Paddock surprised her with a plane ticket to visit her family in the Southeast Asian country.
Paddock "never said anything to me or took any action" which she understood as a warning of what was to come, she said in a statement read by her lawyer.
Danley added: "I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together." ·
While she was in the Philippines, he wired her $100,000 (£75,400), saying that it was to buy a house.
"I was grateful, but honestly I was worried it was a way for him to break up with me," she said. "It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone."
Her sister earlier told Australian outlet 7News that Danley "was sent away... so that she will not be there to interfere with what he's planning".
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