This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 16 °C Monday 25 June, 2018
Advertisement

Hotel gunman previously booked rooms overlooking two other concerts in Las Vegas and Chicago

Investigators have zeroed in on a weapon-buying binge Paddock went on in the year before the attack.

Undated photo of gunman Stephen Paddock
Undated photo of gunman Stephen Paddock
Image: Eric Paddock via AP

IN THE DAYS and months before he mowed down concertgoers from his high-rise hotel suite, gunman Stephen Paddock booked rooms overlooking two other music festivals in Las Vegas and Chicago, authorities said.

His movements raised the possibility he was contemplating attacks at those sites.

The details emerged as investigators struggled for a fourth day to explain what led the 64-year-old high-stakes gambler to open fire on an open-air country music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel casino on Sunday night. He killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 before taking his own life.

Authorities have been trying to reconstruct Paddock’s movements leading up to the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

In early August, Paddock booked a room at Chicago’s 21-story Blackstone Hotel that overlooked the park where the Lollapalooza music festival was being held, a law enforcement official said today.

Las Vegas Shooting The Blackstone Hotel sits on Michigan Avenue across the street from Chicago's Grant Park Source: Charles Rex Arbogast via Press Association Images

The official said no evidence has been found that Paddock ever came to Chicago that weekend. Lollapalooza draws hundreds of thousands of music fans every year to Grant Park.

The official was not authorised to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity after being briefed on the investigation. Paddock’s booking of the hotel room was first reported by TMZ.

Also, the weekend before the Las Vegas bloodbath, Paddock rented via Airbnb — and checked into — a condo in a 21-story luxury building in Las Vegas that overlooked the Life is Beautiful alternative music festival, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said on Tuesday.

Lombardo gave no details on what Paddock was up to. The music festival featured Chance the Rapper, Muse, Lorde and Blink-182.

Life Is Beautiful Festival 2017 A female fan above the crowd during Life Is Beautiful Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada Source: Daniel DeSlover via Zuma Press/PA Images

Paddock’s renting of the condo was curious, because as a high-roller, he could have easily gotten a free room at one of the casino hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.

When Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay on 28 September he requested an upper-floor room with a view of the Route 91 Harvest music festival, according to a person who has seen hotel records turned over to investigators and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Investigators trying to establish the motive for the attack have had little more to chase than hints and shadows.

While other mass killers have left a trail of plain-sight clues that helped investigators quickly understand what drove them to violence, Paddock led a low-key, private life. He had no known criminal record and almost no close friends or social media presence.

The No. 2 official in the FBI said yesterday that he was surprised investigators had not uncovered more.

“There’s all kinds of things that surprise us in each one of these events. That’s the one in this one, and we are not there yet,” FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said. “We have a lot of work to do.”

Investigators have zeroed in on a weapon-buying binge Paddock went on in the year before the attack. They wonder if he had some sort of mental break at the time that drove him to start making plans for mass murder.

They are also looking at his gambling habits and checking records for any disputes he might have had with casinos or fellow patrons.

Yesterday, FBI agents trying to understand his state of mind questioned his girlfriend, 62-year-old Marilou Danley, who was out of the country during the attack. She was visiting her native Philippines.

She said she had no inkling of his murderous plans.

“He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen,” she said in a statement read by her lawyer.

Read: Gunman’s secret life thwarts investigators’ hunt for motive>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Associated Press

Read next:

COMMENTS (140)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

Leave a commentcancel