Stephen Paddock is responsible for one of the largest mass shootings in American history. Paddock, who rained down an estimated 1,000 bullets on a crowd of unsuspecting concert-goers, was the leading factor in the banning of “bump stocks.” As the six-month anniversary nears, a newly released video shows how Paddock planned the attack.
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The video, which was released by the New York Times, shows how Paddock was able to get all of his firearms to his room without causing notice. The 64-year-old is seen pulling up the Mandalay Bay Casino Resort in Las Vegas and being helped into the hotel with over 12 bags.
In order to avert suspicion, Paddock brought additional bags with him every time he came back to the hotel. Over time, Paddock brought up 21 total bags to his room.
He is seen being escorted by a porter, and the two head up to his room where the shooting would eventually occur. The footage, which the news publication obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, is chilling as Paddock is seen blending in and carry on as if he wasn’t about to commit a heinous crime.
He was seen gambling where he won a reported $1,000 and eating at various restaurants. Since the footage has no sound, The New York Times explained his behavior.
“Over and over in the clips, Mr. Paddock is seen leaving the Mandalay Bay for his home in Mesquite, returning with a dark minivan loaded with suitcases,” the Times reported. “Over and over, valets take his keys; over and over, bellhops stack his luggage on gold carts, helping him transport at least 21 bags over the course of seven days. As they take the service elevator upstairs, Mr. Paddock chats with them. He cracks a joke. He tips.”
It was initially speculated Paddock was able to get the mass arsenal of firearms to his room with the help of hotel staff. That notion is confirmed with the newly released footage. The most chilling incident in the almost seven-minute-long video is recorded on the night of the shooting.
“Toward the end of the footage, two guests carrying shiny plastic inner tubes get off the elevator, padding out in flip-flops. Mr. Paddock pauses to let them off, then gets on,” the Times reported. “It is the afternoon of Sept. 30. They seem to be on their way to the pool. He is on his way upstairs, where his guns await.”
The question many are asking is why didn’t hotel staff notice a difference between suitcases packed with clothes for a vacation and the heavy weight of thousands of rounds of ammunition?
We may never know the motive for the shooting, nor the reason why he chose that particular music venue, but the victims’ families and American viewers are able to see a bit more about the planning that went into his crime with this released footage.