As the background of Stephen Paddock comes to light, we are learning more about the planning that went into Sunday night’s mass-shooting. It now appears that he may well have planned to attack other concert venues in other cities, and authorities are now saying that Paddock had escape plans and may have had an accomplice.
Paddock killed 59 people Sunday night. The 64-year-old rented the suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel because it overlooked the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas.
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo held a press conference Wednesday. During that conference, Lombardo mentioned some of the more intriguing elements about what authorities are piecing together, but declined to fill in many of the details.
Lombardo said Paddock would have had to be a “super hero” to have accomplished all of his aims alone. One lead the authorities have is a woman believed to have been seen with Paddock in the days leading up to the attack.
Paddock went to great lengths to get his live-in girlfriend, Marilou Danley, out of the country during the time of the attack. He bought her a plane ticket to the Philippines and wired $100,000 to her there. Lombardo noted that Paddock appeared to have led a “secret life” as he “meticulously planned on the worst domestic attack in United States history.”
“Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and lived a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood,” Lombardo said.
Despite the claims, there was no indication of what the escape plans might have entailed. He had weapons stored at other locations, and even had guns and ammunition in his car. He also had 50 pounds of Tannerite, a “binary shot indicator” (which many people call explosives) in his car.
His escape plans may have been foiled by the arrival of a security guard from the Mandalay Bay. Jesus Campos, responding to the sound of gunfire, was the first on the seen. Paddock fired more than 200 rounds through the door, but only injured Campos.
While Lombardo’s assertions raised eyebrows, his lack of evidence leaves many simply speculating. “Look at the weapon obtaining, the amounts of Tannerite available – do you think this was accomplished all on his own, face value?” he asked. It is certainly possible he acted alone.
“You gotta make the assumption he had to have help at some point,” Lombardo asserts, “and we want to ensure that’s the answer.”
“Put two and two together: another residence in Reno with several firearms, okay, electronics, and everything else associated with it, large amounts of ammo, a place in Mesquite.
“We know that he had a girlfriend. Do you think this is all self-facing, individuals are just, without talking to somebody, sequestered among themselves? Come on, folks.”
Lombardo also announced that Paddock shot at, and hit, large fuel tanks that held jet fuel for the nearby airport. The tanks were not punctured, though they were dented.
All of this new information may be prelude to something more. We’ll keep you updated as the facts emerge.