Vegas gunman transferred $100K, set up cameras at hotel room

Vegas gunman transferred $100K, set up cameras at hotel room

- in NEWS

A woman is overcome with emotion while leaving a message at a makeshift memorial on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said the shooting spanned between nine and 11 minutes.

The Las Vegas gunman transferred $100,000 overseas in the days before the attack and planned the massacre so meticulously that he even set up cameras inside the peephole of his high-rise hotel room and on a service cart outside his door, apparently to spot anyone coming for him, the authorities said on Tuesday.

The investigators are taking a harder look at the shooter’s girlfriend and what she might have known about the attack at a country music festival, with the sheriff naming her a “person of interest” and saying the FBI is bringing her back to the U.S. on Wednesday for questioning.

The authorities are trying to determine why Stephen Paddock killed 59 people in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Girlfriend in the Philippines

They have been speaking with his girlfriend Marilou Danley, 62, who was out the country at the time of the shooting and in the Philippines on Tuesday, and “we anticipate some information from her shortly,” Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.

Mr. Lombardo said he was “absolutely” confident that the authorities would find out what set off Paddock, a 64-year-old high-stakes gambler and retired accountant who killed himself before police stormed his 32nd-floor room.

The authorities released a police body camera video that showed the chaos of the attack as officers tried to figure out the location of the shooter and shuttle people to safety. Amid sirens and volleys of gunfire, people yelled “they’re shooting right at us” while officers shouted “go that way!”

Shooting spanned between nine and 11 minutes

Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said the shooting spanned between nine and 11 minutes.

Paddock transferred $100,000 to the Philippines in the days before the shooting, a U.S. official briefed by law enforcement but not authorized to speak publicly because of the continuing investigation told the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

The investigators are still trying to trace that money and also looking into a least a dozen financial reports over the past several weeks that said Paddock gambled more than $10,000 a day, the official said.

The cameras Paddock set up at the Mandalay Bay hotel casino were part of his extensive preparations that included stockpiling nearly two dozen guns in his room before opening fire on the concert below. McMahill said the cameras included one in the peephole and two in the hallway.

“I anticipate he was looking for anybody coming to take him into custody,” Mr. Lombardo said.

Hotel security guard shot

During the Sunday night rampage, a hotel security guard who approached the room was shot through the door and wounded in the leg.

“The fact that he had the type of weaponry and amount of weaponry in that room, it was preplanned extensively,” the Sheriff said, “and I’m pretty sure he evaluated everything that he did and his actions, which is troublesome.”

Mr. Lombardo said the investigation was proceeding cautiously in case criminal charges are warranted against someone else.

“This investigation is not ended with the demise of Paddock,” the Sheriff said. “Did this person get radicalised unbeknownst to us? And we want to identify that source.”

In addition to the cameras, the investigators found a computer and 23 guns with him at the hotel, along with 12 “bump stock” devices that can enable a rifle to fire continuously, like an automatic weapon, the authorities said. Nineteen more guns were found at Paddock’s Mesquite home and seven at his Reno house.

Video shot outside the broken door of the room shows an assault—style rifle with a scope on a bipod. The Sheriff said an internal investigation was launched to find out how that footage was obtained.

Some investigators turned their focus on Tuesday from the shooter’s perch to the festival grounds where his victims fell.

A dozen investigators, most in FBI jackets and all wearing blue booties to avoid contaminating the scene, documented evidence at the site where gunfire rained down and country music gave way to screams of pain and terror.

“There were bloodstains everywhere”

“Shoes, baby strollers, chairs, sunglasses, purses. The whole field was just littered with things,” said Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt after touring the site on Monday. “There were bloodstains everywhere.”

More than 500 people were injured in the rampage, some by gunfire, some during the chaotic escape. At least 45 patients at two hospitals remained in critical condition. All but three of the dead had been identified by Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Lombardo said.

As for what may have set Paddock off, retired FBI profiler Jim Clemente speculated that there was “some sort of major trigger in his life a great loss, a breakup, or maybe he just found out he has a terminal disease.”

“Psychological autopsy”

Mr. Clemente said a “psychological autopsy” may be necessary to try to establish the motive. If the suicide didn’t destroy Paddock’s brain, experts may even find a neurological disorder or malformation, he said.

“The genetics load the gun, personality and psychology aim it, and experiences pull the trigger, typically,” Mr. Clemente said.

Paddock had a business degree from Cal State Northridge. In the 1970s and ‘80s, he worked as a mail carrier and an IRS agent and held down a job in an auditing division of the Defense Department, according to the government. He later worked for a defense contractor.

Nevada’s Gaming Control Board said it would pass along records compiled on Paddock and his girlfriend to the investigators.

“No affiliation, no religion, no politics. He never cared about any of that stuff,” he said outside his Florida home.

The FBI discounted the possibility of international terrorism early on, even after the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Eric Paddock said his brother did show a confrontational side at times- He apparently hated cigarette smoke so much that he carried around a cigar and blew smoke in people’s faces when they lit up around him.

[“Source-thehindu”]