Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock used his Mandalay Bay hotel room to shoot bullets at large aviation fuel tanks on Sunday night.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a ‘knowledgeable source’ said the bullets left two holes but did not pierce the two circular white tanks, preventing a potentially massive explosion.
The tanks are located roughly 1,100 feet from the site of the Route 91 Harvest Festival, where Paddock killed 58 people and wounded 489.
Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock attempted to shoot bullets at two large aviation fuel tanks on Sunday night but the bullets did not pierce
The tanks are located roughly 1,100 feet from the site of the Route 91 Harvest Festival, where Paddock (pictured) killed 58 people and wounded 489
Over the past few days, construction crews have repaired and painted over the holes, and FBI agents inspected the tanks and took measurements of the line of fire from Mandalay Bay (pictured, the jet fuel tanks Paddock allegedly shot at)
Over the past few days, construction crews have repaired and painted over the holes, and FBI agents inspected the tanks and took measurements of the line of fire from Mandalay Bay, the source said.
Paddock, a 64-year-old resident of Mesquite, Nevada, had broken two windows in his 32nd-floor suite – one in line with the concert site and the other with a direct view of the fuel tanks, according to the source.
Paddock had originally hoped to survive his shooting and flee justice – and likely had an accomplice, Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo revealed in a press conference Wednesday.
Lombardo declined to reveal why he believed that Paddock had an exit planned, but said he was confident in the claim – and said that his scheme was so elaborate that he would have to be a ‘superhero’ to pull it off alone.
He also announced that the count of people injured in the attack was lower than initially stated – 489, not 527 – due to confusion at hospitals.
WHY DID THE INJURED COUNT DROP?
On Wednesday, the number of people injured in Paddock’s shooting dropped from 527 to 489.
In a press conference, Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said that the initial numbers were composed of figures given by local hospitals during the crisis.
They accidentally included some people who were counted twice and others who were treated for injuries not linked to the shooting, he said.
The new figure is the new official statistic, he said.
It wasn’t clear why Lombardo thought that Paddock had expected to survive his insane assault, which is the worst mass shooting in US history.
But he said that he believed the killer had ceased firing on the terrified civilians in order to figure out how he could escape, as SWAT teams closed in on his room.
He also noted that Paddock’s car contained two 50lbs of the explosive Tannerite – in two 20lb tins and 10 1lb tins – as well as 1,600 rounds of ammunition.
A journalist in the press pool asked whether Paddock had planned to use the vehicle to escape, but Lombardo declined to answer.
Lombardo also said he thought it was likely that Paddock had an accomplice, given the 23 rifles and piles of magazines in the room, the additional firearms in Paddock’s homes, and the electronic devices recovered from his Mesquite house.
Paddock would have had to have been a ‘superhero’ to pull it off, Lombardo said, before catching himself for using the word ‘hero’ to refer to a mass murderer.
‘Look at the weapon obtaining, the amounts of Tannerite available – do you think this was accomplished all on his own, face value?’ he said.
‘You gotta make the assumption he had to have help at some point, and we want to ensure that’s the answer.’
Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo revealed in a press conference on Wednesday that Paddock had originally hoped to survive his shooting and flee justice – and likely had an accomplice (Pictured, FBI process evidence at the scene of the festival)
Paddock, a 64-year-old resident of Mesquite, Nevada, had broken two windows in his 32nd-floor suite (pictured) – one in line with the concert site and the other with a direct view of the fuel tanks, a source told the Las Vegas Review journal
Lombardo said that Paddock’s attempts to flee had probably begun when he spotted a security guard – who had been investigating the gunfire separate from the police – approaching his room on one of the cameras.
Paddock then fired ‘well over 200 rounds’ through the door into the hallway – miraculously only injuring, not killing, the courageous guard, he said.
Even more incredibly, when police arrived 60 seconds later, Lombardo said, the guard not only gave them his master key and information, he also helped clear nearby rooms of bystanders.
He only sought medical attention when ordered to leave by the police, Lombardo claimed.
These photos from inside the room show several assault rifles; Lombardo said the number of guns here and in Paddock’s homes, and explosives in his car suggest that he had help. Beside one pillar (right), a neat stack of magazines can be seen
Lombardo said that Paddock’s attempts to flee had probably begun when he spotted a security guard – who had been investigating the gunfire separate from the police – approaching his room on one of the cameras (Pictured, Paddock’s body lies on the right after he killed himself)
But the sheriff said that while the security guard did distract Paddock from his spree, police were just seconds behind him – and would have done the same if he weren’t there.
Just as Undersheriff Kevin McMahill on Tuesday night, Lombardo stressed that although it took more than 70 minutes between the first shot fired and SWAT breaching the room, police were not sitting on their hands.
Instead, he said, they were on Paddock’s case from the very start, and once the killer stopped firing – after 10 minutes, according to bodycam footage – they focused on evacuating the floor, since he was barricaded in his room.