Investigators Look For Motive In Deadly Las Vegas Mass Shooting

LAS VEGAS (CBSNewYork/AP) — The motive behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history remained a mystery Tuesday as police try to learn more about the suspected gunman who they say opened fire on concertgoers from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel.

Meanwhile, new video Tuesday showed a glimpse inside the hotel suite where the gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, went on the shooting rampage.

At least 59 people were killed and more than 500 others injured in the shooting Sunday night.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said the injuries were “across the board” in nature – some victims suffered gunshot wounds, while others were trampled or otherwise injured while trying to escape.

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Paddock had not been on law enforcement’s radar and they think he acted alone. Police said he had 23 guns, some with scopes, in his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino where he had been staying since Thursday.

More new details emerged about Paddock’s actions and behavior late Tuesday. Authorities said he put a camera inside the peephole of his hotel room to see down the hallway as he opened fire.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Undersheriff Kevin McMahill told reporters Tuesday that Paddock also set up two cameras in the hallway outside his room at Mandalay Bay so he could watch law enforcement or security approach.

Police said Paddock booked a vista suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay specifically for its vantage point overlooking the concert venue.

McMahill said Paddock fired on and off for nine to 11 minutes and unleashed a dozen or so volleys. He says the first call about shots fired came in at 10:08 p.m. Sunday and the gunfire stopped at 10:19 p.m.

Officials also said Paddock had devices attached to 12 weapons that allow semiautomatic rifles to mimic fully automatic gunfire. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Jill Schneider also told reporters Tuesday that Stephen Paddock had nearly 50 guns in three locations.

She said he had a combination of rifles, shotguns and pistols.

The gun attachment that mimics automatic gunfire is a little-known device called a “bump stock” that was not widely sold. The stocks have been around for less than a decade, and Schneider said officials determined they were legal.

Police Tuesday night also showed officers’ bodycam video taken during the massacre.

As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, the video showed officers at the concert venue, warning the crowd as the bullets flew and physically stopping some who wanted to flee from a safe space behind a brick wall.

 

Video from Paddock’s hotel suite shows an assault rifle resting on a stand on the floor. Crime scene tape can also been seen across the busted door, CBS News’ Danielle Nottingham reported

Paddock knocked out two windows to create sniper’s perches he used to rain torrents of bullets on the crowd of 22,000 gathered for the outdoor country music concert below some 500 yards away, authorities said.

The crowd, funneled tightly into a wide-open space, had little cover and no easy way to escape. Victims fell to the ground, while others fled in panic. Some hid behind concession stands or crawled under parked cars.

“I looked behind me and a woman was shot in her neck,” said survivor Elisa Sang. “The blood was just coming out all over the place and she collapsed on the ground.”

Police said Paddock killed himself as authorities stormed his hotel room.

Investigators have been working four different crime scenes: Paddock’s hotel room at Mandalay Bay, the concert venue, Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nevada and another property of his in Reno.

Late Monday afternoon, Sheriff Lombardo said the investigation was ongoing and some information could not be released. But he said the investigation had been completed at Paddock’s Reno property, as well as his vehicle that was parked at the Mandalay Bay.

At Paddock’s Mesquite home, authorities found 19 more guns, explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Also, several pounds of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be turned into explosives, were in his car, authorities said.

“The scary part of that is knowing that he was transporting all those guns, all that ammunition back and forth right in front of our house,” said former neighbor Kirk Hulbert.

Another key concern raised in the wake of the shooting is how he was able to bring the arsenal of weapons into the hotel undetected.

“There is no hotel in the U.S. that has that kind of X-rays or metal detectors at every entrance and at every elevator because this is literally unprecedented,” said event safety specialist Steven Adelman.

Police say law enforcement officials have determined that Paddock retrofitted some of the 23 firearms that he had inside of the hotel room from semi-automatic to automatic.

“What that demonstrates to me is even a greater intent. That he purposely had these weapons modified to be even deadlier than they would be in the capacity that they were originally manufactured,” said CBS contributor and former Las Vegas police lieutenant Randy Sutton. “On a fully automatic, when you press the trigger, it continues at a rate of about 400 rounds per minute, which is why this death toll was incredibly high.”

Law enforcement officials say they will be combing through hours of surveillance video to try and trace Paddock’s steps in the days and hours leading up to the shooting.

On Tuesday, investigators also combed through the concert grounds turned crime scene. Dozens of chairs and other personal items remained – left behind as people ran for cover.

“He was just shooting so much,” said concertgoer Israel Cabanas. “It was almost 20 minutes’ worth of shooting and he would only pause for a few seconds while I guess he would switch weapons or recharge.”

Officials are also looking to talk with Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who they don’t believe was involved.

Police are calling Danley a person of interest. She is in the Philippines, where Paddock had recently wired more than $10,000.

Police said she is returning to the U.S. to be interviewed.

Paddock was an accountant and most recently a professional gambler who’d won large jackpots. Paddock was also a licensed hunter and pilot and made millions in real estate investments.

A law enforcement source told CBS News that Paddock recently transferred more than $100,000 to a bank account in the Philippines in recent weeks. It is unclear whom the payment went to.

“I can’t even make something up,” his brother in Florida, Eric Paddock, said when asked what might have motivated his brother. “There’s just nothing.”

While he appeared to have no criminal history, Paddock’s late father was a bank robber who was on the FBI’s most-wanted list in the 1960s.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, but investigators say so far they have found no link between Paddock and the terror group.

While investigators try to determine what drove Paddock to commit the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, security experts in Vegas said such attacks are hard to predict — so they’re hard to prevent.

“A guy shooting on the 32nd floor was the last of their worries,” said security expert Tom Burns. “Now it has become their worry.”

President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Las Vegas on Wednesday.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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