FBI Investigating New 'Person of Interest' in Vegas Mass Shooting

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Published on:
Jan/19/2018

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking at a new person of interest in connection with the October mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead, the county sheriff said.

The gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, killed himself after the rampage, which he carried out from his suite in a hotel on the Strip in the gambling hub.

“I know and believe there’s only one suspect who killed 58 people and injured hundreds more. All the evidence recovered in this case supports that theory,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told a press conference in Las Vegas on Friday local time.

Sheriff Lombardo said charges were unlikely to be brought against Paddock’s Australian-Filipina girlfriend Marilou Danley, but added: “As to any other people, the FBI has an ongoing case against an individual of federal interest. I will not be able to elaborate on that statement.”
Investigators have still not discovered what motivated Paddock to embark on the worst mass shooting in modern US history but determined that he researched police Swat tactics ahead of the massacre and investigated other possible targets, including the famed California beach in Santa Monica, officials said Friday.

They also determined that Paddock acted alone when he opened fire from his high- rise hotel suite, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds, Sheriff Lombardo told reporters.

Investigators also found that Paddock had possessed child pornography, Sheriff Lombardo said.

Paddock’s online searches before the shooting included research into SWAT tactics and for other potential public venue targets — and he took photographs of some potential sites, the sheriff said.

The searches also included the number of attendees at other concerts in Las Vegas and how many people go to Santa Monica’s beach.
The sheriff and the FBI have said they found no link to international terrorism. They said they believe Paddock meticulously prepared and concealed his plan to fire assault-style weapons from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel into a crowd of 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival music below.

Paddock fired more than 1100 bullets, mostly from two windows in the high-rise hotel, Sheriff Lombardo has said. That includes about 200 shots fired through Paddock’s hotel room door into a hallway where an unarmed hotel security guard was wounded in the leg and a maintenance engineer took cover to avoid being hit.

Several bullets hit aviation fuel storage tanks at nearby McCarran International Airport that did not explode. Authorities reported finding about 4000 unused bullets in Paddock’s two-room suite, including incendiary rounds that Sheriff Lombardo said were not used.

Investigators found 23 guns in the rooms, including 12 rifles that a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms official said were fitted with “bump stock” devices that allowed rapid-fire shooting similar to fully automatic operation.
addock killed himself with a gunshot to the mouth before police reached him. The 64-year-old retired accountant and multi-millionaire real estate investor had earned hotel upgrades as a high-stakes video poker gambler at several Las Vegas casino resorts.

Danley was in the Philippines at the time of the shooting.

Lombardo and Aaron Rouse, FBI agent in charge in Las Vegas, had described Danley as a person of interest in the investigation but not a suspect. She was questioned by the FBI when she arrived in Los Angeles from overseas, and was described as co-operating with investigators.

However, a document filed on October. 6 and unsealed Friday last week by a federal judge in Las Vegas said the FBI considered Danley “the most likely person who aided or abetted Stephen Paddock”.

Questions have been raised about Danley’s receipt in the Philippines of a $US10,000 wire transfer from Paddock just days before the shooting.

FBI warrant documents also showed that Danley told investigators that they would find her fingerprints on bullets used during the attack because she would sometimes help Paddock load high-volume ammunition magazines, and that Danley deleted her Facebook account in the hours immediately following the shooting.

The Clark County coroner ruled that all 58 people killed in the attack died of gunshot wounds. Paddock’s death was ruled a suicide. Media organisations including The Associated Press are seeking autopsy records that have not been made public.

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