Government
Las Vegas gunman amassed dozens of weapons before his deadly rampage
By
Jackie Valley
Police secure the Las Vegas Strip on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, following a deadly shooting that took place at the Route 91 Harvest music festival late Sunday night. Photo by Daniel Clark/The Nevada Independent.

Authorities investigating the mass shooting in Las Vegas have recovered 47 firearms — including shotguns, rifles and pistols — from the gunman’s hotel room and two Nevada homes, officials said Tuesday evening.

Twelve devices known as “bump stocks,” which speed up the discharge of ammunition, were found on firearms in the hotel room, said Jill Snyder, a special agent in charge for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

It’s unclear how many firearms the shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, used during his rampage Sunday night that killed dozens of people attending a country music festival, Snyder said. The guns were purchased in Nevada, California, Utah and Texas.

The weaponry numbers come after police earlier in the day characterized the attack as a highly planned act. The shooter had placed cameras inside and outside his Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino room in an apparent attempt to detect officers’ presence during his rampage. One camera sat on a service cart in the hotel hallway, and another was perched in a peephole on the hotel room door.

“This individual was premeditated. Obviously premeditated,” Metro Police Sheriff Joe Lombardo said. “The fact that he had the type of weaponry, the amount of weaponry in that room, it was pre-planned extensively. I’m pretty sure he evaluated everything that he did and his actions, which is troublesome.”

Police released footage from officers’ body cameras that shows them directing people to safety amid a hail of gunfire.

The first 911 call came in at 10:08 p.m. Sunday, police said. The gunfire ceased at 10:19 p.m.

Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said he couldn’t confirm the time Metro’s SWAT unit breached the hotel room, but he anticipates that information will be released in the next day or so.

“I want to make it clear again to you that while there was that slight delay, the suspect was no longer firing into the crowd,” McMahill said, adding that officers’ considered it a barricade situation at that point.

As the police continue their painstaking investigation, a separate investigatory process is occurring at the Clark County Coroner’s Office — identifying the dead.

Medical examiners have tentatively identified 59 people, including the gunman, who died. The majority died from gunshot wounds, said Coroner John Fudenberg, who anticipates finalizing the victims’ identities by Wednesday morning.

“We believe we know who every single one of them is,” Fudenberg said. “It’s just a matter of confirming that. We don’t have the liberty of making any mistakes.”

The deceased include Metro Officer Charleston Hartfield, an 11-year veteran of the department, who leaves behind a wife and two children.

“Even though he was at the concert as a civilian, he immediately took action to save lives,” Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said. “In that moment, he was acting as a police officer. He ultimately gave his life protecting others.”

McMahill similarly commended a “very heroic” security guard at Mandalay Bay who was helping find the suspect’s room when Paddock fired through the hotel door and struck him. The guard survived.

Investigators were still combing through evidence at the festival grounds and hotel room as of Tuesday night.

“This investigation is a long time from being concluded,” McMahill said.

Police said concertgoers who left their vehicles in the area can retrieve them by meeting officers at the corner of Reno Avenue and Koval Lane. The registered owners must show police their identification. About 150 vehicles were left behind in the chaos.

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