The Nevada Independent

Your state. Your news. Your voice.

The Nevada Independent

Sheriff: Cameras, weaponry indicate a 'premeditated' attack by gunman

Jackie Valley
Jackie Valley
Megan Messerly
Megan Messerly
Criminal JusticeLocal GovernmentOctober 1

The Las Vegas gunman responsible for the nation’s deadliest shooting placed cameras inside and outside the hotel room where he carried out the attack, indicating it was a highly planned act, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Tuesday afternoon.

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

Lombardo said investigators found one camera on a service cart in the hallway outside the hotel room, a measure the suspect, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, apparently took to warn him of officers’ presence.

Police have taken those items into evidence and hope to review any footage they may contain for further information about what happened Sunday night and why. They have also completed their review of footage from 67 body cameras worn by police the night of the incident, Lombardo said.

Police said they have knowledge of what Paddock did in the hours leading up to the mass shooting from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino into a crowd of 22,000 gathered for the Route 91 Harvest music festival Sunday night.

The sheriff said he was “not at liberty” to share details about Paddock’s activities in the casino days prior to the shooting. He checked into the resort-casino on Sept. 28.

“The only thing I know at this point is room service was provided,” Lombardo said, when asked whether Paddock had any interaction with housekeepers.

A key question still haunting investigators and the public: Why did he do this?

Police have not released a motive, but Lombardo said he believes their investigation “absolutely” will yield that information.

Lombardo said police have identified all but three of the 59 deceased victims. He did not say whether that number had increased since Monday night.

The injury count, however, could actually be smaller than police estimated Monday night. Lombardo said about 20 of the 527 people injured may have been double counted due to a processing error at one of the hospitals.

Investigators have not finished processing the complex crime scene. The FBI and local law enforcement are “working diligently” to gather evidence at the festival grounds, he said.

The bodies of many victims were scattered throughout the festival grounds, while some concertgoers managed to escape the crime scene and died outside, Lombardo said.

Lombardo defended his officers and casino security against criticism regarding the time it took them to access Paddock’s hotel room, where he was found dead. Officers first had to identify where the gunfire was originating and then pinpoint the exact room, he said.

The sheriff praised the efforts of Mandalay Bay’s security team for helping direct law enforcement to Paddock’s location.

“What went right is we saved hundreds of lives,” Lombardo said. “This guy having the ability with those weaponry, the carnage that could have occurred outside of what did occur, a lot more was prevented because of our police action in short time and private security action in short time to save some lives.”

Lombardo was unable to confirm media reports from earlier Tuesday that Paddock had secured multiple condos in a downtown Las Vegas high rise overlooking the Life Is Beautiful music festival, which was held the prior weekend.

The police department has transitioned into “incident management mode,” a classification meant to ensure officers receive some rest during a major event.

“We’re doing good,” Lombardo said when asked about his officers’ well-being. “I’m actually very proud of our people.”

Other information provided at the Tuesday briefing:

  • Police completed their investigation at Paddock’s Reno property, recovering 5 handguns, 2 shotguns and a “plethora” of ammunition.
  • The investigation into Paddock’s girlfriend Marilou Danley, who police have identified as a person of interest, is “ongoing,” Lombardo said. Danley is currently in the Philippines.
  • The police and Red Cross are unable to handle the “overwhelming” number of donations of food and water they have received. They are directing all future donations to Three Square and Catholic Charities.
  • The Las Vegas Victim Fund has received about 53,000 donations totaling more than $4 million as of about 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday; MGM Resorts International, which owns Mandalay Bay, has donated an extra $3 million. It is unclear how that money will be spent, though Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said it will likely go toward paying for medical, transportation and funeral expenses for victims.
  • Las Vegas Boulevard from Tropicana Avenue to Russell Road, which has been closed since Sunday night, is expected to “open shortly,” likely within the next couple of hours.
  • Police are in a “planning phase” of trying to reconnect individuals with belongings they left behind at the festival ground.
Disclosure: MGM Resorts International has donated to The Nevada Independent. You can see a full list of donors here.

Featured Videos

7455 Arroyo Crossing Pkwy Suite 220 Las Vegas, NV 89113
Privacy PolicyRSSContactNewslettersSupport our Work
The Nevada Independent is a project of: Nevada News Bureau, Inc. | Federal Tax ID 27-3192716