CCTV footage from the Mandalay Bay of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock has finally emerged, showing the gunman who killed 58 people casually gambling, walking around, buying snacks, eating and chatting with staff – reports the New York Times.
The footage spanning several days also shows Paddock checking in and bringing several bags of luggage.
“In the interest of providing greater context around Stephen Paddock’s actions in the days leading up to October 1, MGM Resorts has released these security videos and images,” MGM Resorts in a statement. “As the security footage demonstrates, Stephen Paddock gave no indication of what he planned to do and his interactions with staff and overall behavior were all normal.”
And yet, despite the CCTV footage of Paddock “acting normal” before to the shooting, we still don’t know what his motive was – a vacuum which several conspiracy theories have filled, including speculation that Paddock was actually an arms dealer in a sale gone wrong. As the theory goes, this might explain the 23 firearms he had in his hotel room. When the deal went sideways – Paddock’s buyers killed him, staged his body, and opened fire on the crowd.
Others have noted that Paddock’s death certificate – made public last month, indicates his date of death as October 2, the day after the shooting.
As the Baltimore Post Examiner notes:
- Why was Paddock’s autopsy conducted six days after the massacre and not sooner?
- Why didn’t Clark County Coroner, John Fudenberg release Paddock’s autopsy report immediately when ordered by the judge to do so on January 30?
- Why did it take so long to send Paddock’s brain to Stanford University Medical Center since the autopsy was performed on October 6 and SUMC state they did not receive it until November 27?
- How can the coroner’s office make a monumental mistake and list the date of Paddock’s death as for Monday, Oct. 2, 2017 at 12 o’clock noon (1200 hours)?
- Paddock is the worst mass shooter in American history and once again an official report from the authorities involved in the investigation indicates false information.
- Did anybody even proofread the autopsy report at the coroner’s office before it was released or was it thrown together in haste because the coroner believed it would never be made public?
Then again, authorities said that the 64-year-old high-stakes gambler had lost a lot of “significant amount of wealth” since September 2015, and had suffered from “bouts of depression,” according to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo.
Investigators found 23 firearms in Paddock’s room – several of which were outfitted with “bump-fire” stocks, a large quantity of ammunition, high capacity magazines, a handgun, a bulletproof vest and a “breathing apparatus” in Paddock’s room. 1,600 round of additional ammunition along with 50 pounds of explosives and ammonium nitrate – often used to manufacture explosives, were found in his Hyundai Tucson SUV. Investigators say he planned to survive the assault and escape, and had set up several surveillance cameras in various locations throughout the room, the peep hole of his door, and in the hallway outside.
Primary findings from the LVPD’s report:
- Paddock acted alone. Thousands of hours of digital media were reviewed and after all the interviews conducted, no evidence exists to indicate Paddock conspired with or acted in collusion with anybody else. This includes video surveillance, recovered DNA and analysis of cellular phones and computers belonging to Paddock.
- No suicide note or manifesto was found. Of all the evidence collected from rooms 32-135 and 32-134, there was no note or manifesto stating Paddock’s intentions. The only handwritten documentation found in either room was the small note indicating measurements and distances related to the use of rifles.
- There was no evidence of radicalization or ideology to support any theory that Paddock supported or followed any hate groups or any domestic or foreign terrorist organizations. Despite numerous interviews with Paddock’s family, acquaintances and gambling contacts, investigators could not link Paddock to any specific ideology.
- Paddock committed no crimes leading up to the October 1st mass shooting.
- Nothing was found to indicate motive on the part of Paddock or that he acted with anyone else
Upon searching Paddock’s Mesquite, NV home, police recovered approximately 18 firearms, more ammonia nitrate, several pounds of the explosive tannerite, several rounds of ammunition, and “electronic devices” – while a “large quantity of ammunition and multiple firearms” were recovered from Paddock’s Reno residence.
Paddock also reportedly attempted to buy a large quantity of tracer ammunition in the month prior to the attack, however the dealer he approached did not have any in stock.
As we reported in January, Paddock seemingly emailed himself discussing firearms, as revealed in an unsealed warrant;
“Investigators have been unable to figure out why Stephen Paddock would be exchanging messages related to weapons that were utilized in the attack between two of his email accounts. Conversely, if the Target Account was not controlled by Stephen Paddock, investigators need to determine who was communicating with him about weapons that were used in the attack,” according to a warrant.
In an email sent from Paddock’s Microsoft Live email account, “email@example.com” to “firstname.lastname@example.org,” Paddock wrote “try and ar before u buy. we have huge selection. located in the las vegas area.” The “centralpark4804” account wrote back “we have a wide variety of optics and ammunition to try.” Paddock emailed back “for a thrill try out bumpfire ar’s with a 100 round magazine.
While breaching Paddock’s room at approximately 10:55 pm, an officer accidentally fired one round from his sidearm, reportedly not hitting anyone. Paddock, meanwhile, was found laying awkwardly over a rifle with what investigators reported to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Recordings of the incident do not contain Paddock’s final “suicide shot.”
We appear to be no closer to an answer in the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.