Sus­pect stock­piled weapons but was ‘not a gun guy’

The Guardian Weekly - - International News - Lau­ren Gam­bino

The sus­pect in the Las Ve­gas shoot­ing that has left at least 59 peo­ple dead had amassed an ar­se­nal that in­cluded more than 40 firearms, po­lice said on Mon­day night, as of­fi­cials de­clared a state of emer­gency for the county en­com­pass­ing the Las Ve­gas strip.

Au­thor­i­ties found 23 guns, in­clud­ing a hand­gun, in the ho­tel room of the gun­man, iden­ti­fied ear­lier by po­lice as 64-year-old Stephen Pad­dock. Some were equipped with scopes, de­vices that help the shooter iden­tify tar­gets at a range, po­lice said.

They also re­cov­ered 19 firearms plus ex­plo­sives and sev­eral thou­sand rounds of am­mu­ni­tion from Pad­dock’s home in Mesquite, Ne­vada, a town near the bor­der with Ari­zona, Joe Lom­bardo, the Las Ve­gas metropolitan po­lice de­part­ment sher­iff, told re­porters. He also said po­lice found “elec­tronic de­vices”.

Ad­di­tion­ally, sev­eral pounds of am­mo­nium ni­trate, a ma­te­rial used to make ex­plo­sives, were also found in Pad­dock’s car. Later on Mon­day, a Swat team searched a res­i­dence in north­ern Ne­vada that is be­lieved to be as­so­ci­ated with the gun­man.

At an af­ter­noon news con­fer­ence, of­fi­cials also up­dated the lat­est ca­su­alty fig­ures, say­ing that in ad­di­tion to the num­ber of dead, 527 more had been in­jured af­ter a gun­man opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Man­dalay Bay ho­tel on the thou­sands of con­cert­go­ers at­tend­ing the Route 91 coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­val last Sun­day night.

Is­lamic State claimed the gun­man was “a Sol­dier of the Is­lamic State”, but au­thor­i­ties said there is no ev­i­dence to sub­stan­ti­ate that claim. Lom­bardo said Pad­dock ap­peared “reclu­sive” but cau­tioned that au­thor­i­ties were still comb­ing through his back­ground. Po­lice wanted to meet Mar­ilou Dan­ley, de­scribed as Pad­dock’s girl­friend, when she re­turned from Tokyo.

A sib­ling of the sus­pect liv­ing in Florida, Eric Pad­dock, told CBS he was “dumb­founded”. He was “not an avid gun guy at all”, the brother said.

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