Still no clear mo­tive for Las Ve­gas at­tack, of­fi­cials say

Cecil Whig - - OBITUARIES & REGIONAL - By LAURA J. NEL­SON and SEEMA ME­HTA Los An­ge­les Times

LAS VE­GAS — The gun­man who opened fire on a coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­val in Las Ve­gas did not have help from a sec­ond at­tacker, of­fi­cials said Fri­day, but it re­mains un­clear whether he made any­one else aware of his plans in ad­vance.

Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors and more than 100 FBI agents have combed through hun­dreds of leads and hours of video from the Man­dalay Bay Re­sort and Casino to de­ter­mine why Stephen Pad­dock, 64, opened fire on the Route 91 Har­vest Fes­ti­val, leav­ing 58 peo­ple dead and nearly 500 oth­ers in­jured.

Un­like the in­ves­ti­ga­tions that fol­low many mass shoot­ings, a study of Pad­dock’s com­put­ers, po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tions, be­hav­iors and fi­nances has not un­cov­ered any clear mo­tive for the at­tack or any “po­ten­tial rad­i­cal­iza­tion,” Las Ve­gas Metropoli­tan Po­lice De­part­ment Un­der­sh­er­iff Kevin McMahill said.

“I get it — we all want an­swers,” McMahill said. “We have looked at ev­ery­thing, lit­er­ally.”

He urged any­one with in­for­ma­tion about Pad­dock’s move­ments or plans to call (800) CALL-FBI, say­ing there could be “a num­ber of peo­ple out there that know that some­thing looked out of place.”

Dis­put­ing a me­dia re­port pub­lished Fri­day, McMahill also said in­ves­ti­ga­tors “do not be­lieve” some­one used a key card to en­ter Pad­dock’s room dur­ing a pe­riod when his car was not in the Man­dalay Bay garage.

A “vo­lu­mi­nous amount of video” from the re­sort has not turned up any­one that po­lice “be­lieve to be a sus­pect,” McMahill said.

In the last year, Pad­dock _ a re­tired real es­tate in­vestor and for­mer IRS agent _ used his ap­par­ently ex­ten­sive fi­nan­cial re­sources to fund his plans for the at­tack while also bankrolling his long­time pas­sion for gam­bling.

Since last Oc­to­ber, Pad­dock bought 33 guns, a haul that could have cost him tens of thou­sands of dol­lars. In­ves­ti­ga­tors have won­dered whether his weapons spend­ing spree could have es­caped no­tice.

Pad­dock’s girl­friend, Mar­ilou Dan­ley, has said through an at­tor­ney that she did not know what he was plan­ning. He bought her a “cheap” plane ticket to the Philip­pines two weeks be­fore the at­tack to visit her fam­ily, she said.

After pay­ing for Dan­ley’s flight, Pad­dock ap­par­ently headed for Las Ve­gas, where he was seen from Sept. 14 to 28, ac­cord­ing to records re­viewed by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the El Cortez Ho­tel and Casino.

He checked in to the Man­dalay Bay ho­tel on Thurs­day, Sept. 28, and shut­tled more than two dozen weapons to his tworoom suite us­ing more than 10 suit­cases.

Although that be­hav­ior sounds un­usual, it isn’t out of place in a town like Las Ve­gas, where me­dia com­pa­nies and other ex­hibitors shut­tle in vast amounts of sup­plies for con­ven­tions and con­fer­ences, said Rep. Dina Ti­tus, D-Nev., who rep­re­sents the Las Ve­gas Strip.

“Th­ese ho­tels have thou­sands of rooms with peo­ple in and out all the time,” Ti­tus said. “Ten suit­cases sounds like a lot if you’re stay­ing at the Hol­i­day Inn for the week­end. But con­ven­tion and me­dia com­pa­nies bring boxes full of equip­ment.”

The at­tack will force the city to re­assess se­cu­rity on the Strip and at the Las Ve­gas Mo­tor Speed­way and the Life is Beau­ti­ful mu­sic fes­ti­val, which were pre­vi­ously con­sid­ered “soft” tar­gets not need­ing spe­cial pro­tec­tion, Ti­tus said. All three should be con­sid­ered hard tar­gets, she said, though not nec­es­sar­ily with air­port-style se­cu­rity.

McMahill again praised the role of ho­tel se­cu­rity guard Je­sus Cam­pos in find­ing Pad­dock’s room and stop­ping the at­tack.

Some time after Pad­dock be­gan fir­ing on the crowd, a door to an­other room on the 32nd floor was left ajar, trig­ger­ing an alarm in­side the ho­tel, McMahill said.

When Cam­pos ar­rived to in­ves­ti­gate the alarm, Pad­dock fired more than 200 rounds at him through his ho­tel door, strik­ing the guard in the leg.

Po­lice be­lieve the alarm go­ing off was a co­in­ci­dence, McMahill told CNN. But Cam­pos helped po­lice lo­cate Suite 135 rapidly, po­ten­tially cut­ting the at­tack short.

“He’s an ab­so­lute hero,” McMahill said.

GINA FERAZZI / LOS AN­GE­LES TIMES/TNS

Sharon Black of Las Ve­gas, right, hugs Air­men First Class Wil­liams of the U.S. Air Force after they were both over­come with emo­tion while view­ing wooden crosses bear­ing the names of those killed dur­ing last week’s mass shoot­ing off Las Ve­gas Boule­vard.

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