Casino mu­sic mas­sacre

Po­lice SWAT teams en­ter the ground floor of the Man­dalay Bay re­sort and casino, pre­par­ing to neu­tralise 64- year- old shooter Stephen Pad­dock

Real Crime - - Case Notes -

Pad­dock had pre­pared thor­oughly, as­sem­bling a large per­sonal arse­nal and scout­ing sev­eral po­ten­tial tar­get ar­eas in Las Ve­gas and other cities. A big- time gam­bler, he was known at nu­mer­ous casi­nos as a high- roller who qual­i­fied for free food, rooms and en­ter­tain­ment – a prac­tice known in casi­nos as ‘ comp­ing’ and in­tended to keep gam­blers with deep pock­ets com­ing back.

He was stay­ing in a room on the 32nd floor of the Man­dalay Bay ho­tel on 1 Oc­to­ber 2017 when, with­out warn­ing and seem­ingly with­out mo­tive, he took aim from his room over­look­ing the Route 91 fes­ti­val. He then fired over 1,100 rounds into the crowd with nu­mer­ous dif­fer­ent weapons: he had 24 guns, rang­ing from a re­volver to semi- au­to­matic AR- 15 ri­fles ( a weapon com­monly used in mass shoot­ings) that were later iden­ti­fied as his. Many thou­sands of peo­ple had ar­rived for the Route 91 mu­sic fes­ti­val ex­pect­ing sun, fun and coun­try mu­sic.

With 59 deaths ( in­clud­ing shooter Stephen Pad­dock) and 851 non- fa­tal in­juries – 422 by gun­fire and the rest in the re­sult­ing panic, – the 2017 Las Ve­gas mas­sacre be­came the USA’s largest mas­sacre com­mit­ted by a sin­gle in­di­vid­ual.

His crime again ig­nited the USA’s gun con­trol de­bate, es­pe­cially around the avail­abil­ity of ‘ bump fir­ing stocks’, which are at­tach­ments al­low­ing semi- au­to­matic ri­fles to work at al­most fully au­to­matic rates of fire. Pos­sess­ing most fully au­to­matic weapons is il­le­gal un­der Fed­eral law – own­ing a ‘ bump stock’ al­lows shoot­ers to skirt those laws at will.

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