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LAS VEGAS, Nev., Oct. 2, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has released new details on Sunday’s mass shooting, which now has 586 direct victims: 59 dead and 527 injured.
That number does not include suspected shooter Stephen Paddock, 64, who reportedly shot himself dead before a SWAT team could gain entry to two rooms he had rented on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.
Clark Count Sheriff Joe Lombardo, speaking at an afternoon news briefing, revealed that:
- Investigators recovered 23 guns — some with scopes — from the hotel rooms.
- Paddock is believed to have shot through his door, wounding one person in the leg, when guards first knocked on his door.
- The guns may have been transported to the room in numerous suitcases, “in excess of 10,” Lombardo said.
- A search of Paddock’s home, in a quiet retirement building in Mesquite, turned up 18 additional firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, explosives, firearm shooting targets known with the brand name Tannerite, and sophisticated electronics that are being evaluated.
- In Paddock’s car, officers found a large supply of ammonium nitrate, which can be used in the making of explosives.
- And there is still no evidence to support the idea that Paddock was affiliated with a terrorist or hate group.
Lombardo said that as he spoke, investigators were waiting for the all clear to search a home Paddock owned in Reno. Caution was being used for fear the residence was booby trapped.
An earlier news conference revealed, among other things:
- Paddock had checked into his rooms, overlooking the outdoor concert venue, on Sept. 28.
- Shortly before the shooting began, he broke out two hotel suite windows, using a hammer or similar device he had brought with him.
- When SWAT teams entered Paddock’s room, he had shot himself to death.
- And Paddock’s girlfriend and housemate, Marilou Danley, was out of the country when the shootings occurred. Lombardo said in the most recent news conference that she was in Tokyo.
Asked by a reporter how one person could bring more than 10 suitcases into a hotel without anyone noticing the excess, Lombardo responded: “I wish that would have happened, ma’am. I absolutely wish that had happened.”
Paddock’s brother, Eric, said his family was stunned that Stephen could commit such a horrific act, describing his shock level, saying, “It’s like an asteroid fell out of the sky.”
Eric Paddock, who admitted he was not close to his brother, said Stephen was a wealthy, retired accountant who liked to gamble $100 a shot on games and who went on cruises.
Stephen Paddock’s retirement community neighbors have described him as quiet and reclusive.
Las Vegas Fire Department Chief Greg Cassell said that 108 firefighters from a number of agencies responded to the scene immediately after the mass shooting.
Cassell said dozens of ambulances from private companies showed up, calling it more than he had ever seen during his 30 years in the field.
Lombardo said injuries suffered by victims were gunshot wounds, trample injuries, and injuries suffered when some of the estimated 22,000 concert goers tried to climb barricades or fences to escape the targeted area.
A GoFundMe account set up by Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak to help victims of the attack had raised $1.8 million as of late Monday afternoon.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said her city has had offers of help from around the United States and the world. So many people have volunteered to give blood that appointments are set several days ahead.
“This is a heinous crime, that a maniac could do so much destruction to so many people,” she said.
“It’s a very difficult time, and while the sun is shining in Las Vegas, this is a very dark day.”
In Utah, most people didn’t get the news about the shooting until they woke up Monday morning.
Here are some of the initial reactions posted and released by local officials and by the LDS Church:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement:
“To all of those affected by the horrific events in Las Vegas, we offer our deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers. We pray for those who are mourning the loss of loved ones, and for those who are seeking to recover from the physical and emotional wounds they are suffering. May God bless them with the peace and comfort only He can provide in such tragic and heartbreaking moments.”
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Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox:
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Statement released by Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office:
“Sheriff Rosie Rivera, the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Unified Police Department are deeply saddened in regard to the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, NV late last night. Our thoughts and prayers go to all the Las Vegas first responders, Las Vegas residents, and all the victims affected by this evil act.”
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Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams
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Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski:
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St. George Mayor Jon Pike: