ATF: Las Vegas gunman bought 33 firearms in past year

A makeshift memorial for the victims of the country music festival mass shooting appears on the northwest corner of Sahara and Las Vegas Blvds. in Las Vegas on Tuesday -- near where 58 people were killed and hundreds injured late Sunday at an outdoor country music festival. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

Oct. 5 (UPI) — The gunman who killed 58 people in Las Vegas bought 33 of his 50 firearms in the past year, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said Wednesday.

Jill Snyder, special agent in charge of the ATF, told “CBS This Morning” that Stephen Paddock had been amassing his collection of guns since 1982.

“From October 2016 to September 28, 2017, he purchased 33 firearms, majority of them rifles,”

None of the purchases set off an alarm for the ATF because there is no federal law requiring it.

“We wouldn’t get notified of the purchases of the rifles, we would only get notified if there was a multiple sale, which would be two or more handguns in an individual purchase,” Snyder said.

Snyder said Tuesday that 12 of the guns recovered from the hotel room were equipped with a legal device known as a “bump stock,” which increases a weapon’s rate of fire.

“A semi-automatic rifle with a bump-fire stock on it is not a illegal machine gun,” she said. “The ammo clip capacities ranged from 60 rounds to 100 rounds.”

Snyder said the agency was investigating whether Paddock visited firing ranges in the area.

Meanwhile, Marilou Danley, described by police as Stephen Paddock’s girlfriend who lived with him in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nev., returned from the Philippines late Tuesday. She was met by FBI agents in Los Angeles.

Investigators believe Danley, 62, a casino worker and Australian citizen, might have information that will aid in the investigation.

Nick Suarez, spokesman for the Philippines’ National Bureau of investigation, said Paddock wired $100,000 to Danley while she was in the Philippines.

Her sisters in Australia said in a television interview that they believed Paddock sent Danley out of the country so she would not affect his plans.

“She was sent away. She was away so that she will be not there to interfere with what he’s planning. She didn’t even know that she was going to the Philippines until Steve said, ‘Marilou, I found you a cheap ticket to the Philippines,'” they told Australia’s Channel 7 News on Wednesday.

Paddock was prescribed an anti-anxiety drug in June, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. He purchased 50 10-mg tablets of diazepam, known as Valium, at a Reno pharmacy on the day it was prescribed.

Paddock also had an assortment of cameras in his 32nd-floor room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, from which he fired down on the thousands attending a concert across the street for between 9 minutes and 11 minutes Sunday night.

The shooting was “obviously premeditated,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.

Undersheriff Kevin McMahill later said another camera was located within the hotel room’s door peephole, giving Paddock the ability to see much of the hallway outside his room. Police said Tuesday that 23 firearms were foundthere.

Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg said the death toll of 59 was revised to 58, not including Paddock, who police said killed himself as officers closed in on him. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is continuing to confirm identities of those who died.

Lombardo said the injury count, originally placed at 527, would likely decline due to counting errors.

The sheriff added that officers “saved hundreds of lives” by engaging the gunman in his hotel room instead of waiting for a SWAT team. McMahill later said that the first police officers to arrive at Paddock’s hotel room waited until firing stopped. The SWAT team then entered the room, where Paddock was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The first body camera footage of police responding to the shooting was released Tuesday, showing police crouching behind a wall directing concertgoers as they ran for cover. The officers were near a police car on Las Vegas Boulevard, the road between the hotel and the concert site, where one officer was shot, McMahill said.

Police at the scene wore 67 body cameras, he added.

President Donald Trump was visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday.

“It’s a very sad thing,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House early Wednesday. “We’re going to pay our respects. The police who have done, really, a fantastic job in a very short time, and yeah, they’re learning a lot more. And that’ll be announced at the appropriate time. It’s a very, very sad day for me, personally.”

The president and first lady Melania Trump are scheduled to visit a Las Vegas hospital to see patients and medical professionals before going to an undisclosed location to meet with what the White House schedule identified as “civilian heroes” and first responders.

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