Vegas Sheriff: Large Quantities of Explosive Compounds in Shooter's Car; No Known Hotel Companion
Clues left behind by Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock -- including 50 pounds of Tannerite, 1,600 rounds of ammunition and an undisclosed amount of ammonium nitrate left in the gunman's car at the Mandalay Bay hotel -- indicate he may have thought he would survive and escape, authorities said today.
At an evening briefing on the investigation into Sunday night's massacre, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joseph Lombardo tackled some of the reports and rumors that have been circulating: what looks like a notepad on a table in the leaked crime scene photos "was not a suicide note," and the stairwell next to Paddock's suite was not welded shut but it was "secured."
"We haven't been able to determine if there was anyone else in that room besides him," Lombardo said.
On reports that Paddock, a known high-stakes gambler, went on an eight-hour gaming binge at Mandalay Bay sometime before the massacre, the sheriff said that "we are aware he was gambling" but did not have the time pinned down. "We did not see another individual that appeared to be a companion" with Paddock around the hotel, he added. NBC reported earlier today that authorities have been looking for a mystery woman seen with the shooter.
More was also revealed about the actions of security guard Jesus Campos, who discovered the position of the shooter. Lombardo said police were headed up to the floor after a tip from a hotel guest below Paddock, while Campos was separately investigating calls from hotel customers. Paddock had installed cameras outside to monitor who might be coming. He shot at Campos through the door as the security guard tried to enter.
"Well over 200 rounds strafed the hallway," Lombardo said. Campos, who may have been unarmed, was struck in the leg and is recovering. While wounded, he called dispatch and summoned officers to Paddock's location. Even though Campos had been shot, he helped officers clear the 32nd floor until he was ordered to go seek treatment.
Paddock stopped shooting at the concert below and focused on the hallway from that point, the sheriff theorized, because he was "afraid he was about to be breached," and personal concern outweighed "what was occurring down below."
Lombardo also confirmed that Paddock had rented through Airbnb a unit overlooking the Sept. 22-24 Life is Beautiful pop-rap music festival, which draws bigger crowds than the country music event that was targeted. He said video has been recovered from The Ogden luxury condominium tower and is being reviewed.
More than 100 investigators are combing through the life of the "disturbed and dangerous" shooter, a man who spent "decades acquiring weapons and ammo," including 33 guns over the past year, "living a secret life much of which will never be fully understood," the sheriff said.