LAS VEGAS (CN) – Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock had an escape plan and likely help in planning the Sunday massacre of 58 attendees at an outdoor concert venue, the Clark County sheriff said Wednesday.
During a 5 p.m. news conference, Sheriff Joe Lombardo suggested one or more people likely were aware of Paddock’s intentions.
“Maybe he worked it out alone, but it’s hard for me to believe that,” Lombardo said, calling it a “meticulously planned attack.”
Lombardo said there is evidence Paddock had an escape plan prior to killing himself in a suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino, but he would not elaborate further.
He said some of the 23 firearms recovered from Paddock’s hotel room had jammed, indicating he used several rifles during the attack.
Three of the rifles had optical scopes, and investigators found “well in excess of thousands of rounds” of ammunition in his room, Lombardo said.
Given the number of firearms and amount of ammunition found, Lombardo said he found it “troublesome” one person could move so many firearms and ammunition by himself.
A search of Paddock’s car in the casino’s valet parking area turned up 10 one-pound and two 20-pound containers of Tannerite, and ammunition, Lombardo said.
Tannerite is a binary explosive made from ammonium nitrate that is set off by a round fired from a high-powered rifle used by recreational shooters.
The number of injured victims from the Sunday night massacre dropped to 489 from an early estimate of 527. Lombardo said 317 of those injured have been released from the hospital.
Lombardo adjusted the shooting timeline slightly based on video and other evidence.
He said the shooting commenced at 10:05 p.m. and ended at 10:15, after a Mandalay Bay security guard located Paddock, whose room door was ajar.
Lombardo said Paddock strafed the hallway with about 200 rounds of ammunition and wounded the security officer.
The security officer gave police officers the keycard to Paddock’s room and helped to evacuate guests from the floor, until told to seek medical attention, Lombardo said.
The shooting ended after the security guard encountered Paddock, but Lombardo said he does not know when Paddock took his own life.
Paddock had two video cameras placed on a food service cart outside his hotel room, another mounted to the door peephole and looking out into the hallway, and a baby monitor in his hotel room, Lombardo said.
He said none of the cameras were recording footage.
A SWAT team used explosives to breach Paddock’s room at 11:20 p.m., and Lombardo said he does not know if Paddock shot himself as the explosive charge went off or earlier.
President Donald Trump visited victims in a local hospital Wednesday and met with the first responders who helped to stop the shooting.
Lombardo said the FBI interviewed Paddock’s girlfriend Marilou Danley on Wednesday, but he had not been briefed on the details.