Las Vegas Sun

June 16, 2024

Lombardo details shooting timeline, says gunman planned to survive, escape

Memorial for Shooting Victims at Strip and Sahara

Steve Marcus

Elisabeth Apcar, center, and her cousin Dashenka Giraldo, both of Las Vegas, light candles at a makeshift memorial for shooting victims at the Las Vegas Strip and Sahara Avenue Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017.

Updated Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 | 11 p.m.

Wednesday Briefing on Mass Shooting Investigation

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo responds to a question during a media briefing at Metro Police headquarters Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. Launch slideshow »

The gunman who shot hundreds of concert attendees, killing dozens, was “disturbed and dangerous,” and appeared to have lived a secret life over the past decade or so, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Wednesday night.

Three days after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, which Lombardo said was thoroughly thought out, investigators continue to try to determine Stephen Paddock's motive.

Paddock, who spent decades amassing weapons, may have had an escape plan but may have decided on killing himself as police closed in, Lombardo said, adding that "at face value" he assumes the gunman may have had help collecting the arsenal at some point.

“Put one and one together, two and two together,” Lombardo said about the number of weapons that have been discovered in the hotel room and at two of his houses.

Paddock, 64, had 1,600 rounds of ammunition and several containers of an explosive commonly used in target shooting that totaled 50 pounds in his car, Lombardo said. But the sheriff said he didn't know what, if anything, Paddock planned to do with the explosives.

The shooter also sprayed 200 rounds of gunfire into the hallway when a security guard approached his hotel room, Lombardo said. The security guard, who was hit in the leg, continued to assist officers while he was injured.

Lombardo said he believes the gunman may have felt cornered when he saw the security guard, so he took his own life.

In the latest press briefing, Lombardo provided the clearest timeline to date from when the carnage began to when officers found Paddock’s body.

Lombardo also confirmed reports that Paddock had rented a room through the Airbnb rental service in a downtown Las Vegas apartment building overlooking the Life is Beautiful music and art festival last month. Authorities don’t yet know if he may have been doing surveillance, or his motive for staying there, but they were reviewing footage from the high-rise building's security system, Lombardo said.

Several of Paddock’s weapons had jammed during Sunday's attack, but he had enough firepower to continue the onslaught before shooting himself, Lombardo said. There were at least three scopes attached to rifles.

Investigators continue to conduct interviews but have not understood what may have triggered the attack, Lombardo said. After all, as a retiree, Paddock had little known public interactions, and investigators were trying to determine what sorts of relationships, if any, he kept.

There are people who know Paddock who may be able to assist with the investigation, Lombardo said.

Interviews with an ex-wife, his family and others who knew him have not yielded any indication on his motive, Lombardo said. Detectives did determine that he'd made real estate investments in the past, and was seen gambling sometime before the shooting.

Los Angeles attorney Matthew Lombard said Wednesday that Marilou Danley, Paddock's girlfriend, who had been out of the country for a couple of weeks, until her return Wednesday, had no knowledge of Paddock’s plan to carry out Sunday’s attack.

Federal agents have interviewed her, but any information she may have provided was not publicly released.

"It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone,” Danley said via Lombard in a statement.

Lombard addressed the media outside a Los Angeles FBI office but refused to answer questions. Multiple requests for comment to Lombard’s California-based law firm Wednesday evening went unreturned.

Mass murder timeline

10:05 p.m. Sunday: Gunshots are first reported to emergency dispatch.

10:12 p.m. The first two police officers arrived on the floor below and realize that gunfire is coming from the 32nd floor.

10:15 p.m. Paddock fires his last rounds.

10:17 p.m. The first two officers arrive to the 32nd floor.

10:18 p.m. A security guard lets officers know he was shot and provides Paddock’s room number.

10:26 to 10:30 p.m. Additional officers arrive and begin to move down the hallway while clearing every room and seeking victims.

10:55 p.m. More officers arrive near Paddock’s room.

11:20 p.m. Officers breach a door and enter Paddock’s room, finding his body on the floor. A second door to another room is discovered.

11:27 p.m. Officers breach the second door and confirm there’s no one else inside.

Further information

The tally of casualties remained at 59 Wednesday night, including Paddock, Lombardo said. The total number of injured dropped to 489, with 317 who have been released from hospitals. Some had been counted twice.

Drivers whose vehicles were stranded in the festival grounds are being allowed to retrieve them by meeting officers at Reno Avenue and Koval Lane.

Anyone with additional information about the case is asked to call 311 (for locals), or 702-828-3111. To contact the FBI, call 800-CALLFBI (225-5324).

Sun reporter Chris Kudialis and the Associated Press contributed to this report.