Las Vegas Gunman Bought More Than 30 Weapons

Ivan Pentchoukov
By Ivan Pentchoukov
October 2, 2017USshare
Las Vegas Gunman Bought More Than 30 Weapons
Police officers point their weapons at a car driving down closed Tropicana Ave. near Las Vegas Boulevard after a reported mass shooting at a country music festival nearby on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The gunman who took the lives of at least 58 people bought more than 30 weapons and had at least 11 stashed in his hotel room, a source told Fox News.

The weapons included fully automatic AR-15 style assault rifles with high capacity magazines, the law enforcement source said. AR-15 rifles are manufactured as semi-automatic weapons, requiring a push of the trigger for each shot, but they can be converted to be fully automatic.

The arsenal suggests that Stephen Paddock, 64, passed multiple FBI background checks.

Police found at least 11 and as many as 15 guns in Paddock’s hotel room, the source added.

Fox News also learned that the weapons found were both .308 and .223 caliber.

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Stephen Paddock (Facebook)

Paddock strafed an outdoor country music festival from his high-rise hotel window on Sunday night, slaughtering at least 58 people in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history before killing himself.

The barrage of gunfire from a 32nd-floor window of the Mandalay Bay hotel into a crowd of 22,000 people lasted several minutes, sparking panic as throngs of music fans desperately cowered on the open ground, hemmed in by fellow concertgoers, while others at the edge tried to flee.

More than 500 people were injured – some by gunfire, some trampled – in the pandemonium adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip as police scrambled to locate the assailant.

The preliminary death toll, which officials said could rise, surpassed last year’s massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, by a gunman who pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

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People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017. (David Becker/Getty Images)

The dead in Las Vegas included a nurse, a government employee and an off-duty police officer.

Shocked survivors, some with blood on their clothing, wandered streets, where the flashing lights of the city’s gaudy casinos blended with those of emergency vehicles.

Police said Paddock had no criminal record. The gunman killed himself before police entered the hotel room from where he was firing, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.

“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo said. “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath.”

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An injured person is tended to in the intersection of Tropicana Ave. and Las Vegas Boulevard after a mass shooting at a country music festival nearby on Oct. 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Federal officials said there was no evidence to link Paddock to militant organizations.

“We have determined to this point no connection with an international terrorist group,” Aaron Rouse, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) field office in Las Vegas, told reporters.

U.S. officials discounted the claim of responsibility for the attack made by Islamic State in a statement.

“We advise caution on jumping to conclusions before the facts are in,” CIA spokesman Jonathan Liu said in an email.

 

Police found several more weapons at Paddock’s home in Mesquite, about 90 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Mesquite police spokesman Quinn Averett told reporters.

President Donald Trump issued a televised statement on Monday morning, offering condolences to families, praising first responders and asking American to come together at a time of crisis.

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(L-R)US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, wife Karen Pence and White House staff take part in a moment of silence for the victims of the Las Vegas shootings, on the South Lawn of the White House on October 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Trump said he would travel to Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with victims, their family members and first responders. The president also ordered the American flag to flown at half staff.

“It was an act of pure evil,” said Trump, who later led a moment of silence at the White House in honor of the victims.

“In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one and it always has,” Trump said. “We call upon the bonds that unite us: our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity.”

The suspected shooter’s brother, Eric Paddock, said the family was stunned by the news.

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People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was hear on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (David Becker/Getty Images)

“We’re horrified. We’re bewildered, and our condolences go out to the victims,” Eric Paddock said in a phone interview, his voice trembling. “We have no idea in the world.”

He said his brother belonged to no political or religious organizations, and had no history of mental illness. Their father had been a bank robber who for a time was listed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list of fugitives.

“Just Kept Going On”

Video of the attack showed panicked crowds fleeing as sustained rapid gunfire ripped through the area as the shooter fired from a distance of around 1,050 feet (320 m).

“People were just dropping to the ground. It just kept going on,” said Steve Smith, a 45-year-old visitor from Phoenix, Arizona. He said the gunfire went on for an extended period of time.

“Probably 100 shots at a time,” Smith said. “It would sound like it was reloading and then it would go again.”

Las Vegas’s casinos, nightclubs and shopping draw some 3.5 million visitors from around the world each year and the area was packed with visitors when the shooting broke out shortly after 10 p.m. local time.

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Police and rescue personnel gather at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Ave after a shooting at a country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Shares of MGM Resorts International, which owns the Mandalay Bay, fell 5.58 percent on Monday to $30.77 a share.

Mike McGarry, a financial adviser from Philadelphia, was at the concert when he heard hundreds of shots ring out.

“It was crazy – I laid on top of the kids. They’re 20. I’m 53. I lived a good life,” McGarry said. The back of his shirt bore footmarks, after people ran over him in the panicked crowd.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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