Las Vegas shooting updates: Deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history

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Oct. 5, 2017, 9:45 a.m.

California residents can apply for aid for medical bills, funeral expenses after Las Vegas attacks

Carmen Alegria recounts her harrowing experience surviving the mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Carmen Alegria recounts her harrowing experience surviving the mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Californians who were injured in the Las Vegas attack may be able to get some monetary relief.

The California Victim Compensation Board, a state program that offers monetary support for victims of violent crimes, has released a single application process to allow people to apply for compensation from California as well as from Nevada’s program, said Julie Nauman, the board’s executive director.

A gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night, injuring almost 500 people and killing 58.

“Help is available for survivors of those who were killed, anyone who was injured and those in attendance at the concert, as well as their immediate family members,” according to a statement the board released Wednesday. The funds can help pay for various costs, including “funeral expenses, medical bills, mental health treatment, lost wages.”

There’s a limit of $70,000 per victim in the California program, but officials from California and Nevada are working together to maximize resources for families, Nauman said.

“We want victims to know that this help is available,” she said.

California residents can apply at or can call 1-800-777- 9229.

Staff writer Joseph Serna contributed to this report.

Oct. 5, 2017, 8:27 a.m. Las Vegas

Vegas shooter booked room overlooking Lollapalooza in Chicago, official says

Fans watch as Charli XCX performs at Lollapalooza in Chicago's Grant Park on Aug 6. (Rob Grabowski / Invision/AP)
Fans watch as Charli XCX performs at Lollapalooza in Chicago’s Grant Park on Aug 6. (Rob Grabowski / Invision/AP)

Police said Thursday they are examining reports that the gunman who fired on a country music festival in Las Vegas also booked rooms in a Chicago hotel overlooking the massive Lollapalooza music festival, the latest new line of inquiry as investigators try to retrace the killer’s steps in the days and weeks before the attack.

TMZ reported that Stephen Paddock, 64, booked two rooms facing Grant Park, where the festival was held from Aug. 3 to Aug. 6, at the Blackstone Hotel, an upscale downtown hotel across the street, but he never showed.

“We can confirm that a reservation was made under the name Stephen Paddock, however authorities have not confirmed that this is the same person as the Las Vegas shooter,” said hotel spokeswoman Emmy Carragher, adding that the guest never arrived. “We are cooperating with the authorities on this matter.”

Lollapalooza draws hundreds of thousands of music fans every year, and this summer the shows attendees included Malia Obama, the daughter of former President Obama.

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Oct. 4, 2017, 10:47 p.m. Las Vegas

These are the video poker machines Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock frequented

Video poker machines at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino (Ruben Vives/Los Angeles Times)
Video poker machines at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino (Ruben Vives/Los Angeles Times)

At the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, the video poker machines stand at the north end of the casino, near an open court across from the black jack tables.

Stephen Paddock, the gunman responsible for Sunday’s mass shootings at a music festival opposite the hotel, liked to play this bank of machines.

Hotel staff said he’d come to the Mandalay Bay up to twice a month.

A real estate investor who also made regular money on gambling, Paddock is said to have preferred video poker. “He gambled for 20-plus years, successfully,” his brother, Eric Paddock, told reporters on Wednesday.

He’d often play $100,000 at a time, he said.

“$100,000 isn’t that much money.... He gambled that much through a machine in hours.... He’s got the highest level of membership card at a lot of these [casino] hotels. If a lot of these hotels say they don’t know Steve, they’re lying.”

It was from a room 32 floors above the Mandalay Bay casino that Paddock launched his deadly attack, killing 58 people and wounding nearly 500 others.

On the casino floor Wednesday night, though, there was little sign of the tragedy three nights earlier.

It was business as usual.

Oct. 4, 2017, 8:34 p.m.

Why did it take police so long to breach Las Vegas gunman’s room? Here’s a new timeline

How long did it take Las Vegas police officers to storm into the room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino where gunman Stephen Paddock was laying down fire on a crowd of 22,000 helpless concertgoers below?

Initial reports suggested it was 72 minutes. Actually, it was 75 minutes, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Wednesday, as authorities released their first complete timeline of the Sunday night shooting that left 58 people dead and nearly 500 injured.

There was a reason for the delay, Lombardo said. Officers actually reached Paddock’s hotel room door on the 32nd floor within 12 minutes of the first shots being fired, “which is phenomenal,” the sheriff said.

The shots had stopped 10 minutes after they started, according to the new timeline, which factors in information recorded on police officers’ body cameras and closed-circuit television footage from the concert venue.

The shooting apparently halted when Paddock detected the security guard’s approach at his hotel room door and turned to shoot the guard, Lombardo said.

The first police officers arrived about two minutes after that, the new account suggests. When they saw what had happened, they evacuated nearby rooms and waited for backup from a SWAT team to enter the room. That ended up happening 75 minutes after the first shots were fired.

Paddock was already dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Here is the timeline the sheriff’s department released:

10:05 p.m.: First shots fired by the suspect. This was seen on closed-circuit television from the concert venue.

10:12 p.m.: First two officers arrive on the 31st floor and announce the gunfire is coming from directly above them.

10:15 p.m.: The last shots are fired from the suspect per body-worn cameras.

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

10:18 p.m.: Security officer tells LVMPD officers he was shot and gives exact location of the suspect’s room.

10:26-10:30 p.m.: Eight additional officers arrive on the 32nd floor and begin to move systematically down the hallway, clearing every room and looking for any injured people. They move this way because they no longer hear the gunfire of an active shooter.

10:55 p.m.: Eight officers arrive in the stairwell at the opposite end of the hallway nearest to the suspect’s room.

11:20 p.m.: The first breach is set off and officers enter the room. They observe the suspect down on the ground and also see a second door that could not be accessed from their position.

11:27 p.m.: The second breach is set off, allowing officers to access the second room. Officers quickly realize there is no one else in the rooms and announce over the radio that the suspect is down.


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Oct. 4, 2017, 7:20 p.m.

Gunman’s brother: ‘If a lot of these hotels say they don’t know Steve, they’re lying’

Eric Paddock, left, brother of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock, speaks to members of the media outside his home Monday in Orlando, Fla. (John Raoux / Associated Press)
Eric Paddock, left, brother of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock, speaks to members of the media outside his home Monday in Orlando, Fla. (John Raoux / Associated Press)

The interview started with Eric Paddock crying.

And then — in a rambling, televised interview that stretched for half a hour in Florida on Wednesday — Paddock held court on his brother Stephen, the gunman who attacked a Las Vegas country music festival.

He was now one of America’s foremost experts on one of its worst mass killers, and he was trying to explain reports that Stephen Paddock had gambled heavily in Las Vegas in recent months, sometimes with at least $100,000.

“We’re wealthy people,” Eric Paddock said. “$100,000 isn’t that much money.... He gambled that much through a machine in hours.... He’s got the highest level of membership card at a lot of these [casino] hotels. If a lot of these hotels say they don’t know Steve, they’re lying.”

But his brother also “didn’t love the casino,” Paddock said. “The casino was a means to an end. The casino to him was like a job in Toyota in Japan, where you live in the Toyota apartments across the street, and then you go to the Toyota factory to work. That’s what the casino was. It’s a place where you lived and they were nice to you, and you could get it paid for by playing slots.”

Paddock remembered his brother as a man who used his money to take care of his family financially. “He helped make me and my family wealthy. I mean, he’s the reason I was able to retire three years ago when I got really burned out doing the job I did,” Eric Paddock said.

“He didn’t have a lot of friends,” Paddock continued. “He was a private person. There’s a story about that he’s, ‘ohhhh, he kept his shades closed, and he didn’t talk to me for the first three times he saw me walking in the neighborhood.’ Wow. That makes him really weird, doesn’t it? He was a private guy. That’s why you can’t find out anything about him, that’s why there’s no pictures. Is he such a weirdo because he didn’t have a Facebook page and posted 50,000 damn pictures of himself every day? Who’s weird?”

He said that his heart went out to the victims and that he began crying when his son had called him that day, also crying. “I woke up this morning, crying,” Paddock said.

But, of his brother’s attack, Paddock said: “This is 100% Steve, did this by himself. People can’t seem to cope with that either. But Steve is a — was a — highly intelligent, highly successful person. He could have done anything he wanted to do. And he did. He made himself wealthy. He made us wealthy. He was a very successful person. He gambled for 20-plus years, successfully. It’s like a job to him. He did it mathematically.”

Stephen Paddock loved his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who flew to the Philippines before the attack, Eric Paddock said. He also wired Danley money. “That’s the Steve I know,” Eric Paddock said. “That’s something that makes sense. Steve would have wanted to take care of Marilou.”

The couple seem to have met at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, where Danely was a hostess and Stephen Paddock was a “big fish,” Eric Paddock said.

“They were adorable,” he said. “Steve’s this big, she’s this tiny thing. He loved her. He doted on her.”

He added of his brother: “It was fun to hang out with Steve, because he was a rich guy who hung out in the hotels. OK? ... Him getting on a plane and flying somewhere is like you going to Publix. It’s something he does every week.”

The attack was so baffling that “I hope to hell they find, when they do the autopsy, that there’s a tumor in his head, or something, because if they don’t, we’re all in trouble,” Eric Paddock said, adding, “I’m praying for at least some data points. Because otherwise, the bug in ‘Men In Black’ put on a Steve suit and went and did this. There’s no other rationalization.”

Oct. 4, 2017, 6:15 p.m.

Las Vegas gunman may have wanted to survive and escape, sheriff says

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (KVUU)
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (KVUU)

The gunman who opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas may have wanted to survive and escape his attack, but a hotel security guard who approached his door and attracted the shooter’s gunfire appears to have stopped the massacre, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Wednesday.

“His bravery was amazing,” Lombardo said of the Mandalay Bay hotel security guard, who continued to help police clear guests from the 32nd floor of the hotel even after being shot in the leg by the gunman through the door of the gunman’s suite.

Investigators also confirmed that Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite had also rented a room at the Ogden condo building earlier in September overlooking an even larger Vegas music event, the Life is Beautiful festival, featuring Gorillaz, Lorde, Chance the Rapper and other artists.

Lombardo declined to say what evidence had led him to believe that Paddock might have hoped to escape after the attack, though he confirmed no suicide note was discovered in the room.

Investigators were still trying to understand what drove Paddock and whether something triggered him in October 2016, when he began buying dozens of guns.

Officials also declined to release details of their interviews with the gunman’s girlfriend, but Lombardo said he questioned whether Paddock had managed to amass an arsenal and prepare for an attack on his own.

“He had to have some help at some point,” Lombardo said. “Maybe he’s a superguy.… maybe he’s a super yahoo, was working out all this on his own, but it would be hard for me to believe that.”

Oct. 4, 2017, 4:17 p.m.

Shooter’s girlfriend: No ‘warning that something horrible like this would happen’

The girlfriend of the Las Vegas shooter told FBI agents Wednesday that she had no explanation for what motivated the massacre.

Her interview with agents dashed any immediate hope that she could help unlock the mysteries of a shooting that left 59 dead and more than 500 injured.

“I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man,” Marilou Danley said in a statement read by her attorney, Matt Lombard, after she was interviewed by FBI agents for several hours in Los Angeles.

“He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this would happen,” Lombard read.

According to the statement, Paddock announced to Danley two weeks ago that he had bought her a plane ticket so that she could visit family in the Philippines.

While she was there, Danley said in the statement, Paddock wired money to her, saying it was for her to buy a house for her and her family.

The trip and money suddenly appeared to Danley to be an attempt by Paddock to break off the relationship, but she said she had no inclination he was planning to carry out the massacre.

Danley returned to the United States late Tuesday and was met by federal agents after landing at Los Angeles International Airport.

Oct. 4, 2017, 4:05 p.m.

Online fundraisers collect millions for Las Vegas shooting victims and give people spaces to grieve

 (Los Angeles Times)
(Los Angeles Times)

In the midst of mass tragedy, a new normal for collective mourning has emerged.

It’s not uncommon for family, friends and strangers to grieve together on Facebook, on Twitter and even in the comments of online fundraising campaigns. That’s been true after many recent tragedies and certainly the case in the days since the Las Vegas shooting left 59 dead and more than 500 wounded. Dozens of campaigns on the Go Fund Me website have raised millions for victims and their families, while serving as virtual memorials and tributes.

May we all remember you smiling and laughing.

You don’t know me but I was standing behind you in a group of moms.

This is a young woman who loves with all her heart.

A devoted aunt, a group of childhood friends, a sister, a brother, a fellow officer, a gubernatorial candidate -- all have launched campaigns for someone hurt or killed during the shooting on the Vegas Strip. The fundraisers have been shared widely on social media. A dip into the comments sections shows just how near and far.

I was there at the festival and left unharmed. My heart breaks for all the victims.

You are a true jewel. RIP

Sending you love, strength and well wishes from Australia.

I don’t know you, but I hope you get well soon.

We’ve known each other a long time my friend. From 6th grade to high school. I am so happy you are well.

Oct. 4, 2017, 12:45 p.m.

Trump thanks doctors and police who aided Las Vegas shooting victims

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited doctors and patients Wednesday at a Las Vegas hospital that treated more than 100 victims from this week’s mass shooting. “It makes you very proud to be an American when you see the job they’ve done,” the president said.

Flanked by medical staff from University Medical Center, the region’s only Level 1 trauma facility, Trump applauded the emergency response to the massacre. “I just want to congratulate everybody, it’s incredible work, incredible work you’ve done,” he said.

Victims who might have died will instead be released from the hospital in the days or weeks ahead, Trump said.

Trump characterized the gunman, Stephen Paddock, 64, as a “very sick man, he was a very demented person.” Of Paddock’s motive, Trump said, “You will know very soon if we find something, we’re looking very, very hard.”

Trump also praised the “incredible job” done by police responding to Sunday night’s shooting at a country-music festival, crediting officers with stopping the gunfire from the Mandalay Bay hotel within 11 minutes. “The professionalism has just been amazing,” Trump said.

Shortly after, the president and the first lady arrived at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, where they were greeted by law enforcement officers who responded to the shooting, and where Trump again praised their response.

The couple was scheduled to return to Washington after meeting with police.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, who runs the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, showed Trump the department’s operations center, where police coordinated the response to the shooting.

Trump said the first responders to the shooting had been a “real inspiration,” adding “this has been a rough time,” but the shooting could have been “a lot worse” without the help of emergency officials. Trump said he had “seen professionalism like you rarely see” and thanked them, drawing applause.

Gun Control
Oct. 4, 2017, 12:22 p.m. Reporting from Washington

Sen. Dianne Feinstein proposes ban of ‘bump stock’ gun modifications

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) hold a news conference to introduce legislation to ban the sale and possession of gun bump stocks. (Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) hold a news conference to introduce legislation to ban the sale and possession of gun bump stocks. (Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Wednesday proposed legislation that would ban gun bump stocks, which police said were used by a Las Vegas shooter this week to make semi-automatic weapons work more like automatic weapons.

“The only reason to modify a gun is to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible,” the Califormnia Democrat told reporters.

After the shooting , many Republicans said it wasn’t the right time to talk about gun laws.

“It’s premature to be discussing legislative solutions, if there are any,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.

But several prominent Republicans appear open to the idea of banning the modifiers. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told Bloomberg News on Wednesday that Congress should hold hearings on whether to ban bump stocks, and North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows of the powerful House Freedom Caucus told reporters that if the modification goes around limits on automatic weapons, it’s “something that we obviously need to look at in the future.”

Read more

Oct. 4, 2017, 12:20 p.m.

Watch live: President Trump delivers remarks in Las Vegas

Oct. 4, 2017, 12:10 p.m.

Concertgoer commandeered truck to take Vegas victims to hospital

People take cover from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after hearing gunfire Sunday night in Las Vegas. The shooter was firing from the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Getty Images)
People take cover from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after hearing gunfire Sunday night in Las Vegas. The shooter was firing from the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Getty Images)

As people fell to the ground, wounded in the sprays of gunfire, Taylor Winston knew he had to do something.

“People were bleeding everywhere,” Winston said. “Gunshot wounds were everywhere. Legs, torsos, necks, chests, arms — just dozens of people.”

The 29-year-old San Diego man said he realized he needed to help fellow concertgoers get to the hospital.

Along with a friend, Winston ran to a parking lot adjacent to the fairgrounds where the Route 91 Harvest festival was staged, looking for a car or truck he could commandeer. He said he knew that festival employees often left keys in work vehicles.

“The first one we opened had keys inside,” Winston said.

Over the next 40 minutes, Winston and a friend, Jenn Lewis, would transport 20 to 30 critically injured people to a hospital in the commandeered truck.

“It was a lot of chaos, but within the chaos, there was a lot of good being done and a lot of people rising to the occasion and helping others,” he said.

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Oct. 4, 2017, 11:13 a.m. Las Vegas

A roundup of the latest on the Las Vegas shooting: Most of gunman’s weapons were purchased since October

 (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)
(Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)

The gunman responsible for the massacre in Las Vegas first began buying guns two decades ago, a federal source said Wednesday, but the majority of the 47 guns he owned had been purchased since October 2016.

Stephen Paddock brought at least 23 weapons, mostly rifles, to the Mandalay Bay hotel room from which he opened fire on a country music concert across the street Sunday night, an attack which left 59 people dead and more than 500 injured.

Twelve of the guns were modified with “bump-fire” stocks, which are legal accessories that allow guns to fire at nearly fully automatic speed, officials said.

Meanwhile, FBI agents were slated to interview Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, in Los Angeles.

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Music FestivalOfficersSuspectVictims
Oct. 4, 2017, 11:09 a.m.

From the police scanner, a tale emerges of 72 minutes of terror

 (Eugene Garcia / EPA-EFE)
(Eugene Garcia / EPA-EFE)

The first call came across the Las Vegas radio channel in a burst of static.

“We got shots fired,” the police officer said, in a breathless voice. “Sounded like an automatic firearm.”

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s scanner traffic, and body camera video released Tuesday, captured officers’ frantic efforts to find and stop the gunman firing into a crowd of 22,000 people from a perch high above the fairgrounds at a music festival.

From the first reports of gunshots at 10:08 p.m. Sunday, it would be 72 chaotic minutes until a SWAT team crept down a carpeted hallway on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and blew open the hotel room occupied by gunman Stephen Paddock.

By then, the gunfire had long since ceased and Paddock was dead.

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Oct. 4, 2017, 10:58 a.m.

Girlfriend of Las Vegas shooter is being interviewed by FBI in Los Angeles

The girlfriend of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock was slated to be interviewed by investigators at the Los Angeles headquarters of the FBI on Wednesday morning, an official said.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters meeting President Trump’s plane in Nevada that the interview was to be conducted shortly.

FBI officials would not confirm the interview timing but acknowledged that the woman, Marilou Danley, was expected to consent to be interviewed by investigators.

Matthew Lombard, a Los Angeles attorney hired by relatives to represent Danley, declined to comment. He said he expected to release a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Oct. 4, 2017, 10:03 a.m.

President Trump lands in Las Vegas to meet with victims of the attack at music festival

President Trump arrived in Las Vegas on Wednesday morning to meet with law enforcement officials and victims of Sunday night’s massacre at a country-music festival on the Strip.

Air Force 1 landed at McCarran International Airport at 9:37 a.m., and Trump walked out of the plane with Melania, the first lady.

They were greeted on the tarmac by Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo and other dignitaries, which were scheduled to include Republican Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, an independent.

The president and first lady were scheduled to meet with patients and medical staff at a local hospital at 10 a.m. and then meet with civilian heroes and first responders to the attack at 11:50 a.m., before an expected departure back to Washington at 1:10 p.m.

Oct. 4, 2017, 9:01 a.m. Las Vegas

President Trump visiting Las Vegas to meet with mass shooting victims and first responders

Mark Rumpeler (Ruven Vives/Los Angeles Times)
Mark Rumpeler (Ruven Vives/Los Angeles Times)

President Trump’s visit to Las Vegas on Wednesday is his second trip in two days aimed at comforting the victims of tragedy: In Puerto Rico on Tuesday, it was victims of Hurricane Maria; in Nevada, it’s the families and survivors of a mass shooting opposite the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Trump was scheduled to arrive at 9:30 a.m. PDT and meet with patients and doctors at a hospital treating the more than 500 people injured in Sunday’s shooting.

Later, the White House said, he was to meet with “civilian heroes” and first responders who were at the scene when Stephen Paddock , a 64-year-old gambler and real estate investor, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the hotel at a country music festival going on below.

“Well, It’s a very sad thing,” Trump told reporters Wednesday as he was preparing to leave Washington. “We’re going to pay our respects and to see the police who have done really a fantastic job in a very short time.”

As for the investigation into the shooting, he said: “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.”

In Las Vegas, some seemed skeptical that the president’s visit would bring much comfort.

Mekhaly Rassavong, 50, was at McCarran International Airport, where Trump was to land, to light a candle at a memorial for victims of the shooting.

Standing by her silver truck, she said she was worried about Trump’s visit.

She said she doesn’t think Trump is a compassionate person.

His abrasive tweets and the comments he made Tuesday while visiting Puerto Rico, she said, made her think he may fail to show genuine compassion for Las Vegas.

Puerto Rico “lost 16 people and he’s saying their losses aren’t as bad as Katrina and that they’re messing with the budget,” she said, shaking her head. “If he’s not genuinely going to show compassion here, it’s almost like you shouldn’t be here because it’s just going to make people more upset.”

Mark Rumpeler, 58, who is a reverend and impersonates Elvis, disagrees.

“He’s going to salute the first responders and Americans who helped as he should,” he said.

Rumpeler said he’s happy that the president is visiting the city because it takes someone of his caliber to address what has happened.

“He represents all Americans, whether you voted for him or not,” he said. “I think he will strengthen America and remind us to keep rowing our boat in one direction.”

Oct. 4, 2017, 3:00 a.m.

The trigonometry of terror: Why the Las Vegas shooting was so deadly

Arthur B. Alphin is well acquainted with the trigonometry of terror.

The retired Army lieutenant colonel and West Point graduate, who has a mechanical engineering degree and specialized in ballistics, has testified in many multiple-shooting cases.

What he sees so far about Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock is a patient, well-trained gunner who did not pick and choose his targets, but held to a steady kill zone centered in the middle of thousands of concertgoers.

Once the trigger was pulled, simple laws of physics and trigonometry sealed the fate of more than 500 people who would fall wounded in the ensuing fracas — 59 of them fatally.

“He had a huge area of three, four or five football fields with people standing shoulder to shoulder,” Alphin said. “He was not aiming at any individual person. He was just throwing bullets in a huge ‘beaten zone.’”

Beaten zone is an infantry term dating to World War I. Shaped like the area a searchlight casts across a flat surface, it represents the area where bullets can strike, and moves substantially with tiny changes in the tilt of the gun.

If the shooter shifted by about 1 degree, or the width of two fingers held at arm’s length, Alphin said, the beaten zone would fall outside the crowd.

“That’s all the distance you have to move and you aren’t hitting anybody,” Alphin said. “So he had to be pointing or aiming at the very center of mass and then bouncing all over with the recoil.”

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From a perch 320 feet above ground in a hotel whose base was about 1,050 feet from the concert venue, Paddock was firing down the 1,098-foot hypotenuse of a right triangle — and would have to adjust his aim for the arc of the bullet over that distance.

Alphin said there was “no way” the shooter maintained such a steady kill zone by dumb luck. Steady nerves and planning are a better explanation for the casualty rate, he said.

“How did this guy get trained that well? Where did it come from?”

At least one of the 23 rapid-firing weapons authorities found in the hotel room had a bipod stand to hold it steady, according to law enforcement authorities.

Paddock also may have fitted weapons with a device to make it cycle rounds more quickly into the chamber for firing, or converted some to fully automatic firing, potentially adding as many as eight rounds per second, Alphin said.

There may also be expertise at work in deciding when to switch rifles, Alphin said. Gun barrels expand as they heat up, and the bullet can lose contact with the grooves that spin it and keep it point-forward. Without the spin, it will tumble.

“A bullet tumbling like that, good God, it will land on planet Earth but you don’t know where,” Alphin said.

Oct. 3, 2017, 9:32 p.m.

Girlfriend of Las Vegas gunman, a ‘person of interest’ in mass shooting, has landed in Los Angeles

Marilou Danley, the girlfriend of the gunman who shot and killed 59 people at a country music concert in Las Vegas, returned Tuesday night to the United States from the Philippines, according to multiple law enforcement sources.

Danley was met by federal agents at Los Angeles International Airport, said the officials, who were not authorized to discuss the case publicly.

Danley was not placed under arrest and it was not known when, or if, she would agree to be interviewed about Stephen Paddock, who killed himself in the Las Vegas hotel room from which he launched his deadly attack.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, whose department is leading the investigation into the shooting, on Tuesday called Danley a “person of interest” and said authorities hoped that talking with her would shed light on why Paddock carried out the rampage.

Oct. 3, 2017, 7:33 p.m.

Las Vegas police release body camera footage of attack

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released a three-minute compilation of body camera footage Tuesday night that showed the attack on a music festival from the perspective of police.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, who oversees the city’s police department, said there were more than 67 body camera videos from officers at the scene.

The footage showed only a small slice of what officers saw that night and did not include victims. In one clip, officers ducked behind a cinder-block wall as the sound of fast-paced gunfire erupted.

“Go that way, go that way, go that way,” an officer shouted at civilians as they struggled to figure out where the shots were coming from.

“Mandalay Bay, coming out of the window,” one officer said.