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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.