Authorities investigating the bloody Las Vegas mass murder are still searching for the motive that drove a millionaire retiree to break out the windows of a high-rise hotel and open fire on unsuspecting concertgoers late Sunday night, killing at least 59 and injuring 527 others.
Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, from nearby Mesquite, Nev., is believed to have acted alone when he rained down gunfire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in what is being called the worst shooting of its kind in modern American history.
The rapid fire, which witnesses described as lasting for several minutes, sent 22,000 fans scrambling from the Route 91 Harvest festival where country music star Jason Aldean had been performing on stage. Paddock killed himself before police stormed into the hotel room, authorities said.
But still unclear last night was why Paddock took up in the high-rise and started shooting at the music fans below. The FBI said it found nothing thus far to suggest the attack was connected to international terrorism, despite multiple claims of responsibility from ISIS, which called Paddock a “soldier” who had recently converted to Islam.
“I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath at this point,” Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.
Paddock, however, came heavily armed. He had at least 17 guns in his hotel room, including rifles with scopes, Lombardo said. Two of the guns were modified to make them fully automatic, two U.S. officials briefed by law enforcement told The Associated Press.
At Paddock’s home in Mesquite, authorities found 18 more guns, explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Also, several pounds of ammonium nitrate — a fertilizer that has been used to make explosives — were in his car, Lombardo said.
Paddock had lived with a woman named Marilou Danley, 62, who Paddock’s brother described as his girlfriend. She ultimately was located out of the country, reportedly Japan, and was not with Mr. Paddock when he checked into the hotel, according to officials.
President Trump dubbed the massacre “an act of pure evil.”
“In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has,” he said.
The public is also still learning the names of those killed. Among the victims was a Tewksbury mother, who attended the concert with her husband and daughter.
On the ground, the concert’s festive atmosphere changed shortly after 10 p.m. local time, when gunshots started…