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Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock may not have acted alone; shot a hotel security guard and hit fuel tanks: Report

Stephen Paddock fired 200 shots inside the hallway of the hotel, hitting and injuring a security guard

As the investigation into the deadly Las Vegas mass shooting continues, authorities are probing the possibility that Stephen Paddock had an accomplice. The investigation has also revealed that Paddock rented rooms near two music festivals prior to Sunday’s concert event in Vegas.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters Wednesday night that evidence is pointing to the possibility that the shooter was not acting alone, CNN reports.

The sheriff said authorities believe something happened in October of last year that prompted Paddock to stockpile an arsenal of weapons. The shooting suspect reportedly purchased 33 guns, mostly rifles, between October 2016 and September 2017.

“Do you think this was all accomplished on his own? You’ve got to make the assumption he had to have some help at some point,” Lombardo said, pointing out that Paddock was somehow able to bring the weapons into the hotel undetected.

“It’s troublesome this individual was able to move this amount of gear into a hotel room unassisted,” Lombardo said. ” It’s troublesome for the amount of stuff he had at both residences unassisted.”

The latest reports show that Paddock shot at additional targets besides the concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

The gunman also fired inside the Mandalay Bay resort and casino, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. Paddock reportedly fired approximately 200 shots into the hotel hallway, hitting a security guard who was leading police to Paddock’s room on the 32nd floor. The injured guard reportedly continued to help police evacuate hotel rooms before officers insisted he seek medical help.

Lombardo told reporters that although Paddock ultimately took his own life as authorities approached his room, the shooter had planned an escape route.

The investigation also revealed that Paddock fired at two jet fuel tanks that were about 1,100 feet from the concert site. One of the tanks was penetrated by two bullet holes, but the gunshots did not cause any kind of explosion. The tanks are reportedly owned by a company the provides fuel to nearby McCarran International Airport.

Paddock was reportedly in Las Vegas the weekend prior to the deadly attack.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that the gunman rented a luxury apartment at the Ogden via Airbnb, near the Life is Beautiful music festival. Lombardo said investigators are still looking into what Paddock may have been doing there, and whether he spent time in the city to conduct “pre-surveillance.”

The previous month, Paddock rented two rooms at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago facing the Lalapolooza music festival, TMZ reports. He reportedly specifically requested rooms with a view of the main stage, but did not appear for his reservation.

Sunday’s massacre is the deadliest shooting in United States history. According to the latest reports, 59 people were killed and nearly 500 more were injured.

 

[Feature photo: Associated Press]