Originally Published: October 3, 2017 6 a.m.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Stephen Craig Paddock, a 64-year-old retiree from Mesquite, Nevada, had a stockpile of rifles and other weapons in his room, where he’d been a guest since late last week.
Officials now say authorities found 23 guns in the hotel room of the Las Vegas shooter, and an additional 19 at one of his two homes.
Paddock also had two devices in his hotel room that are attached to the stocks of semi-automatic guns to allow fully automatic gunfire. The bump-stock devices have attracted scrutiny in recent years from authorities.
Security experts say it’s next-to-impossible without metal detectors or a massive change in typical U.S. hotel security standards to prevent someone from bringing in weapons or other contraband.
“You can bring a long gun in disassembled in a small suitcase. Nobody would think twice about somebody carrying in a golf bag, or something like a big snow ski bag,” said Angela Hrdlicka, a former Secret Service agent who is now a private security consultant for Major League Baseball parks and other professional sports. “Based on the amount of ammunition that this guy threw down there, he took more than one trip or he had a luggage cart that was carrying all this stuff.”
Paddock staged himself in a room on the 32nd floor of the hotel that towers over the Las Vegas Strip with a prime view of the Route 91 Harvest Festival taking place below. Authorities say he took a hammer to the window and began spewing a staccato beat of rounds to the crowd below. The shooter appeared to fire unhindered for more than 10 minutes as police searched frantically for the origin of the shots.
Investigators gave few details on the weapons used, but reported over the radio that they were faced with fully automatic fire.
At a press conference Monday authorities announced they are confident Paddock acted alone.
This story was updated to reflect new information released by police.