Las Vegas shooting victims remembered on anniversary

Published on Monday, 1 October 2018 21:06
Written by The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Many who were cheering Jason Aldean’s headline set on the Las Vegas Strip late Oct. 1, 2017, said later they thought the rapid crack-crack-crack they heard was fireworks - until people fell dead, wounded, bleeding.

From across neon-lit Las Vegas Boulevard, a gambler-turned-gunman with what police later called a meticulous plan but an unknown reason fired assault-style rifles for 11 minutes from 32nd-floor windows of the Mandalay Bay hotel into the concert crowd below. Police said he then put a pistol in his mouth and killed himself.

Medical examiners later determined that all 58 deaths were from gunshots. Another 413 people were wounded, and police said at least 456 were injured fleeing the carnage.

A flock of 58 doves will be released at the daybreak memorial, and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo also are due to speak. They won’t provide answers to what made Stephen Craig Paddock unleash his hail of gunfire.

Lombardo declared the police investigation ended in August. He issued a report that said hundreds of interviews and thousands of hours of investigative work found no motive, no conspiracy and no other shooters.

Las Vegas police continue to make weekly releases of material collected following the attack under court order in a media public records lawsuit. Included have been investigative documents, 911 audio recordings, police reports, witness statements and many hours of officer body-worn video.

Unanswered in the 21 batches posted to date: What made a 64-year-old attack a concert crowd?

Paddock was characterized by police as a loner with no religious or political affiliations who became obsessed with guns, spent more than $1.5 million in the two years before the shooting and distanced himself from his girlfriend and family.

Paddock’s gambling habits made him a sought-after casino patron. Over several days, Mandalay Bay employees readily let him use a service elevator to take suitcases to the $590-per-night suite he had been provided for free. The room had a commanding view of the Strip and the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert grounds across the street.

After breaking out windows, Paddock fired 1,057 shots in 11 minutes, police say.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Nation-World on Monday, 1 October 2018 21:06. Updated: Monday, 1 October 2018 21:08.