Authorities Say Stephen Paddock May Have Plotted Attacks At Other Music Festivals

4 hours ago
Originally published on October 5, 2017 7:59 pm
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In Las Vegas, new details are trickling out about the man who killed 58 people and wounded hundreds at a music festival Sunday. At the same time, there are still lots of questions that remain unanswered. And for the latest, we're joined now by NPR's Leila Fadel in Las Vegas.

And, Leila, first, what are authorities saying that's new about the gunman?

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Well, what we know now is that the shooter may have made other plans as well. A man with the same name, Stephen Paddock, had made a reservation at a Chicago hotel that overlooked a festival in August - the Lollapalooza festival, which attracts hundreds of thousands of people. It's an outdoor festival as well. And during that time that reservation existed, although nobody ever came to the hotel. And then also there was a booking at the air - at an Airbnb here in a luxury condominium building in downtown Las Vegas at the same time as a festival called Life Is Beautiful in September. So it raises questions about what other plans this man may have had.

SIEGEL: Now, we know that Paddock planned meticulously for the attack on Sunday. He stockpiled weapons. He set up cameras outside his room at the Mandalay Bay Resort. Given the arsenal that he had in his hotel room, do authorities think that he might have had help?

FADEL: What we do know is that he appears to have killed all these people by himself, on his own, but there are really a lot of questions about whether he had help compiling the massive amount of weaponry that he had with him in that hotel room, and also how he got all that up there by himself. Member station WMFE spoke to his brother, Eric Paddock.

ERIC PADDOCK: He did this himself. He's not a group guy. Nobody - the only - I mean, he gave people money to buy guns or something. That's the connection. Find who he bought the automatic weapons from.

FADEL: It's unclear exactly what Paddock meant by this, but he said that he had been helping authorities, that he'd spoken to the FBI for hours. In a briefing, Sheriff Joe Lombardo yesterday said that he did believe that it's possible that Paddock had some kind of help. He said, quote, "you've got to make the assumption he had help at some point," unquote. But the FBI in that same briefing said these are all just theories and they're only dealing in fact.

SIEGEL: Leila, you are based in Las Vegas. How is the city dealing with the aftermath of this attack?

FADEL: Well, this city is - ultimately, yes, there's 2,000,000 people in the valley, but this is ultimately a small town. A lot of people really know each other around here. And what they're doing is they're getting help from cities across the country. We know the coroner's office has brought in people from Washoe County where Reno is, from New York to help with the body identification. They have now identified all 58 victims. They've also reached out to cities like San Bernardino and Orlando, other places that have dealt with such mass casualties. Orlando is helping them comb through how to deal with money, giving that money out to victims. And so they've said they've gotten help from thousands of agencies across the country to help with investigative stuff, medical stuff, the coroner's office, all of these things.

SIEGEL: I know you've spent the last few days talking to survivors, to first responders. For you, what are the most memorable things that they're telling you?

FADEL: The way that they survived. These people were at a music festival to enjoy themselves. And I spoke to a 16-year-old boy who had to hide himself under another dead body to survive this. And so it's about not only surviving that moment, but then moving on from there.

SIEGEL: OK. That's NPR's Leila Fadel in Las Vegas. Leila, thanks.

FADEL: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.