• Jim Leach


Updated: Aug 17, 2018


Authorities now say there are 59 dead, 527 injured and 12 victims remain in critical condition.

Police found 23 guns in Paddock’s room and 19 weapons in his home as well as several thousand rounds of ammunition in both places. It is not known at this time if he bought semi automatic weapons and converted them to be fully automatic or if he bought fully automatic weapons to begin with. It has been said he bought 3-4 guns periodically over a period of years. Police are in the process of tracing the guns to see where and when they were purchased. Paddock was in a 2 room suite and he evidently used a hammer-like instrument to knock out 2 windows in order to shoot more effectively. The windows were on different sides of the hotel giving him 2 separate vantage points to fire from. Paddock also had tripods set up in the room to steady his aim and he also may used the tripods to take photographs or videos of the death and destruction he had caused. It was an hour and 12 minutes from the time he fired the first shot until the time when police gained entry to his room. He had committed suicide prior to their entry.

One question that is unanswered at this time remains to be how he got all those guns into his room without being detected? He may have dissembled them, put them in a suitcase, and then put them back together once he got in his room. He also could have hidden them in something like a golf bag and smuggled them into the hotel. Las Vegas is said to have more gun shows than any other city in the country, so, a person carrying guns to his room might not draw too much attention. The city is full of video surveillance cameras and police will be viewing them. We should take into consideration that security in Las Vegas is generally set up to keep people from cheating and stealing money. Their systems are not really designed to catch a killer.

Paddock’s car contained ammonium nitrate. Ammonium nitrate combined with diesel fuel created the explosion that destroyed the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.  Nothing has been reported to indicate other evidence that Paddock was preparing to build an improvised explosive device (IED). Once the searches of all computers and devices are completed information on how to build explosives may be discovered. It has been reported there was a computer in the hotel room and 2 in his home.

The murderer had a $400,000 home in a retirement community in Mesquite and another home in Reno. He has been described as a successful business man and a “big time” gambler. He has also been described as a multi millionaire. A gun shop owner who sold Paddock weapons said the killer was a “normal, everyday guy” and nothing he did drew suspicion.

Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, is in Tokyo but says she is returning to the United States. Police will certainly want to talk to her when she gets home. FBI agents stationed in Tokyo have probably already interviewed her. It strains the imagination to think she does not have some information that might be valuable in figuring out a motive for the murders.

Mandalay Bay was 4-5 hundred yards away from the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival and according to a forensic psychiatrist this distance may have helped dehumanize the victims to the killer. Dr. Michael Welner also Told FOX news that mass murders designed to give the killer notoriety are usually committed by a young man and Paddock was in his sixties. The psychiatrist went on to say if the murders were committed to try and further some “cause” there would be communication discovered explaining the objectives the murderer hoped to accomplish.

He supposedly was in steady contact with friends and family. Paddock’s brother says the killer had no military history and was not really involved in religious or political philosophies or beliefs. Paddock’s father was bank robber who was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list and he was said to have psychopathic tendencies.

An FBI profiler speaking to CNN describes Paddock as an “outlier” because he doesn’t fit the typical behavioral profile of a mass murderer. He was 64 years old and that is quite a bit older than most mass murderers. He had no known motives such as being a radical extremist with strong racial, religious or sexual beliefs or practices. Apparently he had a “secret life” that no one really knew about. There is no known information that would indicate that he was an overt threat. He was obviously “mission oriented” and it appears his mission was to kill as many people as possible.

The terror group ISIS has used their news site to claim responsibility for Paddock’s actions. ISIS has been known to make false claims of this nature in the past and no real evidence has been revealed showing ISIS was involved. If, in fact, Paddock was trying to further the cause of the Islamic State organization investigators should discover some type of communications between the murderer and the terror group.

Jim Leach served as Special Agent in Charge for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. His book, “You Can Tell ME, a simple guide to effective interviewing” can be found at

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