• Jim Leach


Updated: Aug 17, 2018


At 10:08pm PT last night, October 1, gunfire erupted in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada resulting in over 50 people murdered and more than 400 injured. These figures include one police officer killed and another officer critically injured. One emergency reported receiving 104 patients. There is the possibility more people could die. The shooting occurred as country music artist Jason Aldean was finishing his set at the end of a 3 day country music festival where over 22,000 people had gathered outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Witnesses say the gunfire lasted at least 10 minutes. The shooter was located on the 32nd floor of the hotel and was firing fully automatic weapons. This is the deadliest mass murder in U.S. history surpassing the deadly shooting in Orlando Fla. in 2016 where 49 people were murdered.

The cowardly murderer has been identified as 64 year old Stephen Paddock, a white male from nearby Mesquite. A female associate of his was detained and questioned by police but later released. At this time police suspect Paddock acted alone. No motive has yet been determined but authorities are saying the event was not a terrorist act. This probably means there is no evidence Paddock is not known to have any affiliation with extremist organizations. This could change as the investigation continues and his residence, computers and cell phones are searched and friends and family are interviewed. The shooting appeared to be at random in that there was no single person targeted, but obviously there was some type of motive. He could have had mental problems or he may have been influenced by extremist philosophy. Initial record checks on Paddock show nothing but traffic offenses and local police say they were not familiar with him.

Police response was quick and effective. After clearing the surrounding rooms, an “explosive breach” was performed on Paddock’s room. The explosive breach not only blew the room door off its hinges but also helped neutralize the suspect. In excess of 10 rifles were discovered in the room along with multiple magazines. It is believed the subject had been in the room since September 28th. It is unknown at this time if anyone, such as maids, entered the room while he was there.  Police say Paddock shot and killed himself prior to the entry.

At this time it is not known how Paddock was able to smuggle the weapons, magazines and ammunition into his room on the 32nd floor. In order to produce automatic fire for over 10 minutes the murderer would have had to efficiently replace magazines several times. This may suggest he had police or military training. Police do not know where he obtained the weapons. To obtain the perfect room to successfully attack such as target rich environment with fully automatic weapons obviously took some planning.

Paddock was 64 years old and that is older than most people who commit these kinds of acts. It is much more common for these murderers to be in their 20’s or 30’s.

Many agencies from different levels are involved in the investigation of these murders. A special number has been established for anyone who may have information to call. The number is 1-800-CALLFBI, and will be used as a clearing house for all information regarding the case.

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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