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Las Vegas mass shooting

Banality of evil: hotel security footage shows Vegas gunman slowly amassing arsenal before mass shooting

Stephen Paddock, who would murder 58 people last October after converting his hotel suite into a sniper’s nest, is seen repeatedly wheeling luggage to his room as well as gambling and interacting with staff

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 March, 2018, 1:57pm
UPDATED : Friday, 23 March, 2018, 1:57pm

Hotel surveillance video from the days before the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, made public Thursday, shows the gunman as an unremarkable Las Vegas hotel guest and casino patron.

Footage provided by MGM Resorts International shows Stephen Paddock interacting with Mandalay Bay resort staff members, repeatedly wheeling suitcases toward elevators and pulling his Dodge Caravan into the hotel valet.

It offers no outward sign that the bags contained an arsenal of weapons, that Paddock would use to carry out the October 1 shooting that killed 58 people and injured hundreds at an outdoor concert on the Las Vegas Strip.

“Paddock gave no indication of what he planned to do and his interactions with staff and overall behaviour were all normal,” company spokeswoman Debra DeShong said in a statement.

“MGM and Mandalay Bay could not reasonably foresee that a long-time guest with no known history of threats or violence and behaving in a manner that appeared outwardly normal, would carry out such an inexplicably evil, violent and deadly act,” she said.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo and Las Vegas police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The 32 video clips, first obtained by The New York Times, offer no motive for the 64-year-old Paddock opening fire with assault-style rifles from a 32nd-floor suite into a concert audience of 22,000 people.

They show Paddock checking in at the Mandalay Bay on September 25, gambling at high-limit video poker several times, buying snacks, stepping into elevators, driving into the valet area and accompanying hotel employees wheeling carts with his suitcases.

Videos suggest that employees had no indication what was in the suitcases.

Records show that over the course of several days travelling between the hotel and his home in Mesquite, Nevada, Paddock amassed an arsenal of 23 assault-style rifles and one handgun in his suite.

Lombardo released a preliminary report in January saying police and the FBI believe Paddock acted alone.

However, an Arizona man, Douglas Haig, is facing federal charges that he also illegally provided armour-piercing ammunition to Paddock. Haig maintains he legally sold tracer ammunition to Paddock weeks before the carnage.

Authorities have characterised Paddock as a gambler on a losing streak who was obsessed with cleanliness. They said he may have been bipolar and having difficulties with his live-in girlfriend, who was in the Philippines when the shooting occurred.

Paddock was a retired accountant who amassed a fortune, owned homes in Reno and Mesquite, Nevada, and earned casino perks wagering thousands of dollars on high-stakes video poker.

Police reported finding US$273 in cash the hotel room where Paddock was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.