Heroes risking their lives to save strangers. Blood donors waiting for hours to help the wounded. Vigils from Reno to Las Vegas, where 59 country music fans were killed on the Las Vegas Strip late Sunday night.
Another 527 people are still trying to recover from injuries — everything from gunshot wounds to stampede injuries suffered when 22,000 people tried to flee the gunman’s aim.
No one knows yet what caused 64-year-old Stephen Paddock to inflict such mass tragedy. But based on what authorities have found, he may have been planning something even worse.
In the gunman’s 32nd-floor suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, police recovered 23 weapons, including a handgun and multiple rifles — some with scopes on them.
Authorities also found several pounds of ammonium nitrate, a material used to make explosives, in his car.
And at Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nevada, police found at least 19 firearms, explosives, several thousand rounds of ammunition and some electronic devices.
So far, police believe Paddock acted alone — which could make the motive harder to determine.
— Paddock was alive when he made first contact with officers. A team of six officers searched the hotel floor-by-floor Sunday night before they found Paddock’s large, two-room suite, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.
— Paddock fired at the officers through the door and shot a security guard in the leg, Lombardo said.
— A SWAT team broke down the door, but Paddock had already killed himself, he said.
— Paddock bought multiple firearms in the past, but investigators believe the firearms were purchased legally, a law enforcement official said. The official said initial reports suggest at least one rifle was altered to function as an automatic weapon.
— A North Las Vegas gun store sold a shotgun and a rifle to Paddock in the spring. All state and federal requirements, including an FBI background check, were met, said David Famiglietti, president of New Frontier Armory. He said that neither of the weapons “leaving our store (are) capable of what we’ve seen and heard in the video without modification.”