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Las Vegas gunman may have scoped out other music festivals

  • This photo combination shows some of the victims of the mass shooting that occurred at a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Top row from left are: Heather Warino Alvarado, Steven Berger, Denise Burditus, Sandy Casey, Andrea Castilla, Denise Cohen, Austin Davis and Tom Day Jr. Second row from left are: Stacee Etcheber, Brian Fraser, Keri Lynn Galvan, Dana Gardner, Angie Gomez, Rocio Guillen, Charleston Hartfield and Nicol Kimura. Third row from left are: Jessica Klymchuk, Rhonda LeRocque, Kelsey Meadows, Calla Medig, Sonny Melton, Adrian Murfitt, Rachael Parker and John Phippen. Bottom row from left are: Melissa Ramirez, Jordyn Rivera, Quinton Robbins, Bailey Schweitzer, Laura Shipp and Brennan Stewart. (AP Photo)

  • The Blackstone Hotel sits on Michigan Avenue across the street from Chicago's Grant Park on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, in Chicago. Stephen Paddock, opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday, Oct. 1, killing dozens and injuring hundreds in Las Vegas. In August, Paddock, booked a room at the Blackstone Hotel that overlooks the park where the Lollapalooza music festival was held that weekend, a law enforcement official said Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) Charles Rex Arbogast

  • The Blackstone Hotel, left, sits on Michigan Avenue, across the street from Chicago's Grant Park on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, in Chicago. Stephen Paddock, opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday, Oct. 1, killing dozens and injuring hundreds in Las Vegas. In August, Paddock, booked a room at the Blackstone Hotel that overlooks the park where the Lollapalooza music festival was held that weekend, a law enforcement official said Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) Charles Rex Arbogast

  • Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg updates the media on the status of the work his bureau is handling in the wake of a mass shooting on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, in Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday killing dozens and injuring hundreds. (AP Photo/John Locher) John Locher

  • This undated photo provided by Eric Paddock shows his brother, Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock. On Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival killing dozens and wounding hundreds. (Courtesy of Eric Paddock via AP) John Raoux

  • Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo listens to a question during a media briefing at Metro Police headquarters in Las Vegas Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. Investigators trying to figure out the Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock's state of mind have so far been stymied by the secret life he appeared to lead before the attack on a country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP) STEVE MARCUS

  • A man pauses at a memorial for the victims of a mass shooting in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday killing dozens and injuring hundreds. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Marcio Jose Sanchez

  • This undated photo provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Marilou Danley. Danley, 62, returned to the United States from the Philippines on Tuesday night, Oct. 3, 2017, and was met at Los Angeles International Airport by FBI agents, according to a law enforcement official. Authorities are trying to determine why Stephen Paddock, Danley's boyfriend, killed dozens of people in Las Vegas Oct. 1, in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP, File)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2005 file photo, an unidentified man plays video poker at the Carson Station in Carson City, Nev. Authorities trying to piece together the final days before Stephen Paddock unleashed his arsenal of powerful firearms on a crowd of country music fans Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, have at least one potential trove of information: his gambling habits. Nevada gambling regulators say they're sorting through documents for clues about him and his girlfriend, Marilou Danley. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison, File) Cathleen Allison

  • FILE - In this undated file photo, new chairs for slot players are seen at the Palms, in Las Vegas. Authorities trying to piece together the final days before Stephen Paddock unleashed his arsenal of powerful firearms on a crowd of country music fans Sunday, Oct, 1, 2017, have at least one potential trove of information: his gambling habits. Nevada gambling regulators say they're sorting through documents for clues about him and his girlfriend, Marilou Danley. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP, File) STEVE MARCUS

  • Aaron Rouse, special agent in charge of the Las Vegas Division of the FBI, responds to a question during a media briefing at Metro Police headquarters in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. Investigators trying to figure out the Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock's state of mind have so far been stymied by the secret life he appeared to lead before the attack on a country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP) STEVE MARCUS

  • Alyssia Washington, 24, of Flint, Mich., gasps aloud as she tries to hold back tears while names of identified victims from the Las Vegas mass shooting are read aloud, while standing in a circle of more than 50 University of Michigan-Flint students and faculty members during a vigil at the McKinnon Plaza on campus Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 in downtown Flint. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP) Jake May | MLive.com

  • The marquee at the W Hotel shows a sign for the victims of a mass shooting on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday killing dozens and injuring hundreds. (AP Photo/John Locher) John Locher



Associated Press
Thursday, October 05, 2017

Investigators are looking into whether gunman Stephen Paddock scoped out bigger music festivals in Las Vegas and Chicago before setting up his perch in a casino hotel and raining deadly fire on country music fans.

Paddock rented rooms overlooking the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago in August and the Life Is Beautiful show in late September near the Vegas Strip, according to authorities reconstructing his movements before he undertook the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

It was not clear if he aborted plans to carry out massacres at those events.

The details came to light as investigators struggled to figure out why the high-stakes gambler opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 Sunday night from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel casino. He killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 before taking his own life.

Authorities have been combing through his background but remain stumped as to his motive.

The profile developed so far is of a “disturbed and dangerous” man who acquired an arsenal over decades, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said. But investigators have been frustrated to find that he lived a “secret life,” Lombardo said, “much of which will never be fully understood.”

In other developments:

In a rare concession on gun control, the National Rifle Association announced its support Thursday for regulating “bump stocks,” attachments that can effectively convert semi-automatic rifles into fully automated weapons. Paddock apparently used such devices during the bloodbath.

The coroner’s office in Las Vegas would not release details of its autopsy on Paddock. Some behavioral experts have wondered whether the 64-year-old Paddock suffered from some kind of brain abnormality or had a terminal illness that prompted him to lash out.

The weekend before the massacre, he rented a room through Airbnb at the 21-story Ogden condominiums in downtown Las Vegas and stayed there during a music festival below that included Chance the Rapper, Muse, Lorde and Blink-182.

“Reasons that ran through Paddock’s mind is unknown, but it was directly at the same time as Life Is Beautiful,” the sheriff said.

Police were reviewing video shot at the high-rise to check Paddock’s movements. His renting the condo was curious because as a high-roller, he could have easily gotten a free room at one of the casino hotels on the Vegas Strip.

In early August, Paddock booked a room at Chicago’s 21-story Blackstone Hotel that overlooked the park where the Lollapalooza alternative music festival was being held, though there’s no evidence he actually stayed there, a law enforcement official said Thursday.

The official was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity after being briefed on the investigation.

The hotel confirmed a Stephen Paddock made a reservation but said he never checked in.

Lollapalooza draws hundreds of thousands of music fans every year to Grant Park.

Boston’s Police Commissioner William Evans said he could not immediately confirm an NBC report that Paddock researched possible locations there.

Although Paddock killed himself as a SWAT team closed in, Lombardo said it appeared he had planned to survive and had an escape plan. He had 1,600 rounds of ammunition in his car, along with fertilizer that can be used to make explosives and 50 pounds of Tannerite, a substance used in explosive rifle targets.

Lombardo said he didn’t know what Paddock intended with the explosives and wouldn’t elaborate on getaway plans.