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Las Vegas gunman stockpiled weapons, ammo for decades

Reuters

A man works on one of 58 white crosses he set up for the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, on Thursday.

Reuters LAS VEGAS (Reuters) — The Las Vegas gunman who killed 58 people and himself in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history stockpiled weapons and ammunition over decades, and meticulously planned the attack, authorities believe.

But what led Stephen Paddock, 64, to unleash the carnage he did remains largely a mystery.

“What we know is that Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood,” Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said at a news briefing on Wednesday night.

Lombardo said he found it hard to believe that the arsenal of weapons, ammunition and explosives recovered by police in their investigation could have been assembled by Paddock completely on his own.

“You have to make an assumption that he had some help at some point,” Lombardo said.

Some 489 people were also injured when Paddock strafed an outdoor concert with gunfire on Sunday night from his 32nd-floor suite of the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. He then took his own life.

There is evidence that Paddock tried to survive and escape. He also may have scouted out the location, renting a room at the Ogden, a nearby hotel, during the Life is Beautiful festival a week earlier, Lombardo said.

Police recovered nearly 50 firearms from three locations they searched, nearly half of them from the hotel suite. Twelve of the rifles there were fitted with so-called bump stocks, officials said, allowing the guns to be fired almost as though they were automatic weapons.Speech

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