Las Vegas: Gunman may have planned escape, booked Chicago rooms

Oct. 5 (UPI) — Authorities say Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock appears to have planned an escape from Sunday’s mass shooting attack, and that he also left a note before he killed himself.

When asked by reporters if there was any evidence Paddock planned to flee the scene of the shooting, Lombardo answered, “Yes.”

The sheriff made references to the hotel cameras outside of his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino which the gunman had rigged to thwart police officers.

Police found a note they believe was written by Paddock, Lombardo said. The sheriff did not disclose what the writing contained, but said it wasn’t a suicide note.

It was reported Thursday that the attack at the Mandalay Bay might not have been the first time Paddock booked a hotel overlooking a musical event.

Citing a law enforcement official, USA Today and TMZ reported that Paddock booked two rooms in Chicago in August near the Lollapalooza music festival, which draws hundreds of thousands of fans every year.

It was unclear, though, whether Paddock used the rooms or even traveled to Chicago, the reports said.

Paddock also rented a hotel room in Las Vegas that corresponded with the “Life is Beautiful” music festival, officials said.

“I anticipate he was looking for anybody coming to take him into custody,” Lombardo said of the cameras.

The gunman had a camera set up in his hotel room, apparently to record himself during the mass shooting.

Additionally, Lombardo said Paddock’s vehicle was found to have containers of the explosive material tannerite and up to 1,600 rounds of ammunition. Including his home and hotel suite, the shooter was in possession of over 40 firearms overall.

Paddock is believed to have killed himself before law-enforcement arrived at his suite.

Although the shooter’s motive is still under investigation, Lombardo clarifies the attack was “obviously premeditated.”

The gunman’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, released a statement that she had no indication Paddock was going to do “something horrible” and flew back to the United States from vacationing in the Philippines to cooperate with investigators.

On Tuesday, prayer vigils were held for the victims of the attack in various locations. Thousands gathered at the Canyon Ridge Christian Church. During and sang “Amazing Grace” in memory of the dead. Makeshift memorials were made for the victims throughout Las Vegas.

Paddock, a 64-year-old Mesquite resident with no criminal background, killed 58 people and injured over 500 in what has become the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.

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