Las Vegas gunman was tidy, but made housekeeper uneasy
More than 1,000 pages of documents released Wednesday give some insight into the gunman who killed 58 people last year in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
They also detail the horror among 22,000 concertgoers in Las Vegas when they realized the noises interrupting the Route 91 Harvest Festival were not firecrackers but bullets being fired from the Mandalay Bay hotel.
Authorities do not know why Stephen Paddock fired hundreds of rounds indiscriminately from the hotel using a series of semiautomatic rifles, some outfitted with a device called a bump stock that allowed him to fire them even faster.
Documents released Wednesday include interviews with workers who interacted with the gunman on visits to the Mandalay Bay and other hotels before the October 1 shooting.
One of the last people to see Paddock was a housekeeper who cleaned his suite about four days before the massacre.
Paddock stayed in the room, which was mostly clean, except the bed and the bathroom, and spent much of his time on his computer, eating room-service soup, she said. There was no trash in his wastebaskets, she told investigators.
At first she didn’t mind him being there but she grew uneasy.
“He (kept) staring at me,” she said.
‘He was just weird’
A man who worked for Caesars Entertainment who had known Paddock for years said Paddock was a regular guest for several years but Caesars took out his favorite video poker machines. Paddock was a skilled gambler, the casino host said, and he stopped coming once those games were taken out.
The host said Paddock was an odd guy who either came to one of the Caesars properties alone or with his girlfriend, Marilou Danley. Danley was in the Philippines at the time of the shooting, and police said they don’t think she was involved. Paddock, who killed himself, acted alone, police have said.
The host said there was one incident years ago in which Paddock yelled at him over late luggage, something the host thought peculiar. When asked to specify why he thought Paddock was odd, the host said: “He was just weird.”
A host at another casino said Paddock was “kind of an introvert.”
That host said Paddock was a high-end gambler who kept to himself and never requested any prostitutes or drugs. He was only seen with his girlfriend, though he didn’t show her much affection, the host said.
Paddock was easy to deal with and he always paid his debt promptly, the host said. That stayed consistent through the years, he said.
Each of the hosts said Paddock never shared much about his life and kept the talk mostly to gambling.
Paddock twice won contests with big payouts. One was for a car worth about $90,000, and Paddock took the cash equivalent instead. Another was for a $150,000 cash prize.
Concertgoers describe the scene
The documents also include many witness statements from people attending the concert, headlined by country star Jason Aldean.
One man described taking cover to the right of the stage once he and others heard gunshots. The witness, whose name was redacted, said he ran during breaks in the gunfire.
“Then on the third round of shots is when I got, I got hit running, right in the back,” he told an investigator.
The man and his friends ran again until he couldn’t go on. Someone carried him to an ambulance, he said.
He wasn’t the only one in that spot who needed to get to a hospital.
A law enforcement officer came along and “threw me and several other people” into the bed of a pickup and sped them to a hospital.
The witness statements give a picture of what happened the night of the shooting.
Aldean was several songs into his set when a short burst of gunfire was confused for firecrackers. But during a second round of bullets, people fell with wounds and shouts of “Get down! Get down!” and that gave concertgoers the clues that sent them sprawling or running.
Many said they stayed in place until the gunfire briefly stopped and then they ran for cover. People were pressed against railings, got stuck on fences, crawled underneath the stage. Many saw others get shot — in the leg or in the back — as bullets whizzed by and cracked off the ground.
One woman said she pleaded with her friend to get up, but that woman wasn’t moving and her lips had turned blue. A man tried CPR as bullets came down but the victim remained unresponsive. Another man eventually put a red bandana over the victim’s face.
It is unclear from the witness statement whether the woman died.
This is the second in a series of investigation materials made public after media organizations, including CNN, went to court petitioning for their release.
Earlier this month, Las Vegas police released nearly three hours of body camera footage, providing details on the officers’ actions after the shooting.
The footage captured the moments before and after they entered the gunman’s room.