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Days and months before carrying out the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history, Stephen Paddock rented hotel rooms overlooking other music festivals in Las Vegas as well as in Chicago, law enforcement authorities said.
Media reports citing law enforcement officials say Paddock reserved two rooms in Chicago overlooking the Lollapalooza festival, which draws hundreds of thousands of music fans yearly, in August. Paddock did not check in to the room and it is unknown whether he was in Chicago that weekend, as first reported by TMZ.
Rooms were also reserved in Paddock’s name in a Las Vegas building that overlooked the Life is Beautiful alternative music festival a week before he attacked a country music festival late Sunday, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of Clark County said.
Hotel employees at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay resort, from where Paddock shot and killed 58 people before killing himself, said that he had specifically requested an upper-floor room with a view of the Route 91 Harvest music festival.
President Donald Trump visited Las Vegas Wednesday to console victims and meet with police and other first responders. Speaking next to first lady Melania Trump, he praised emergency workers and medical staff who responded to Sunday’s massacre.
“What I saw today is just an incredible tribute to professionalism,” Trump said. “It makes you proud to be an American.”
Trump praised first responders, who said they were able to respond so quickly to the attack because of a new emergency program they had trained in and tested for years.
“Our training paid off. It was much bigger than we ever imagined but we were able to handle it,” Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell told reporters Thursday.
Sheriff Lombardo said it is crucial to talk to anyone who knew gunman Paddock in the hunt for possible accomplices.
Meanwhile, the number of wounded in the Sunday night massacre has been lowered from more than 500 to 489. Lombardo said some victims were counted twice in the confusion following the shooting.
“He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen,” Danley said in a statement read by her attorney, Matthew Lombard.
Danley spent much of the day being questioned by FBI agents in Los Angeles, where she arrived from the Philippines. Her attorney said she was in the Philippines to visit family. Paddock sent her $100,000 while she was there, telling her to buy a house.
Investigators found 23 guns inside Paddock’s hotel room and 12 so-called “bump stock” devices that can enable a rifle to fire continuously. The gunman also set up multiple cameras looking out into the hallway outside the room, apparently to monitor the police response.
Sheriff Lombardo said Paddock fired about 200 rounds of ammunition into the hallway outside his suite, wounding a security guard who had come to investigate. The wounded guard stayed in place to help police despite his injuries.
Another 26 guns were found at two of Paddock’s homes in the state of Nevada.