The Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, was caught on camera at the hotel he instigated his mass shooting from. In this rare footage, the terrorist was seen doing mundane holiday tasks.
According to The New York Times, Paddock was seen going about his days and even gambling just days before he would murder almost 60 people. The massacre occurred on October 1, 2017.
Paddock used the arsenal he had moved upstairs in suitcases to shoot and kill 58 people. He shot them from his 32nd-floor suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Days before he opened fire he seemed like he was on a relaxed solo vacation. But the surveillance footage obtained from MGM Resorts makes it clear that his visit there was actually the methodically planned prelude to a massacre.
‘Rarely are investigators or the public able to track the preparations of a mass gunman in such molecular detail. Yet for all the material the footage offers about the who, the what, the where, the when and the how, we are no closer to the why.’
The New York Times, March 22, 2018
Watching the footage, nearly six months later, gives one an eerie feeling as you try to pin-point a tell-tale sign that this person was a terrorist. It is unnerving because even with his every movement laid out he gives away nothing.
The faces of the other hotel guests and staff were blurred to preserve their privacy. Paddock is the only person who appears throughout.
The clips begin when he appears and end after he leaves. On numerous occasions, the killer could be seen leaving the Mandalay Bay for his home in Mesquite.
He returns with a dark minivan loaded with suitcases. Over and over, valets take his keys; bellhops stack his luggage on gold carts and help him transport at least 21 bags over the course of seven days.
As they take the service elevator upstairs, Paddock chats with them makes jokes and tips them. None of them have an idea that the suitcases they are carrying are full of guns and ammunition.
Mandalay Bay employees are virtually the only people with whom the killer interacts with in the surveillance footage. He checks in at the V.I.P. desk, eats alone at the resort’s sushi restaurant, makes snack runs to the gift shop and gambles at the high-stakes video poker machines.
Casino hosts greet him in a regular manner and security cameras capture him celebrating a $1,000 win. But his movements are generally sedate, deliberate, and unobtrusive.
Toward the end of the footage, two guests carrying shiny plastic inner tubes get off the elevator, and Paddock pauses to let them off and then gets on. That was the afternoon of September 30, 2017, they seem to be on their way to the pool as he is on his way upstairs, where his guns await.