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Sheriff's update: Las Vegas gunman planned to escape, may have had an accomplice

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Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on Wednesday announced that the department had acquired evidence indicating Stephen Paddock — the 64-year-old gunman responsible for the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history — planned to escape after the attack.

The mass shooting in Las Vegas left nearly 60 dead and close to 500 people injured.

Lombardo noted that Paddock may have had an accomplice, but added that Paddock was solely responsible for executing the ambush.

What did Lombardo say?

Lombardo would not elaborate on the LVMPD's latest evidence or provide details, as the investigation is still ongoing.

The sheriff said that instead of escaping, Paddock turned the gun on himself as law enforcement converged on his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

"[Paddock] was doing everything possible to see how he could escape at this point," Lombardo said.

Lombardo reported that a note was left at the crime scene, but was adamant that the letter was not a suicide note. He declined to provide details on the note's contents.

According to Lombardo, law enforcement discovered 1,600 rounds of ammunition in Paddock's car, as well as 50 pounds of explosives.

"Do you think this was all accomplished on his own?" Lombardo asked. "You've got to make the assumption he had to have some help at some point."

Lombardo said that due to the sheer amount of weaponry stashed in Paddock's car, coupled with evidence that Paddock planned out the shooting quite meticulously, it seemed unlikely that Paddock planned the act alone.

"It's troublesome this individual was able to move this amount of gear into a hotel room unassisted," Lombardo said. "It's troublesome for the amount of stuff he had at both residences unassisted."

What other behind-the-scenes information do we know about the shooter at this point?

  • Paddock's motive remains unknown, but Las Vegas's police chief said the attack on the concertgoers was "obviously premeditated."
  • Paddock reportedly purchased 33 guns in the past year and had been stockpiling weaponry since 1982.
  • At least 19 more firearms, explosives, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and electronic devices were found at Paddock’s house.
  • Police said he had no significant criminal record.
  • Paddock's father was a convicted bank robber.
  • Marilou Danley, the shooter's girlfriend, released a statement on Wednesday denying any knowledge of the attack. A portion of her statement read, "I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man. ... 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."
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