Monday, 20 May, 2019

Vegas gunman had emailed about bump stocks

Karenine Saint Louis Karenine Saint Louis
Patty Aguilar | 13 January, 2018, 23:16

A USA judge in Nevada unsealed documents Friday showing some of what federal agents learned about Stephen Paddock in the week after the Las Vegas shooting.

A federal judge Friday unsealed more than 300 pages of search warrants related to the mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and wounded hundreds, but the documents do little to reveal what prompted the attack.

Bump stocks believed to be used in the massacre were found in the 32nd-floor hotel room from where Stephen Paddock fired down on a crowd gathered on a Sunday night for the finale of a country music festival held on the Las Vegas Strip.

The Las Vegas gunman exchanged emails about buying rifles and bump stocks months before he carried out the deadliest mass shooting in modern USA history using guns equipped with the device that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire almost as fast as automatic ones.

The emails discussing bump stocks appeared to be sent between two accounts on July 6, both of which were run by Paddock, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The search warrants covered electronic accounts of Paddock and his girlfriend, Marilou Danley.

In the court documents, which detail some of the early days of the investigation, 64-year-old gunman Stephen Paddock is described as spending significant time amassing his weapons and stockpiling ammunition while also seeking "to thwart the eventual law enforcement investigation" into the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

The documents, which were released in response to a lawsuit filed by several media organizations, include more than a dozen search warrant affidavits.

Myanmar authorities charge Reuters journalists with obtaining state secrets
Government spokesman U Zaw Htay declined to comment when asked if the two officers had been or would also be charged. In a report, United Nations investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

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Other searches were conducted at a house the gunman owned in Reno where agents found a red SUV.

That would mean "investigators need to determine who was communicating with him about weapons that were used in the attack", one of the warrants said.

The FBI affidavit states that when investigators took a DNA sample from Danley, "she spontaneously stated that her fingerprints would likely be found on Paddock's ammunition because she occasionally participated in loading magazines".

One agent wrote that he believed "if there were any information related to a potential conspiracy, it would be found within" the locked phones.

However, the agent said authorities hadn't ruled her out as a person of interest. In fact, Paddock took a number of steps aimed at tripping up investigators, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation team trying to get to the bottom of the shooting wrote that the 64-year-old exhibited "a level of sophistication which is commonly found in mass casualty events".

They also show that agents sought the email, Facebook and Instagram accounts of Paddock's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who was in the Philippines during the October 1 shooting. She was out of the country when the attack happened, and Danley said after the shooting that she was in the Philippines at the time because Paddock had bought her a ticket to visit family.

More than 1,000 rounds of rifle ammunition and 100 pounds of explosive material were discovered in Paddock's vehicle, while 18 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition were found in his Mesquite home.

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