Sheriff: Evidence suggests the Las Vegas gunman was planning to escape the hotel after his massacre

A Las Vegas police officer stands guard as traffic continues to be blocked on the Las Vegas Strip after a lone gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Mark Ralston/ AFP/ Getty Images.

The Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said that he believed there was evidence Las Vegas mass murderer Stephen Paddock may have had additional plans after his gun rampage Sunday night.

“Did you see any evidence that he planned to survive this, or try to escape,” a reporter asked during a Wednesday night press briefing.

“Yes,” Lombardo answered succinctly, without elaborating further.

Lombardo referenced cameras that Paddock had rigged inside and outside of his hotel suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino — a tactic seen by investigators as a means to monitor and fend off law-enforcement officers in the hotel hallway.

The sheriff also mentioned the gunman’s vehicle, which had multiple containers of the explosive material, Tannerite, and 1,600 rounds of ammunition inside. It was not immediately clear what, if any, additional plans Paddock may have had in the event he was able to leave the scene before police arrived.

The gunfire lasted for about 10 minutes Sunday night, beginning around 10:05 p.m. PDT, Lombardo said. Fifty-eight people were killed and many hundreds were injured. The shooter had nearly two dozen firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition in the hotel suite.

Paddock killed himself as police descended on his room.

Lombardo said Wednesday night that investigators were trying to figure out whether Paddock had any help collecting his arsenal or planning the rampage, which, in the days since the shooting, had proven to be meticulously planned out. The investigation is ongoing.

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