Police: Las Vegas Shooter Fired at Jet Fuel Tanks

  • VOA News

    October 14, 2017 08:32

    Authorities in Las Vegas think the shooter who targeted fans at a country music concert in the city two weeks ago intentionally fired on a pair of nearby aviation fuel tanks.

    Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told reporters Friday that Stephen Paddock shot at the fuel tanks at McCarran International Airport "with intent" to explode them.

    Lombardo said the airport had since been in contact with fuel storage experts who have advised it on further measures it could take to safeguard its supply. He noted there was a low probability that the aviation fuel could have been ignited with gunfire, because the tanks allow for the continual release of fuel vapors.

    The news came as police continued to sort out facts of the incident, in which Paddock killed 58 people and wounded hundreds before shooting himself.

    Two jet fuel storage tanks are pictured Oct. 5, 2017, near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, from which Stephen Paddock shot at concertgoers along the Las Vegas Strip four days earlier, in Las Vegas, Nevada. /Reuters

    ◆ Sticking with Timeline

    Lombardo said police were standing by the timeline they offered for the shooting, which has been questioned by officials from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, from which the gunman fired.

    According to Lombardo, Paddock began shooting at the concert crowd at 10:05 p.m. on Oct. 1. Six minutes earlier, Lombardo said, Paddock shot 200 bullets into the hallway outside his room, injuring a security guard. The timeline differs from the one put forward last week by police, in which they said Paddock shot the guard after opening fire on the crowd.

    Mandalay Bay officials have disputed the claim that six minutes elapsed between the confrontation with the security guard and the beginning of the concert shooting. Authorities have yet to release a motive in the shooting, though Lombardo said Friday that an autopsy had found no visual abnormalities in the shooter's brain.

    The sheriff said 45 victims remained hospitalized after the shooting, some in critical condition.

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