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Las Vegas gunman may have booked rooms overlooking Lollapalooza in Chicago

Matt Pearce and Matt Hamilton, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LAS VEGAS -- Police said Thursday they are examining reports that the gunman who fired on a country music festival in Las Vegas also booked rooms in a Chicago hotel overlooking the massive Lollapalooza music festival, the latest new line of inquiry as investigators try to retrace the killer's steps in the days and weeks before the attack.

TMZ reported that Stephen Paddock, 64, booked two rooms facing Grant Park, where the festival was held Aug. 3-6, at the Blackstone Hotel, an upscale downtown hotel across the street, but he never showed.

"We can confirm that a reservation was made under the name Stephen Paddock, however authorities have not confirmed that this is the same person as the Las Vegas shooter," said hotel spokeswoman Emmy Carragher, adding that the guest never arrived. "We are cooperating with the authorities on this matter."

Lollapalooza draws hundreds of thousands of music fans every year, and this summer the shows attendees included Malia Obama, the daughter of former President Barack Obama.

The news comes after officials revealed Wednesday that Paddock had also booked an AirBnb in a condo building overlooking the Life Is Beautiful music festival in Las Vegas in late September, leading investigators to gather video footage from the building to learn more.

"Was he doing pre-surveillance? We don't know yet," Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Wednesday.

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Paddock ultimately shot into a crowd of more than 21,000 country music fans at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday night from a suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino hotel, where he gambled before the attack. The attack left 58 victims dead and nearly 500 people wounded. Paddock killed himself.

Paddock also opened fire at two large jet fuel storage tanks a block away from the festival grounds, which are near McCarran International Airport, but the tanks did not ignite, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Officials are still trying to understand what happened during the shooting. Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell said Thursday that the fire alarms in Mandalay Bay were triggered during the shooting, but he did not know whether this was caused by gun smoke, a person pulling the alarm or some other aspect of the police response.

Firefighters on the ground saw flashing lights above and only later determined that the alarm had not been set off by flames.


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