FBI: Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooter Stephen Paddock Sought ‘Infamy’
As the Las Vegas and country music communities continue to grapple with the aftermath of the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting, the question of why shooter Stephen Paddock chose to carry out the massacre has remained a mystery. Now, Las Vegas FBI agent Aaron Rouse says that the rampage was likely motivated by a thirst for mass destruction so horrific it would never be forgotten.
"It wasn't about MGM, Mandalay Bay or a specific casino or venue," states Rouse, as reported by the Tennesseean. "It was all about doing the maximum amount of damage and him obtaining some form of infamy."
The Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting took place on Oct. 1, 2017, during Jason Aldean's headlining set on the final day of the annual country music festival. Paddock, a retired postal service worker who acted alone, unleashed more than 1,000 rounds into the crowd from the window of a nearby hotel, using assault-style rifles that were mostly fitted with "bump stock" devices and high-capacity magazines. He murdered 58 people, injured hundreds of others, and then fatally shot himself. The massacre remains the country's deadliest non-war mass shooting to date.
In August of 2018, officials closed their investigation into the event without determining the attacker's motive. According to Rouse, despite months of study by FBI agents and behavioral specialists, the exact reasons for Paddock's action still isn't totally clear. According to police, he spent more than $1.5 million in the two years that led up to the shooting, and began to amass a cache of weapons about a year before unleashing his attack.
A longtime loner, Paddock became even more distant from his friends and family, and sent his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, to visit family in the Philippines two weeks prior to the event. After learning of the tragedy and returning home, Danley related to authorities that Paddock said doctors had told him he had an incurable "chemical imbalance."
In December of 2018, representatives from the Route 91 Harvest Festival's parent company, Live Nation, stated that they hoped to bring the event back, possibly in 2019.
"Route 91 here in Las Vegas is one of my kids," explained Julie Matway, the chief operating officer of Live Nation's festival division, Country Nation. "I am looking forward to how and when we are going to bring that back...hopefully we will get in online for 2019."
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