Las Vegas shooter had plans to escape after massacre, may have had accomplice, sheriff says

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 12:13 PM

New Details Emerge On Las Vegas Shooter, Stephen Paddock

The shooter in the massacre at a Las Vegas music festival Sunday night planned to escape from the hotel room where he carried out the attack and may have had an accomplice, authorities said at a Wednesday night press conference covered by the major news and cable networks.

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Investigators said Stephen Paddock, 64, meticulously planned the worst attack in modern history, which left 59 people dead, including the gunman, and injured hundreds more at the Route 91 Festival. Investigators also said that those plans included his escape from the sniper nest he created in a suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

A security guard, who pinpointed Paddock’s room as the source of the attack, may have interrupted those plans, authorities said. 

“He was doing everything possible to see how he could escape at this point,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told reporters Wednesday night, but Lombardo did not elaborate on what those plans might have been.

>> Read the latest on the Las Vegas shootings

Investigators also believe Paddock may have had an accomplice. He managed to get 10 large bags filled with what authorities believe was weapons and ammunition into the hotel and up to the room. 

“It’s troublesome that this individual was able to move this amount of gear into a hotel room unassisted. It’s troublesome for the amount of stuff he had at both residences, unassisted. There’s people that know this individual. There’s people that could help us understand this individual,” Lombardo said.

Police know very little about Paddock so far. Lombardo said even FBI profilers are stumped over him. Usually there’s a sign that a person would plan and execute a mass killing like what happened in Las Vegas Sunday, but investigators have not been able to find it. 

“What could be more beneficial than to find people that associated with him, either by friendship or an accomplice?” Lombardo said.

>>Related: Who is Stephen Paddock, the shooter killed in Las Vegas?

The FBI is confident authorities will learn more about both the attack and Paddock, too.

“We will get to the bottom of this, no matter how long it takes,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron Rouse said.

Paddock may have planned for other attacks, too.

Paddock had rented rooms at the Ogden Hotel in downtown Las Vegas on Sept. 22 through Sept. 24. The reasons for doing so are unknown, Lombardo said, but it happened during the Life is Beautiful alternative music festival.

>> Related: Doctors who treated Pulse victims prepared Las Vegas hospital for mass shooting

“Was it presurveillance? We don’t know, yet,” Lombardo said

He also booked rooms in Chicago in a hotel facing the Lollapalooza music Festival in Grant Park in early August, according to USA Today.

Thousands of music fans attend the festival every year.

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Police tell man ‘Congratulations, that’s a felony’ after arrest on impersonating US Marshal charge

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 12:21 PM

"Congratulations, That's A Felony": Man Impersonates US Marshall

When you’re going to impersonate a law enforcement officer, the last person you want to tell that you’re a cop, is a cop.

But that’s what police in Boynton Beach said happened at a Florida Best Buy.

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According to the police report, officers were called to the store when a man that employees suspected of stealing an iPhone X a few days earlier entered the business.

The employee called to have John O’Grady, 61, removed from the store for trespassing

When officers approached the Boynton Beach man, he said he was a U.S. marshal. The pin on his gray suit, the badge and the gun seemed to confirm that.

But O’Grady didn’t have identification nor could he name his supervisor. 

He eventually conceded that no, he was not a U.S. marshal, and the “firearm” on his hip was a BB gun. 

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Police can be heard on the body camera video telling O’Grady, “Congratulations, that’s a felony,” once they found a badge on his belt saying that he was a U.S. marshal.

Authorities arrested O’Grady on charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer and retail theft. They reportedly found the stolen iPhone in O’Grady’s vehicle. 

O’Grady was released later that afternoon from the Palm Beach County Jail on a $6,000 surety bond, records show. 

John O'Grady

Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.


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Girl shot in Maryland school shooting taken off life support, dies

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

Girl Shot In Maryland High School Shooting Dies After Taken Off Life Support

One of two victims of a school shooting in Maryland has died. 

Jaelynn Rose Willey, 16, was taken off of life support Thursday. She died a few hours later at 11:34 p.m. Thursday night, WRC reported.

Willey was injured earlier this week when a student with whom she had a previous relationship shot her in the head in the hallway of Great Mills High School, WRC reported.

This undated photo provided by the Willey family shows Jaelynn Willey. A teenager armed with a handgun shot and critically wounded Willey inside a Maryland school on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, and the shooter was killed when a school resource officer confronted him moments after the gunfire erupted. A third student was in good condition after he was shot.(Courtesy of the Willey family via AP)

Officials with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office announced Willey’s death Friday morning, WBAL reported.

She was one of nine children in the Willey family. Family members said she helped take care of the other children every day, WRC reported.

The gunman died after he and a school resource officer exchanged gunfire; however, officials have not released if it was the officer’s shot that killed the teen gunman, or if he killed himself, WBAL reported.

Another student, Desmond Barnes, 14, was shot in the leg, WRC reported. He was released from a hospital Wednesday, WBAL reported.

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Who is John Bolton, H.R. McMaster’s replacement?

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 8:44 AM

Who Is H.R. McMaster, Trump’s National Security Adviser

On Thursday, President Donald Trump named John Bolton as his new national security adviser.

Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was tapped to replace H.R. McMaster. 

Bolton, 69, has a long history of work in Washington D.C., including leadership roles at the State and Justice departments and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

McMaster replaced Retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn after Flynn was fired 24 days into the Trump administration. Last, fall Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to investigators in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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Bolton will take over the job on April 9.

Here are a few things to know about Bolton:

  • Bolton, a strong supporter of American military might, served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
  • He was one of President George W. Bush’s lawyers during the Florida vote recount in the 2000 presidential election.
  • From 1985–1989, he was the assistant attorney general at the Justice Department. 
  • From 1989–1993, he was the assistant secretary for International Organization Affairs at the State Department.
  • In May 2001, Bolton was named the under secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.
  • Between 1999 and 2001, he served on the board of the Committee for International Religious Freedom. 
  • Bolton served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations under George W. Bush. However, Senate Democrats and some Republicans blocked his nomination in 2005. He became ambassador by recess appointment from Bush.
  • Bolton is considered a “super” hawk by some in Washington. According to a profile from Reuters, he kept a defused hand grenade on his desk during his time at the State Department.
  • He recently wrote a commentary piece in the Wall Street Journal titled, “The legal case for striking North Korea first.” 
  • He considered running for president in the 2012 election. 
  • In a December 2012 interview with Greta Van Susteren, he said Hillary Clinton faked a concussion so she would not have to testifying before Congress about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. 
  • Bolton was senior vice president for public policy research at the American Enterprise Institute. The AEI is a public policy research institute.
  • He has been a Fox News contributor.
  • He’s written several books including “Surrender is not an Option,” and “How Barack Obama is Endangering Our National Sovereignty.”
  • Donald Trump considered Bolton for his Secretary of State
  • He was interviewed for the job of national security adviser after Flynn was fired.

FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2017, file photo, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference(CPAC)

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George Clooney writes open letter to Parkland students: ‘Amal and I stand behind you’

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 11:42 AM

Parkland Shooting Victims Receive $500,000 Donation From George, Amal Clooney

Student journalists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have taken over The Guardian’s website ahead of the March for Our Lives.

The school’s Eagle Eye newspaper is covering event, in which students will march in Washington, D.C., to advocate for action against gun violence.

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The newspaper reached out to politicians and celebrities, including George and Amal Clooney, who donated $500,000 to the march, for an interview. 

“They turned us down on the interview, but we loved the letter George sent us back,” the Eagle Eye staff said.

Related: George, Amal Clooney donate $500K to Parkland survivors; Oprah matches amaount

In his letter to the students, Clooney said he and his wife, Amal Clooney, are “100 percent” behind the movement and will be at the March on Saturday. Clooney also emphasized that the march is for the students, and offered options for coverage.

“Amal and I are 100% behind you and will be marching in DC on the 24th, but we both feel very strongly that this is your march. Your moment,” Clooney wrote. “Young people are taking it to the adults and that has been your most effective tool. The fact that no adults will speak on the stage in DC is a powerful message to the world that if we can’t do something about gun violence then you will. The issue is going to be this, anyone you ask would feel proud to be interviewed by you but it’s so much more effective if it’s young people.

“You could talk to a dozen kids like the young kids from Chicago and LA that Emma met with. You could take over the Guardian and make it tell the stories of children by children. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to point to this moment and say it belongs to you. You certainly should do what you want but that would be my hope for you.

“Amal and I stand behind you, in support of you, in gratitude to you. 

“You make me proud of my country again.”

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