New reports have emerged saying that Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock attempted to buy tracer ammunition at a gun show in the Phoenix area in recent weeks. Tracer bullets are equipped with a pyrotechnic charge, so that when the round is fired, the shooter can see exactly where the bullet goes via the illuminated trace of its path.
Paddock purchased other ammunition at the show, but a law enforcement official who spoke to CNN said that they’ve learned he couldn’t obtain the tracer ammunition because the vendor didn’t have any to sell.
Paddock fired into a crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Sunday night from a suite he’d rented on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, hundreds of yards away, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more. If he had used tracer ammunition, he would have had a better idea of where his shots were going in the darkness, and could have been more accurate, explained the official.
In addition to the 23 weapons found in Paddock’s hotel suite, which he had fashioned into a sniper’s nest, police found more than 50 pounds of explosive material and 1,600 rounds of ammunition in his car in the hotel parking lot. Experts believe that this evidence means he likely intended to survive the massacre.
“He was doing everything possible to see how he could escape,” Las Vegas Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said, declining to detail specifics.
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