A photo allegedly showing Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock dead is going viral on the internet as the first official images of the shooter’s hotel room have emerged.
Police say the 64-year-old Paddock barricaded himself into a hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, using a variety of high-powered weapons to open fire on a country music festival taking place below. The attack left 59 people dead and hundreds injured, and it has left investigators searching for a motive for the largest single mass shooting in American history.
Family members and neighbors said that Paddock was just an average man; albeit wealthy. He had no strong political or religious beliefs and showed no signs of extremism that could have led to such a massacre, those close to the shooter said.
While the reason for the shooting remains unclear, some evidence from inside the hotel room has started to trickle out. A series of unverified photos of Paddock’s hotel room were published by Boston 25 News, showing military-style weapons and scattered ammunition.
The pictures seemed to verify police accounts that Stephen Paddock was heavily armed, with a reported 18 high-powered rifles found in the hotel room. Some of those images can be seen below.
Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock had government jobs, bought 33 weapons last year https://t.co/3gOai7WLYo— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 4, 2017
But as pictures emerge from inside the hotel room, one more viral photo claims to show Stephen Paddock dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. This unverified photo was shared by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on his Twitter page (because of the graphic nature of the photo, this report will not link directly to the Jones tweet).
Vegas updates, per sheriff:— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) October 2, 2017
•59 killed, 527 injured
•Stephen Paddock had 16 guns in hotel room, 18 in home
•Police recovered "thousands of rounds" of ammunition from home
•He also had the explosive Tannerite and "several pounds" of ammonium nitrate in carhttps://t.co/EseZTTULlm
There was some immediate debate over whether the Stephen Paddock death photo was legitimate. Some commenters pointed out inconsistencies, including shell casings that ended up on top of blood gathered around the dead man’s body, which would not seem possible given that his shooting would have stopped immediately after he was killed.
Others noted Alex Jones’ spotty track record, as the controversial radio and television host had pushed a number of theories that were later debunked and had been known to pass information and evidence verified to be false.
But other aspects of the alleged Stephen Paddock death photo matched up with the other photos released from inside the hotel room, including the pattern of the hotel carpet.
Despite no evidence that the photo of Stephen Paddock dead is legitimate, the image has still gone viral on social media, generating thousands of likes and shares.
[Featured Image by David Becker/Getty Images]