Las Vegas police have released documents detailing possible interactions members of the Las Vegas public had with a mass shooter who later took the lives of 58 people attending a country music concert across the street from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.
According to CBS news, the documents paint a picture of a man potentially in the midst of a psychotic break, repeating conspiracy theories to random strangers and exhibiting disquieting behavior to Mandalay Bay housekeeping staff.
At least two people report speaking to a man they believed to be the shooter, noting that the man “ranted” about the government and expressed paranoid delusions about being targeted and killed by agents.
One man, who gave a statement to law enforcement in November, says he encountered the shooter in the midst of a screaming fit, where the shooter accused the Federal Emergency Management Agency of creating “camps” after Hurricane Katrina that were experiments designed to test whether the federal government could effectively confiscate weapons.
Another woman told law enforcement that she ran into the shooter in a casino restaurant just days before the massacre, talking to another man about the government’s role in incidents in Waco, Texas, and at Ruby Ridge in Idaho.
A third person, a female housekeeper at Mandalay Bay, told police that the shooter stared daggers at her over a bowl of soup while she cleaned his room, just a day or two before he opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival from the same suite.
Police and the FBI were careful to note that they still do not have a motive for the shooter, and that some interactions could not be verified using casino surveillance equipment, so it’s not immediately clear whether any of the witness accounts — save for the shooter’s interactions with the woman cleaning — are definitive. The two witnesses who described speaking to the shooter told law enforcement that they couldn’t be 100% sure they were witnessing the same man, though they considered their interactions to be “strange.”
The cache of documents also contains witness statements from the night of the shooting — harrowing descriptions from shooting victims, their friends and family, and first responders who tended to the dead and wounded — and an account from a man who says he met the shooter in front of a Las Vegas sporting goods store to show him how to convert a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic one.
MGM Resorts, which operates Mandalay Bay, still maintains that, despite the shooter’s bizarre behavior, they had no indication he was planning a massacre from one of the hotel’s famed “panorama suites.”