Among the many items found by investigator in Stephen Paddock’s Mandalay Bay hotel room after the murderer committed suicide: a piece of paper with numbers the shooter had written down.
A note with numbers written on it was found in Paddock’s room, a source close to the investigation told CNN on Friday. The New York Times reported that authorities are trying to analyze the meaning, but Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department didn’t elaborate on whether they are significant or not.
Now investigators believe the numbers were ballistic calculations Paddock had done to improve the accuracy of his shots on the concert crowd below.
A law enforcement official says investigators believe a note found in the Las Vegas shooter’s hotel room contained a series of numbers that helped him calculate more precise shots.
The official says Saturday that the numbers found on a note on a nightstand included the distance between the high-rise hotel room that Stephen Paddock was using as a perch and the concert the victims were attending.
So Paddock took the time to calculate distance and bullet drop in order to be more precise…and then used at least one of twelve bump-fire equipped rifles which are notoriously inaccurate.
According to CNN, he also likely intended to use tracer ammunition.
Paddock tried to buy tracer ammunition at a gun show in the Phoenix area in recent weeks, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told CNN.
Paddock bought other ammunition at the show, but he couldn’t obtain the tracer ammunition — bullets with a pyrotechnic charge that, when the round is fired, leaves an illuminated trace of its path — because the vendor didn’t have any to sell, the official said.
Had Paddock acquired and used tracers during the attack, that might have given away his position to law enforcement before the gunfire tripped the in-room smoke detector, which directed a security guard to investigate. According to reports, Paddock shot himself after firing 200 rounds at the security guard as the unarmed guard approached the room.