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Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock also targeted two jet fuel tanks during his Mandalay Bay concert shooting spree.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Route 91 Harvest music festival crowd wasn’t Stephen Paddock’s only target. He also fired at two jet fuel tanks about 650 yards from the Mandalay Bay hotel, striking them twice.

The bullets left two holes in one of two circular white tanks. One of the bullets penetrated the tank, but did not cause a fire or explosion near the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, another knowledgeable source said late Wednesday.

The tanks are roughly 1,100 feet from the concert site, where Paddock killed 58 people and wounded almost 500. Several airplane hangars belonging to prominent corporations are also near the tanks.

What Paddock didn’t know is that fuel — anything from a car’s gas tank to those holding thousands of gallons of jet fuel — isn’t easily ignited.

A source knowledgeable about airport operations said jet fuel is hard to ignite and tanks like those across from Mandalay Bay have mechanisms in place to prevent fires.

Mike Boyd, a Colorado-based aviation consultant, echoed those words.

“A machine gun is not going to blow up a tank of fuel,” Boyd said. “Jet fuel itself sitting there in a big wet pile is very hard to ignite. You have to be a very amateur terrorist to think anything like that.”

The tanks have since been inspected and repaired.


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  1. I’m starting to actually believe ISIS when they are saying Vegas guy was a recently converted jihadist.

  2. Well, isn’t that fun.

    I still have a hard time accepting that because this shithead murdered people at a concert and tried to blow up an airport’s fuel tanks, society — for some stupid reason — expects ME to act like the inanimate objects I legally own are somehow responsible for this and any future acts of madmen and terrorists.

  3. I’m calling bullshit on that.

    Just because two rounds hit the tanks doesn’t mean they were intentionally targeted.

    If he just wanted to blow up the tanks he would have used the right ammo and would not have brought a few dozen backups.

    The guy knew plenty about plenty, and those shots were a coincidence.

    • Exactly, random shots due to muzzle rise and the vagaries of spewing lead with bump stock fitted AR’s…. If he wanted to ignite fuel, lots more rounds with a tracer every 3 or 4 would be at least possible, yeah?

      • Tracers aren’t very good for actually igniting things. You can get incendiary 5.56 and .308 though, but dumb libbies don’t know the difference..

        • Even if he had used such ammo, would it have still been burning (or hot enough) at that distance?

    • Going from ~300 yds to ~700 yds in a totally different direction and at a downward angle is tough to blame on recoil/stray fire, indiscriminate area fire or not. My guess is he popped off a few dozen rounds toward the tanks with a scoped rifle, hit the equivalent of the broad side of a barn twice, and gave up thinking he was either missing or not causing any damage.

      • Yeah, I mean I’d have to see the evidence myself, so it’s hard to say whether this has any merit or not, but it does seem plausible.

        • He also had tannerite in the trunk of his car didnt he? Youd figure with that much planning, he would have used that instead.

        • I kinda feel like while he did seem to meticulously plan some parts of his bloodbath on others he was lucky. He probably thought the tanks would ignite because of movies and TV.

        • I’m just grateful it was a country music concert… a few less folks with no appreciation of real music who like to nuzzle Donald Hump’s bottom… next time bring bazookas and RPGs : D
          And where are all the heroes with CCHs? Probably soiled themselves so their crap made the handle too slippery… bunch of donkeys, give Paddock credit, decent effort… now if someone would just drop a grenade in Chumps pocket (only fantasizing Secret Service, no need to visit me) But honestly all y’all on here can suck a fucking cawk,OK!? How’s that!!?

        • While I don’t care for most of JohnZorn’s comment, being ignorant at least and classist at best, I will say that I’m open to his final suggestion. But then I realized he meant it like a schoolyard insult, so I’m going to add homophobic to that list, too.

    • This is Las Vegas. Gunfire is not an uncommon event, just like in any city in the US.
      So far, unless there’s an actual bullet linked to the rifles this sicko used found in the tank (good luck with that), the idea that he fired on the fuel tanks is pure speculation, nothing more.
      Let’s not forget that there are all sorts of so-called knowledgeable sources spewing nonsense based on some conspiracy theory or other. Rumors run rampant. There were supposed to be belt-fed machine guns on tripods, remember?
      A filter should be used between “news” and our minds in the case of any spectacular incident like this one. Attention seekers will always put out some fake news just to see it passed on.

  4. “What Paddock didn’t know is that fuel — anything from a car’s gas tank to those holding thousands of gallons of jet fuel — isn’t easily ignited.-”
    So…more Hollywood lies…you can’t blow up a car by just shooting the fuel tank? you can’t blow up a huge gas tank by just shooting it?
    Maybe if you use a tracer round…but nut usually with a regular bullet.
    Maybe he DID know it…thus the reason only 2 rounds went that way. Possibly stray shots.
    Was this guy on any meds the last year or so?

    • The Mythbusters (I know they liked to spout “SCIENCE” at every available turn and yet did virtually nothing scientifically) tried blowing up LP tanks with various types of rounds. API and tracer rounds would just penetrate through and through without igniting shit. They finally used a minigun loaded with API rounds and the sheer volume of flaming bullets finally lit it up. No boom, just blow torches out all the little holes. Single shots did jack shit, no matter the type of round. And this was easy to ignite propane, not jet fuel that burns much like diesel fuel.

      • I’m guessing that they used full LP tanks. Tanks that are 20-30% full are a lot more explosive, as the fuel-air mixture is not too rich to facilitate combustion. I saw a mostly-empty 1lb LP tank with a small fire beside it shot with a 12ga slug; the tank detonated and broke rock in a 20ft radius with its frag pattern.

        • That is a burst due to over pressure, not an explosion due to it being shot. There is a huge difference. LPG tanks are internally purged before filling so there is NO air or a very minimal amount in the tank (moisture can cause valves freezing.)

        • Yeah, pretty much a BLEVE with an ignition source nearby. The mythbusters were using full tanks. Didn’t find a video of the minigun on YouTube and the other shots were pretty lame with the dumbass squad doing the shooting.

        • LP tanks an dangerous inside, where the gas can mix with the air in a contained area before ignition, outside, not so much

      • Do not confuse the Mythbusters with actual scientists, oranything other than a crew who made props for movies and TV. Their forte is knowing how to build stuff. Their advosors got it wrong a lot of times, as viewers (and subsequent episodes often showed).
        Their explanation of a tracer round had the incendiary part on the nose of the bullet, ignited by air friction as the bullet flew. So much for their expertise on things gun related.

  5. I am amazed you can control a bump fire stock at over 330 yards well enough to hit a person. I’d assume most of the wounded was from the initial burst, with many others being injured in panic tramples. I wonder if he had an actual automatic.

    • He couldn’t have NOT hit a person.

      I doubt he was aiming at individuals, he was firing indiscriminately at an area of the planet that happened to be made of people from 0′ to 7’0″ up.

  6. Just shows that not every smart guy is smart about everything. Any decent research would taught him that shooting the tanks would not cause a combustible reaction. He might have just been bored, though, since he didn’t dump a full mag into the tanks.

  7. What if he was trying to shoot something nearby the tanks, instead? Looking at Google Maps, there are several private (and possibly government?) air terminals nearby. Was there a flight or group of flights he had a problem with?

  8. The guy was a pilot. I’m sure he knew that these tanks weren’t gonna be penetrated and that the fuel would not ignite easily.

  9. But wait, in movies and TV shows, gas tanks always blow up, and silencers make gunshots barely audible. Are we sure the shooter wasn’t a legislator?

    • And as Shaggy and Scooby looked on, Velma ripped off the shooter’s mask

      “Senator Feinstein!” Fred exclaimed.

      • “I’d have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for you kids!” D. Feinstein. (D) Senator California.

  10. If he had planned to shoot at the tanks, given his budget, I am sure he would have brought the correct weapons and ammo. I won’t go into details here, but I think most could surmise what I mean.

  11. AND it was just reported the shooter(?) was seen with a mystery gal NOT being the Filipino woman…this whole thing stinks😡😡

  12. Given how carefully he appears to have planned everything else, I have to assume that this was a target of opportunity.

    If he had planned to shoot the oil tanks with the same level of detail he had put into the attack on the concert ground(s) (I add the plural because now it appears he scoped out other concert venues), he would have purchased a a more suitable rifle for the task.

    • DG, it was tanks of Jet-A. Even with a heavy rifle, I doubt even with the HE ammo you’re thinking of he could get a *boom*.

      Likely the best he could expect to get are 1/2 inch leaks that could be plugged fairly quickly, unless the tank level was below the POI, because I doubt they maintain positive pressure with inert gas…

  13. His reason to have AR-10s?

    Seems more like a terrorist attack… Shooting at fuel tanks and having 50 pounds of tannerite in your car…

    I wonder wear he parked his car. Was he able to fire on his car to ignite the tannerite?

  14. Just random speculation on my part and based solely on the graphic used at the head of this post….

    Shoot the gas tanks in the hopes of making Big Boom.

    Big Boom drives people away from the Boom, which is towards his position in the hotel.

    Shoot into approaching crowd for maximum Screams and Terror and Death.

    no, I am not some kind of sociopath. I have, however, seen enough hollywood movies to evaluate the plot points and camera angles to come up with ideas.

  15. “Jet” fuel is nothing more than diesel. That’s why everything in the Army runs on JP-8, including it’s helicopters.
    Now, if he was shooting at the 100LL avgas tanks…

    • “Now, if he was shooting at the 100LL avgas tanks…”

      Exactly, but being an international airport, the total volume of 100LL they sell means they are likely the smallest tanks there..

    • JP-8 and Jet-A are actually kerosene based but yeah, it’s basically just really clean diesel fuel with little lubricant properties.

  16. he put two holes in steel thick enough to hold hundreds of thousands if not a million pounds of liquid at 650 yards

    and when they designed this tank they at least as likely as not had to have at least thought about using a type of metal that would be thick enough and strong enough to keep people from doing what he is alleged to have done

    would .308 even do that at that range even with ap ammo

    im significantly skeptical a .308 would do that

    its hard to hit a cylinder even that big at that range and it not be at least a slight glancing blow

    thats how tank armor works

    so what did he or SOMEBODY ELSE have that were not being told

    today theyre saying a rifle he bought sunday isnt in his car or the hotel room

    the whole thing stinks

    its wierd

    it doesnt add up

    not yet anyway

    lets not ban anything just yet shall we

    if any of us were a lefty and had an axe to grind with the 2nd amendment and had two brain cells to rub together and wanted to do something that was going to put an insurmountable amount of pressure on people to ban guns we would do something that wouldnt look significantly different than what happened

    bump fire stocks…check

    extra high capacity 90 round mags…check

    dozens of guns…check

    thousands of rounds of ammo…check

    its all right there people

    its just like jack reacher…he figured out it was a setup because the crime scene was A BIT TOO PERFECT

    thats what were looking at here

    • Only one of the bullets penetrated the tank.
      And so far, these bullet strikes can’t be attributed to the sicko involved; gunshots in Vegas are not uncommon. That the strikes were discovered now does not mean he put them there.

  17. I want to know morw about the video showing live fire coming from the 4th floor of Mandaly Bay Hotel

    • They must have replaced that broken window pretty fast. Windows dont open in casino hotel rooms. And if you listen to the sound, there is no screaming, and no echoes, or the bullet crack you can hear in other videos. That one is really convenient, and fake.

  18. People are, IMHO, attributing too much stupidity to this guy.

    Fuels like this are not flammable until mixed with air with the fuel as a mist or vapor. Punching holes in the tank wouldn’t cause an explosion unless the tank was mostly empty and you put something like a tracer into the top (vapor filled) portion of the tank.

    However, as anyone who has ever played with inflammable liquids knows, once you pour a bunch of that shit on the ground you end up with a vapor cloud that sits on top of the liquid. So… Spill a bunch and then hit the spill with a tracer and you have a big fire very, very fast and burning next to a tank full of fuel…

    Just sayin’.

    • “…and you have a big fire very, very fast and burning next to a tank full of fuel…”

      I’m inclined to believe Vegas fire codes require them to have an automated fire suppression system integrated in the tank farm, to deal with a potential spill – fire on the tank pads.

      Governments tend to get kinda pissy about stuff like that that when that much fuel is that close to such a high concentration of people, like the Vegas strip.

      At the least, it’s berm can handle a total tank failure.

      But I well could be wrong on that one…

  19. Only TWO ROUNDS? It’s just as likely they were errant shots. A couple of rounds that got away from him as he was shooting. If he actually targeted the tanks while firing as fast as the video shows he was I’d expect more than two holes.

    And the guy was a pilot…..he had owned planes. He would CERTAINLY know how difficult it is to ignite liquid fuel.

  20. He had a pilot’s license and didn’t know anything about jetfuel (or avgas)? Come on…… At this point I don’t believe anything that comes out of the media anymore.

  21. Remember, the guy was a pilot too. I’m sure he knew the capabilities of the Jet-A tanks he was shooting at. He would also know how lacking the airport security is around the rest of most airports. Most airports only really have security in the main terminals. If he really wanted to blow up those tanks he would have left his 50 pounds of tannerite by one and tried to hit that with one of his .308s or similar. (Source: I’m a pilot)

    Looking at the layout, I bet that he just had huge muzzle rise from some of his long bursts, or that he was just waving it around. I bet as time goes on they find more and more bullet holes in random places down range.

  22. Too bad we are seeing so much fake news here. Just the other day TTAG stated he could not have used bump fire stocks because it wouldn’t work using bi-pods. Now we are reading articles suggesting a pilot would not have known about jet fuel being as combustible as kerosene. Please get your facts before you write.

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