After 10 months of investigation attempting to make some sense of what happened last October at the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police department is closing the case, leaving one big question unanswered – why?
The investigation did answer other key questions that arose immediately following the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, namely whether this "act of pure evil," as President Donald Trump described it, was an act of international terrorism or carried out by multiple people. Vegas police have concluded that the shooter, Stephen Paddock, acted alone, unaffiliated with any terrorist organization. According to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, no one else will be charged in connection to the tragedy.
As for his motive, police are left without answers after hundreds of interviews and thousands of hours of investigative work. Despite an early claim from the Islamic State, the FBI ruled out the theory that Paddock was a "soldier" who had recently been radicalized. Though there are no links to international terrorism, MGM Resorts International wants federal courts to qualify the shooting as an act of terrorism and absolve the company of any liability to the survivors and families of the victims, reports the Associated Press.
Lombardo was asked early on in the investigation about a motive for the attack, to which he answered: "I can't get into the mind of a psychopath at this point." While psychopathy is not the official motive, there is some truth to Lombardo's original assessment. Truly wrapping our minds around this chaotic tragedy would be near-impossible, even with all the answers.
With country singer Jason Aldean performing onstage, Paddock – a 64-year-old retiree from Mesquite, NV – fired an assault-style weapon fitted with rapid-fire "bump stock" device into the audience of 22,000 people attending the music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. In the blink of an eye, 59 people were dead and another 527 people were injured. Police found Paddock dead in his hotel room of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.