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The Latest In The Investigation Into Las Vegas Mass Shooting


The marquees on the Las Vegas Strip went dim at 10:05 last night. That marked the moment where a week earlier a gunman had opened fire on thousands of concertgoers. He killed 58 and wounded hundreds more. And despite an exhaustive investigation, one question remains unanswered. Why? Why did he do it? NPR's Leila Fadel now joins us from Las Vegas with the latest. And Leila, the latest doesn't include any more information as to the motive of the gunman, does it?

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: That's right. At least publicly, there is still no answer that law enforcement have on why he did that - that big question. Over the weekend, the shooter's brother, Eric Paddock, flew into Las Vegas. I spoke to him briefly on the phone, and he confirmed that he did get in as was reported in a local paper. Also, the county commissioner, Steve Sisolak, who represents the district where the Strip is located, says he's being briefed by investigators. And he said the brother - the shooter's brother is here and has said to the FBI and law enforcement that he wants to help them understand his brother.

Authorities have done extensive interviews with the brother, with the girlfriend, with anyone that they know of who has come in contact with him. But they're really coming up empty on why he did this. Even casino hosts, whose whole job is to know everything possible about the big spenders at their casinos, don't really know that much. Here's what Sisolak had to say about the incident and the shooter.


STEVE SISOLAK: It was well-planned-out. I don't think he's crazy. I don't think he had mental illness. I think this individual clearly knew what he was doing. This was planned out to amass the amount of weaponry and ammunition that he did over an extended period of time by going to different states and different gun places. That's not somebody that's got a mental health issue. That's somebody that just - I don't know what made him snap, what made him want to do this.

FADEL: Now, Sisolak says there's a lot of frustration over this. But in the end, why the shooter did it won't change what happened, won't change the number of people that were killed.

SIEGEL: What happens to Las Vegas now? The city is a tourist mecca.

FADEL: You know, that's also really something that the city is grappling with. They've been hesitant to talk - officials have been hesitant to talk about tourism when so many people have died. But this is a place that runs and lives on tourism. And I asked Sisolak about that, and he says Las Vegas is a safe city, and this could have happened anywhere. It could have happened in any city in America because this person was clearly determined to hurt people, he says. And so he's asking people who have come to Las Vegas, enjoyed their time in Las Vegas to keep coming, to be there for Las Vegas when they really, really need them.

SIEGEL: Millions have been raised - millions of dollars been donated for the many victims of the shooting. How will that money be distributed?

FADEL: That's right. There are more than $10 million that has - that have been raised from 83,000 different people, donated into a funding campaign that was started by Sisolak and also the sheriff here. And they're consulting - the city, the county is consulting with people like Kenneth Feinberg. He's best known for administering the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. And he's consulting on best ways to get this money directly to the victims. He also consulted after other horrible tragedies like the Boston bombing, like the Pulse nightclub shooting. And $10 million sounds like a lot of money. There's also some money also coming from casinos. But in the end, there are hundreds of people that were wounded in this incident.

SIEGEL: And remind us about the festival grounds where the shooting occurred. Is that still an active crime scene?

FADEL: It is. So that's - that area, if you can imagine, held 22,000 people in it. And then they suddenly came under gunfire and started running out of that area. So as you can imagine, lots of things left behind - cameras, personal belongings. And so law enforcement is cataloging every single item and trying to get it back to these people. So far, two areas have been cleared, and they're trying to get that back to people who own them.

SIEGEL: That's NPR's Leila Fadel in Las Vegas. Leila, thanks.

FADEL: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Robert Siegel
Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.
Leila Fadel is a national correspondent for NPR based in Los Angeles, covering issues of culture, diversity, and race.