In the months before he carried out the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock had also apparently booked hotel rooms overlooking other outdoor concert venues, including the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago in August, which drew 400,000 music lovers, among them Malia Obama.

TMZ reported Thursday that someone named Stephen Paddock booked two rooms at the Blackstone Hotel, located across the street from Chicago’s Grant Park, during the same period as the four-day festival.

Paddock booked one room for August 1, 2017, two days before the festival’s August 3 kickoff. Paddock then booked a second room for an August 3 arrival. Both rooms had an August 6 checkout — the day Lollapalooza ended.

Paddock specifically requested rooms looking east over Grant Park and Lake Michigan. From those rooms, he would have had a bird’s-eye view of the venue’s main stage and smaller stages, as well as its entrance and exits, TMZ said. But Paddock never showed up.

The Chicago Police Department confirmed to the Chicago TribuneThursday that it was aware of the TMZ report about the Blackstone booking and is investigating.

“We are aware of the media reports and have been in communication with our federal partners,” chief police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

On Sunday night, Paddock used his perch in a suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort to unleash a barrage of rapid gunfire on a crowd of country music fans attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival. He killed 59 people, including himself, and wounded more 500 others.

After the massacre, people trying to puzzle through his motive wondered if he had some grudge against people who like country music, given his choice to target an event featuring artists like country music superstar Jason Aldean.

But Lollapalooza features artists like The Killers, Muse, Lorde and Chance the Rapper performing a variety of genres like alternative rock, heavy metal, punk, hip hop and electronic music. So it seems that Paddock was looking for circumstances and locations that would allow him to unleash as much horror on as many innocent people as possible.

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Oludare J. Olusan
Oludare J. Olusan 249 posts

Publisher, Entrepreneur, Author and founder of The African portal / Presenter at The African Portal Radio / TV

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