As with any massive tragedy, it has taken less than 24 hours for conspiracy theorists to emerge from the woodwork to discuss the Las Vegas massacre.
During a country music concert on the Las Vegas strip on Sunday night, Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire on a crowd of spectators from his 32nd floor hotel room overlooking the performance of Jason Aldean. Paddock’s lengthy rampage left 59 dead and over 520 injured, as he spent well over 10 minutes firing into the crowd with what has been described as an “arsenal” of weapons, some illegally modified to operate as fully automatic firearms.
Starting as early as Monday morning on the East Coast, conspiracy theorists began spreading their belief that Paddock was any number of things: A patsy, a Manchurian candidate, a brainwashed victim of MK Ultra…you name it, it was mentioned.
One theory that seems to be sticking, even in mainstream circles, is that Paddock was not working alone. Despite authorities’ insistence that the elderly millionaire simply “snapped” and committed this heinous act on his own, a number of internet sleuths have been combing through the hours of footage that citizens have uploaded to the world wide web of the incident. These varied angles and circumstances have fueled the “2nd shooter” theory intensely.
Now, South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy is stoking those fires himself, even if it is inadvertent.
“Gowdy told host Martha MacCallum he was skeptical that Stephen Paddock, the individual thought to be responsible for the shooting, could have acted without at least one person identifying his behavior as suspicious. The South Carolina Republican predicted in coming days he will be proved correct.“’It’s an incredible level of premeditation that you don’t ordinarily see,’ Gowdy said. ‘And it is difficult to believe that a single person could have done this without detection. And so, I hope that what comes out of this is people – you know, lots of crime is prevented because a non-law enforcement officer says something. The weapons and whether or not it was altered to become fully automatic and the premeditation of picking a certain hotel room. I think we’re going to find someone along the way was suspicious they should have turned that suspicion into a phone call to law enforcement. It’s an incredible amount of premeditation to not go detected.’”