CHICAGO (CBSNewYork/CBS Chicago/AP) — Two months before he opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas from a 32nd-floor room of a hotel and killed 58 people, Stephen Paddock booked a room at a Chicago hotel that overlooks a park where a major music festival was held that weekend, police said Thursday.
CBS News Correspondent Dean Reynolds reports Chicago Police confirmed Paddock made the reservations at The Blackstone Hotel, 636 S. Michigan Ave., on the weekend of the four-day music festival, which typically brings about 100,000 people per day to Grant Park.
A spokeswoman for the hotel confirmed a reservation was made under the name Stephen Paddock, but said they could not confirm it was the Las Vegas gunman. However, police confirmed to CBS News there was “no question” it was the Las Vegas shooter who booked the rooms.
The hotel said Paddock never showed up. A law enforcement official told the Associated Press there is no evidence Paddock ever came to Chicago during Lollapalooza.
A police source told WBBM-TV, CBS2 Chicago that the Blackstone reservation tip was sent anonymously to investigators. The FBI referred all inquiries to the Las Vegas Police Department, which is leading the investigation of the Las Vegas massacre.
The Blackstone, a 21-story hotel which opened in 1910, has windows overlooking Grant Park, including the stages where bands performed at Lollapalooza. An estimated 400,000 people — including former first daughters Malia and Sasha Obama, as well as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel — attended the four-day music festival in August.
According to TMZ, Paddock specifically requested rooms overlooking Grant Park, but never showed. A hotel spokeswoman told CBS2 Chicago that Paddock never stayed at the hotel in August during the festival. The Blackstone is cooperating with authorities, she said.
Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi would not confirm the TMZ report about Paddock’s plans in Chicago, but said the department is aware of the report.
“We are aware of the media reports and have been in communication with our federal partners. As you saw earlier this week the city conducts extensive public safety planning and training around major events, in close coordination with our law enforcement partners, to ensure public safety,” he said.
A Blackstone spokeswoman declined to comment.
The revelations about the Chicago hotel room booking come as investigators, trying to determine a motive for the Las Vegas shooting, have been trying to track Paddock’s movements in the days before he opened fire from the Mandalay Bay casino resort on Sunday night.
Clark County, Nevada Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Wednesday that Paddock rented a room through Airbnb at The Ogden condo tower in downtown Las Vegas around the same time as the Life is Beautiful alternative music festival held Sept. 22-24.
When it comes to the Ogden Hotel stay, “the reasons that ran through Paddock’s mind was unknown,” Lombardo said.
Lombardo told reporters that Paddock rented a room at the Ogden through Airbnb but didn’t know why. He says investigators have recovered items and video from the hotel. The Life is Beautiful festival featured Chance the Rapper, Muse, Lorde and Blink-182.
CBS Boston is reporting Paddock researched concerts there.
On Wednesday, police released new body camera video showing the chaotic and confusing moments when officers arrived on the scene of Sunday’s deadly mass shooting.
The officers are heard shouting warnings to each other in the chaos that was unfolding as Paddock unleashed a hail of bullets from his suite.
Amid sirens and volleys of gunfire, people yelled “they’re shooting right at us” while officers shouted “go that way!”
Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said the shooting spanned between nine and 11 minutes. Police say Paddock also set up surveillance cameras in the hallway outside of his hotel room.
“I anticipate he was looking for anybody coming to take him into custody,” Lombardo said.
Investigators also found a computer and 23 guns with him at the hotel, along with 12 “bump stock” devices that can enable a rifle to fire continuously, like an automatic weapon, authorities said. Nineteen more guns were found at Paddock’s Mesquite home and seven at his Reno house.
“The fact that he had that type of weaponry and amount of weaponry in that room, it was pre-planned extensively and I am pretty sure he evaluated everything that he did and his actions,” said Lombardo.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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