The room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas where mass murderer Stephen Paddock set up his weapons and took aim was less than a 90-minute drive from where he reportedly lived in Mesquite, in Clark County, Nevada — in the Mojave Desert. (A press release sent out by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department identified Paddock as a 64-year-old man from Mesquite.) Mesquite has a population of fewer than 20,000 people and is situated 80 miles Northeast of Las Vegas.
Paddock opened fire just after 10pm while country star Jason Aldean played at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, killing more than 50 and wounding more than 500 concertgoers. There were an estimated 22,000 people in attendance at the festival. “A cache of weapons was found inside the hotel room where Paddock died, and investigators believe the suspect used the vantage point to fire on the crowd below,” according to USA Today.