Stephen Paddock, the 64-year-old gunman who killed at least 58 people and injured hundreds more when he sprayed bullets into a group of concertgoers from two windows of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, came close to striking Fenway Park in Boston, according to NBC News.
Citing senior law enforcement officials, NBC report stated there was no evidence that Paddock traveled to Boston, but he did research outdoor concerts and hotels in the area, most of which only offer an obstructed view inside the ballpark. The report did not state the dates of the research, although Fenway, home to the Red Sox, has hosted several concerts in recent months, including Lady Gaga, Billy Joel and New Kids on the Block, according to NECN.com.
Boston Police acknowledged the reports Thursday, but would not comment on the investigation other than to say state officials have been in contact with authorities in Las Vegas.
“We are aware of the media reports and are in contact with our local and federal law enforcement partners here and in Las Vegas,” Boston Police said in a statement (via CBS Boston). “The LVMPD is the lead investigating agency, therefore, all further inquiries should be directed to them.”
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) also said he was aware of the reports, but echoed Boston Police, noting that “because it’s an ongoing investigation, I’m not going to speak any more to it than that.”
Las Vegas officials, meanwhile, have not addressed the media reports, although according to CBS Boston, they are expected to elaborate more on Paddock’s search history later Thursday.
A motive explaining what may have driven Paddock, who had no prior criminal record before Sunday night’s attack, remains elusive, as authorities attempt to piece together a portrait of a man they’ve described as “disturbed and dangerous.”
“Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood,” Joseph Lombardo, the Las Vegas sheriff, said at a news briefing Wednesday night.
Paddock, who also researched hotels in Chicago overlooking the outdoor music festival Lollapalooza, according to the NBC News report, checked into the Mandalay Bay casino and hotel last Thursday, where he spent time gambling on high stakes video poker machines before meticulously setting up for Sunday’s deadly attack over the Harvest 91 country music festival.
Police found 23 guns in Paddock’s hotel room, including “bump” stocks that allowed him to modify semiautomatic weapons to spray automatic gunfire, as well as explosives and more ammunition in his car that suggest he may have planned for an even deadlier attack.
Paddock was found dead via a self-inflicted gunshot after police gained access to his room.
This story will be updated.