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Las Vegas Shooter Likely Used Illegal Automatic Weapon, Says Former FBI Agent

Stephen Paddock fired on people attending an outdoor country music festival from a 32nd floor hotel room in the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino late on Oct. 1, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500. Videos show the chaos as people run and seek cover. Bursts of gunfire can be heard.

Details on the attack are still emerging, but according to Marc Ruskin, former FBI agent and author of “The Pretender: My Life Undercover for the FBI,” the sound of the gunfire strongly suggests Paddock was using an illegal weapon.

Ruskin said that going by the sounds in the recordings, it’s “unquestionable” that Paddock was using a fully automatic weapon.

“A full auto is very illegal, and to be in possession of one without a special federal license, it’s a major crime,” he said, adding that such licenses are very difficult to get, are given in very limited circumstances, “and I would be willing to bet big money he did not have a permit for that.”

Ruskin added that while details are still emerging, the sound of gunfire also suggests that Paddock “wasn’t picking people off like a sniper. It was too rapid for that.”