Las Vegas Shooter Punctured Fuel Tank Near Route 91 Harvest Festival

October 5, 2017 Updated: October 9, 2017

A jet fuel tank near the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas was shot during the attack by Mesquite, Nevada, resident Stephen Paddock who rained bullets down on a crowd of 22,000 on Oct. 1.

A source with knowledge of the damage told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that of the two tanks that were in range of the shooter’s 32nd-floor hotel room, only one of them was hit.

There were two holes in the tank, one of which perforated the container, but did not cause a fire or explosion.

The tanks were about 1,100 feet away from the concert where Paddock killed at least 58 and injured over at least 489 people.

The fuel tanks were operated by Swissport, a company that does fueling, mostly for private jets, at McCarran International Airport.

“Airport fueling has not been compromised,” McCarran spokesman Chris Jones told the Journal on Wednesday, Oct. 4.

Mike Boyd, a Colorado-based aviation consultant, said that jet fuel is very hard to ignite, and it’s unlikely a bullet would have set off an explosion.

“A machine gun is not going to blow up a tank of fuel,” Boyd told the Journal. “Jet fuel itself sitting there in a big wet pile is very hard to ignite. You have to be a very amateur terrorist to think anything like that.”

The FBI inspected the tanks and took measurements, but declined to comment on their findings citing an ongoing investigation, the Journal reported.

Stephen Paddock. (Twitter/Stephen_Paddock)

Paddock, 64, opened fire around 10 p.m. during the last performance of the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip. He broke two windows in his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort, which is kitty-corner to the festival, and shot at the concertgoers below.

Police found him dead in his hotel room of a self-inflicted wound, along with at least 23 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

The motive for the shooting is still unclear. The shooter’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, returned from a trip to Asia on Tuesday, and said through her lawyer she had no knowledge of the attack beforehand, but is cooperating with authorities in their investigation.

Police are now trying to determine whether Paddock had an accomplice in the attack.


Follow Holly on Twitter: @HollyGailK