Lombardo was aware of the previously unreported total because the Metropolitan Police Department’s forensics lab is working in conjunction with the FBI to process all ballistics evidence from the mass shooting, which left 58 concertgoers dead and more than 500 injured.
Investigators have not determined why Paddock stopped shooting. Lombardo said they found about 4,000 more rounds of unused ammunition in the gunman’s suite.
The sheriff also mentioned that “multiple weapons” had jammed, as the Review-Journal has previously reported, but Lombardo again did not provide a specific number. He also did not provide a detailed list of the weapons Paddock had available to him.
Conspiracy Theories have run amuck since the Vegas shooting, almost within the hour they poured into the internet and have continued to this day, almost 2 months later.
“I would say that there is a definitely an increase,” said journalist Bethania Palma from Snopes.com, one of the largest and oldest fact-checking sites on the web. “It’s getting multiplied by the internet. It’s a lot more immediate.”
Snopes.com, which has doubled the size of its editorial staff in the past year or so, has already published fact checks on several false reports from the Las Vegas shooting.
But it’s hard to keep up, Palma said. “Fake news can be produced so quickly and cheaply.”
Many of the conspiracy theories she has heard so far follow the “false flag,” New World Order narrative popularized by Alex Jones’ Infowars website: Basically, the attack was staged as an excuse to take away people’s guns, clearing the way for the secret, totalitarian world government to take over.
Palma said she traveled to Las Vegas last weekend to get a firsthand look at the scene, talk to people who were there and get answers she just couldn’t get from her home in Southern California.
“I was surprised to talk to so many people who believed the second-shooter conspiracy theory,” she said.
Some of the conspiracies are rooted in early reports heard over police scanners. Others are pinned to discrepancies in the information released by the authorities, something that is almost guaranteed to happen after an incident of this magnitude, Palma said. “There’s an explanation for everything people are posting.”
Even some witnesses emerged from the attack with versions of events that just weren’t true. Chaos, trauma and fear play tricks on people, Palma said.
“This is a crowd of 22,000 people who went to a country music concert that turned into a massacre,” she said.
Chasing tips, not ghosts
Former Aurora, Colorado, Police Chief Dan Oates said the conspiracies got really bad after the movie theater shooting there in 2012. People took to the internet to claim the attack never happened, that no one died and that James Holmes was innocent.
“Really perverse crap,” said Oates, who is now the chief of police in Miami Beach, Florida.
One person even found a way to contact one of the victim’s mothers and told her that her son wasn’t dead. Oates said they tracked that person down in Oregon and had him arrested.