By VIVIAN YEE
© 2018 New York Times News Service
Sometimes we see him as other hotel guests would have seen him: as the tall gambler intent on the video poker machine across the casino floor, or as the customer standing in line in front of you at the gift shop, buying snacks, or as the guy you briefly glance at as he waits for you to get off the elevator — polite, unhurried, unmemorable.
Within a few days, he would use the arsenal he had moved upstairs in those suitcases to shoot and kill 58 people from his 32nd-floor suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
These were Stephen Paddock’s final movements in the days before he opened fire from his hotel suite Oct. 1: an apparently relaxed solo vacation that, as surveillance footage obtained exclusively by The New York Times from MGM Resorts makes clear, was actually the methodically planned prelude to a massacre.
They have no idea that the suitcases they are so conscientiously carrying are full of guns and ammunition.
Toward the end of the footage, two guests carrying shiny plastic inner tubes get off the elevator, padding out in flip-flops. Paddock pauses to let them off, then gets on.
It is the afternoon of Sept. 30. They seem to be on their way to the pool. He is on his way upstairs, where his guns await.