Las Vegas Shooter May Have Targeted Chicago First - Opposing Views

Las Vegas Shooter May Have Targeted Chicago First

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Stephen Paddock, the lone gunman behind the Las Vegas massacre, may have set his eyes on Chicago's Lollapalooza music festival first, an event attended by former First Daughter Malia Obama.

Paddock reportedly booked two rooms at the Blackstone Hotel across from Grant Park where the festival took place, according to TMZ. One room had an arrival date booked for Aug. 1, two days before the festival started, and the other had an arrival date for Aug. 3, the first day of the event. Both rooms had an Aug. 6 checkout date -- the last day of the festival.

Sources say Paddock specifically requested a "view room," or rooms that overlooked Grant Park. However, he never showed up on the arrival date of either of his reservations.

Around 400,000 people attended the four-day music festival, including Obama. The hotel directly overlooked the main stage and a number of side stages. It also had a clear view of the main entrance and exit. 

Because Grant Park is alongside Lake Michigan, it would have made escaping a shooting difficult, if not impossible.

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The Chicago Police Department said in a statement that it is investigating the report.

"We are aware of the media reports and have been in communication with our federal partners," the department said in a statement, according New York Magazine. "As you saw earlier this week the city conducts extensive public safety planning and training around major events, in close coordination with our law enforcement partners, to ensure public safety."

On Oct. 1, two months after the Chicago music festival, Paddock isolated himself in a room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas and opened fire at a crowd of concert-goers attending the Route 91 Festival. He killed 58 and injured more than 500 before committing suicide, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The city of Chicago is planning extra security for the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 8 and for the Cubs playoff game at Wrigley Field on Oct. 9, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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Emergency responders have been preparing for "active shooter" scenarios since the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. 

"If anything has to be done, [police and other emergency responders] are going to do it,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "I’m not so sure, based on recent, meaning both Boston and the World Series, that we haven’t actually been doing it, practicing a security situation and a response and preventive measures -- not just response, preventive measures -- already in place, both technology and road closures and all other aspects."

Sources: TMZ, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Magazine, Los Angeles Times / Featured Image: Roman Boed/Flickr / Embedded Images: EMR/Flickr, jareed/Flickr

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