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Reports: Las Vegas gunman cased Boston, Fenway Park

Staff and Wire Report
October 05. 2017 4:35PM
Boston Red Sox players stand last month for the National Anthem before their game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock reportedly researched online Boston entertainment venues prior to his mass killing spree. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

Federal, state and local law enforcement were predicting increased security for Red Sox playoff baseball at Fenway Park Sunday after reports that Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock researched online the stadium and other Boston entertainment venues prior to his mass killing spree from high up in the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

In a statement the Red Sox emailed to media outlets, team officials said they will take every precaution.

"While there is currently no credible threat to Fenway Park according to public safety agencies, the Red Sox have been working with city, state, and federal officials on increased security measures for postseason games at Fenway Park," the statement said.

Several media outlets quoted law enforcement sources confirming that leading up to the Vegas shooting, Paddock searched the internet for hotels near the historic ballpark and the Boston Center for the Arts, but there is no indication he traveled to the area.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told the Boston Herald that security around the city has been "stepped up" in the wake of the massacre in Las Vegas.

"We already had a concert on City Hall Plaza," Evans told the Herald. "We have the Red Sox coming to town Sunday. We are going to step up. We got road racers. We got Bruno Mars. We got a lot in the city, and we are going to step up our efforts around them."

Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker said there is "no evidence of an imminent threat that has anything to do with Massachusetts."

FBI Boston Special Agent in Charge Harold Shaw echoed there was no specific threat. "We have no information to indicate any additional threat. We always work with our federal, state and local partners to ensure the safety of the public and continue to do so," Shaw said in a statement.

"The FBI Boston Division is actively assessing intelligence and at this time has no information indicating specific and credible threats to any segment to our community."

But Shaw urged the public to remain vigilant.

"The safety and security of the people of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island is our top priority and we work hand-in-hand with our law enforcement partners to share and act upon threat information as it comes to our attention," Shaw said.

"In that light, we urge the public to report any and all suspicious activity."

Chicago music festival

Paddock rented two rooms in August at Chicago’s Blackstone Hotel overlooking the Lollapalooza music festival in Grant Park, a law enforcement source told The Chicago Tribune.

Paddock reserved the rooms on the park side of the hotel with a clear view of the outdoor festival, but he never showed up, according to the source.

The reservations covered the four-day event that attracted 100,000 music fans, including former President Barack Obama’s daughters Malia and Sasha, as well as Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Two months later, Paddock reserved rooms in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and, from the 32nd floor, fired hundreds of rounds at a crowd attending a country music festival, killing 58 and wounding more than 525.

Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the Las Vegas shooting and Paddock’s whereabouts the last few months.

Las Vegas police said Paddock rented hotel rooms near a concert featuring Chance the Rapper in Las Vegas about a week before the mass shooting, which occurred farther down the strip.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters Wednesday that Paddock rented several rooms through Airbnb at The Ogden hotel in downtown Las Vegas. The dates he was there corresponded with the "Life is Beautiful" music festival, which was held Sept. 22-24.

"Was he doing pre-surveillance? We don’t know yet," Lombardo said.

Union Leader Staff Writer Kevin Landrigan and The Chicago Tribune News Service contributed to this report.


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