Las Vegas shooter claimed Americans needed a wake-up call

A man who met Stephen Paddock less than a month before the Las Vegas massacre said the mass shooter ranted about a government plot to confiscate guns and called for the American public to wake up and arm themselves, according to newly released witness statements.

The man, whose name has been redacted, gave a jailhouse interview in November saying he met up with Paddock outside a sporting goods store after posting an online ad to sell schematics to convert semi-automatic guns to fire automatically.

“Somebody has to wake up the American public and get them to arm themselves,” the man said Paddock told him less than a month before the Oct. 1 shooting that killed 58 people and injured hundreds. “Sometimes sacrifices have to be made.”

Paddock also ranted about “camps” the Federal Emergency Management Agency set up after Hurricane Katrina, which he claimed were a “dry run for law enforcement and military to start kickin’ down doors and … confiscating guns.”

In a handwritten account, a woman said she overheard a man she believes to be Paddock talking with another man at a Las Vegas restaurant just three days before the massacre. She told police that Paddock seemed angry about the 1990s standoffs at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge in Idaho.

“At the time, I just thought ‘strange guys’ and I wanted to leave,” said the woman.

14 PHOTOS
What we know about Las Vegas shooting suspect Stephen Paddock
See Gallery
What we know about Las Vegas shooting suspect Stephen Paddock
Stephen Paddock, 64, allegedly opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, leaving at least 59 people dead and hundreds injured.

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

He reportedly used a hammer-like tool to break out two windows at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Stephen Paddock was reportedly a high-stakes gambler that lived in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada.

(REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus)

His father was Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, a bank robber and former FBI Most Wanted Fugitive.

(FBI/Handout via REUTERS)

Paddock killed himself before authorities breached his hotel room and investigators say he acted alone.

(REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus)

Paddock's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, was in the Philippines at the time of the shooting but he reportedly used her identification to check in at the Mandalay Bay hotel.

(Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department/Handout via REUTERS)

Stephen Paddock lived in this home in Melbourne, Florida from 2013 to 2015.

(Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)

Police said Paddock had no criminal record.

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

NBC News reported that Paddock made several large gambling transactions in recent weeks, but that it wasn't clear if they were wins or losses.

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Paddock reportedly purchased firearms at  Guns & Guitars, a gun shop in Mesquite, Nevada. 

(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

Paddock's brother, Eric, said his sibling belonged to no political or religious organizations, and had no history of mental illness.

 (Photo by Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Paddock's brother described him as a "wealthy guy" and said he liked to play video poker and go on cruises.

(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

He worked as an accountant and had real estate investments, according to the Washington Post. 

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Paddock had his pilot license and owned at least one plane, according to Reuters.

(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)
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A housekeeper at the Mandalay Bay also described her discomfort when she cleaned Paddock's hotel room just four days before the shooting.

Paddock, she says, ordered room service and kept staring at her while she emptied the refrigerator and changed the bed sheets at his request.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released 1,200 pages of police reports and witness statements on Wednesday after losing court battles to keep them secret.

Law enforcement refused to provide any additional information and declined to say whether the reports were credible.

More than seven months later, authorities have not yet determined a motive in the ongoing investigation, although they believe Paddock acted alone and did not have ties to international terrorist groups.

29 PHOTOS
Las Vegas police release new photos of Stephen Paddock's room
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Las Vegas police release new photos of Stephen Paddock's room
Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Stephen Paddock's body (center right) and view from sitting area towards the bar/kitchenette.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Stephen Paddock's body (top left) and view from sitting area towards the bar/kitchenette.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

View from entry of 32-135 towards the sitting area.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

View from sitting area towards the bar / kitchenette.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

View from foyer of room 32-135 towards the sitting area.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

View from sitting area towards master bedroom.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Interior of room 32-134 from connecting doors.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Interior of room 32-134 from connecting doors.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

View of the Las Vegas Village from room 32-135.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Door leading to the stairwell secured by "L" bracket.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

View from 100 hallway towards room 32-135.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Food Service Cart in hallway with camera.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Food Service Cart in hallway with camera.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

View of connecting doors between room 32-135 and 32-134.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Blue plastic hose with snorkel mouthpiece attached.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Surveillance camera mounted to room door peephole.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Small sledge hammer.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Handwritten note with distance/bullet drop calculations.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Damage to entry door of room 32-135.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Damage to entry door of room 32-135.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Desk in master bedroom of 32-135 with SCUBA mask and power hand drill.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Hallway of room 32-134 with food service cart and laptop connected to cameras.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Paddock's vehicle.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Explosive precursors found in Paddock's vehicle.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Exploding targets found in Paddock's vehicle.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

McCarran International Airport fuel tank with bullet strikes.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Upper bullet strike.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

Lower bullet strike.

Photo: Las Vegas Police Department

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