A young woman hides inside the Sands Corporation plane hangar after a gunman opened fire at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas.

Credit: Al Powers/Powers Imagery/AP

Determining Motive Of Las Vegas Shooter Brings Comfort, But Can It Prevent Future Shootings?

October 3, 2017

It's a question that many are asking in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting that left 58 dead and more than 500 injured — what was the shooter's motive?

Why did Stephen Paddock open fire on 22,000 people attending a country music festival? Authorities say he acted alone. Police say he had an arsenal of 42 firearms in his room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and at this home in Mesquite, Nevada.

Andrea Cabral, former Massachusetts secretary of public safety and former sheriff of Suffolk County says finding a motive gives us comfort, but it won't prevent something like this from happening again.  

"Knowing and understanding those reasons doesn't make it easier, necessarily, to prevent those things from happening," said Cabral. "What government can do is regulate access to weapons, and regulate the means to express a political ideology or deep rage and anger."

In discussing why a person would shoot into a crowd, Cabral said, “the bottom line is that Paddock may just have been a very angry person and there may be no way to tie it to any belief system.”

She says if Paddock hadn't had the access to weapons, this wouldn't have happened at all.

To listen to the full interview with Andrea Cabral, click on the audio player above.


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