Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock targeted jet fuel tanks located near the Vegas Strip from the 32nd floor of his Mandalay Bay hotel, where he fired bullets into a crowd of 20,000 concertgoers across the street, the New York Post reports via the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Sources told the Review-Journal that bullets left two holes in one of two circular white tanks, and one penetrated the tank. The bullets did not cause a fire or explosion, another source told the newspaper.
Paddock, 64, killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 others when he went on a shooting spree Sunday night from high above the crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest country music concert.
The tanks are located at the airport about 1,100 feet from the site of the music festival. Paddock broke two windows in his room to launch his attack on the crowd. One window provided a view of the concert, while the other put the tanks in Paddock’s line of sight, the Review-Journal reported.
According to the newspaper, the bases of private aircraft companies are located near the tanks, situated on property owned by McCarran International Airport.
The worst-case scenario would have been a massive conflagration, but a source knowledgeable about airport operations told the newspaper that it isn’t easy to set jet fuel alight, and tanks such as those across from Mandalay Bay are designed to prevent fires.
“A machine gun is not going to blow up a tank of fuel,” Mike Boyd, a Colorado-based aviation consultant, told the Review Journal. “Jet fuel itself sitting there in a big wet pile is very hard to ignite. You have to be a very amateur terrorist to think anything like that.”