Report: Vegas shooter was overheard complaining about Waco, Ruby Ridge, "FEMA camps," gun confiscation

The claims are noteworthy but so is the sourcing. The accounts come from a 1,200-page batch of reports released by Vegas PD that includes witness statements and police testimony. The man who says he heard the shooter babbling about FEMA camps mentioned it during … a jailhouse interview, raising an obvious question as to whether he was telling the truth or just handing cops something which he thought might lead them to go easy on him.

The bit about Waco and Ruby Ridge comes from a woman who overheard a man whom she thinks was the shooter ranting to another man at a Vegas restaurant three days before the massacre.


A jailed man who gave a statement to authorities in November said he encountered a man he believed was Stephen Paddock and who told him that Federal Emergency Management Agency “camps” setup after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were “a dry run for law enforcement and military to start kickin’ down doors and…confiscating guns.”

“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 deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. “Sometimes sacrifices have to be made.”

Separately, a woman wrote a handwritten account of her experience with Paddock, in which she said she heard him talk about armed standoffs. The woman reportedly overheard Paddock talking with another man at a Las Vegas restaurant three days before the shooting.

She told authorities that Paddock seemed upset about the deadly standoffs between law enforcement officers and militia groups at Waco, Texas in 1993 and Ruby Ridge, Idaho in 1992.

Two different sources but the subject matter is consistent. If a guy is sufficiently consumed by Waco and Ruby Ridge to start ranting about them to someone he’s just met, it’s not hard to imagine some invective about “FEMA camps” creeping into his spiel elsewhere. The shooter may well have been what’s politely known as an “anti-government extremist,” i.e. a domestic terrorist.

The NY Daily News adds more detail about how the jailhouse source allegedly met him. Supposedly he posted an online ad to sell “schematics” showing how to use bump stocks to convert semiautomatic rifles to automatic fire and the shooter answered it, leading to a meeting outside a sporting goods store. Is it possible that he still needed a how-to guide about them less than a month before the shooting, when he met the informant? Sure. But he’d been emailing gun merchants about bump stocks since at least three months before the massacre. How likely is it that he still needed “schematics” showing him how to attach them a few weeks out from the big day?

Also, he was obviously cautious about tipping his hand as he hatched his plot. He took everyone by surprise, including the hotel, despite quietly moving dozens of guns into his room. Hinting darkly to a complete stranger that “sometimes sacrifices have to be made” while you’re meeting him to convert a legal gun into a de facto automatic weapon seems not so cautious. Neither does ranting about Waco in earshot of other patrons at a restaurant three days out from a mass shooting that you’ve been planning for many months. And who was the man he was supposedly conversing with? A guy named Douglas Haig was an early person of interest in the investigation because his fingerprints were found on armor-piercing ammo in the shooter’s room. But that’s not the sort of deal that typically goes down at a restaurant, and in fact didn’t happen there, per Haig himself. He says he met the shooter at a gun show and then sold him the ammo at his home.

So who’s the mysterious dinner companion who was making chit-chat about Waco with the worst mass murderer in U.S. history three days before he went off? Or could it be that the man whom the witness overheard in the restaurant was not, in fact, the shooter?

One last point. if the shooter was this exercised about gun confiscation, killings of civilians by federal agents, “FEMA camps,” etc, why didn’t he leave a note? Or an email? A manifesto of some kind, somewhere? It’s strange to imagine that this guy was so full of political rage that he’d have no compunction about sharing his views in conversation with strangers yet wouldn’t think to set those views down in writing at any point. And needless to say, if you’re trying to make the country more appreciative of gun rights, stockpiling dozens of AR-15s and then gunning down random innocents from a sniper’s nest is … not the best way, morally or logically, to go about it. Opinions on gun control have moved left over the past nine months thanks to this degenerate and others like him in Parkland and Sutherland Springs. Americans do fear abuses of power involving guns, but less so right now by the feds than by unhinged lunatics. But then, it’s silly to expect logical clarity from a guy capable of pulling something like this.