Sheriff Says Hard to Believe Las Vegas Gunman Planned Attack By Himself
While investigators attempt to unravel the reason for the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history, President Donald Trump went to Las Vegas to console victims and meet with police and other first responders.
Trump, speaking next to first lady Melania Trump, on Wednesday praised emergency workers and medical staff who responded to Sunday's massacre.
“What I saw today is just an incredible tribute to professionalism,” Trump said. “It makes you proud to be an American.”
Meanwhile, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joe Lombardo said it is crucial to talk to anyone who knew gunman Stephen Paddock in the hunt for possible accomplices.
Considering the number of weapons Paddock collected and explosives he had stockpiled in his car, Lombardo told reporters he finds it hard to believe Paddock could have carried out the massacre on his own.
Lombardo said Paddock spent decades living what he calls a "secret life" and that concealing his activities all those years was well thought out.
But the sheriff declined to provide any details on what has been uncovered so far about Paddock because he said he does not want to say something that could drive anyone with information underground.
Lombardo said there were signs in Paddock's hotel room that he planned to escape after his shooting rampage. Paddock shot himself in the mouth as police zeroed in on his room.
High-level US-China Talks Focus on Immigration, Fugitives
Shilan Zhao, former wife of fugitive Chinese official Jianjun Qiao, pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges by the U.S. government of conspiring to commit immigration fraud related to the EB5 "investor" visa program.
Zhao agreed to forfeit millions of dollars' worth of several properties in the United States and to cooperate with the investigation on Qiao, who is wanted by the Chinese government for corruption charges. Qiao escaped to the U.S. with Chinese public funds.
But there are other fugitives from China living in the United States, some connected to Beijing’s elite, who have so far been outside the reach of Chinese law enforcement.
To try to bridge differences, the two countries hold regular dialogues. In recent months, Washington and Beijing have been working to increase cooperation on law enforcement, repatriations, counter-narcotics, counterterrorism and combatting cybercrime.
On Wednesday, the U.S. and China held a high-level, bilateral Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Dialogue -- one of four such meetings agreed to by President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in April.
The high-level talks also addressed disagreements between the two countries with “frank discussions” on immigration and fugitives.
U.S. officials had lodged complaints that Beijing is not making enough efforts to repatriate illegal Chinese immigrants staying in the United States. Washington also protested that some Chinese security officials used visitors visas to enter U.S. soil while conducting official business of attempting to repatriate Chinese fugitives.
Meanwhile, Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire wanted by Beijing, is scheduled to hold a news conference in Washington Thursday to discuss high-level corruption in China’s ruling elite.
Guo has made allegations of massive corruption within the highest levels of the Communist party.
Chinese prosecutors are building a sprawling case against the New York-based real estate tycoon, who is being investigated for at least 19 major criminal cases. Allegations against him include bribing a top Chinese intelligence official, kidnapping, rape, fraud and money laundering.
On Twitter, he dismissed the allegations from China, calling the "red notice" by Interpol “suicidal behavior coming from truly corrupt officials who fear I will expose their crimes.”
Sources told VOA Beijing is seeking help from the U.S. to repatriate Guo, who is seeking political asylum in the U.S.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told VOA she did not know if discussion on Guo’s case came up in Wednesday’s meeting.