Paddock booked two rooms at the Blackstone Hotel overlooking Grant Park, the venue where over 400,000 people gathered for the annual music festival. The dates of his reservations correspond to the start and end dates of the festival.
Paddock specifically requested “view rooms” overlooking Grant Park. Experts in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting noted that Paddock’s elevated position was one of the reasons he was able to hit so many people at such a distance.
In Chicago, he would have had a direct view of the main stage, several smaller stages, the audience area, and the main gate where tens of thousands of spectators enter and exit the park. Even more chilling: there’s no other way out, as Grant Park abuts Lake Michigan.
Paddock never showed up to the Chicago bookings.
It’s a chilling glimpse into the mind of a madman, and into an alternate tragedy that never occurred.