WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - As more details from a mass shooting in Las Vegas emerge, investigators are looking into how shooter Stephen Paddock got 17 guns into his hotel room without alarming anyone.
Paddock fired at the Route 91 country music festival crowd from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Smoke from the gunfire in the hotel room reportedly set off smoke detectors.
He then killed himself before SWAT teams could break down his door, according to the local sheriff's office -- and his motive remains unclear.
Paddock had been in the hotel since September 28, in a room full of weapons and ammunition, without setting off red flags with hotel staff or security.
Although the shooting happened thousands of miles away, it is a big deal for the DC area.
“I would never want any civilian to have to experience that, (pause) I’m sorry. It just breaks my heart knowing that so many people had that fear and anxiety going through them because someone wanted to act violently,” Natalie de Leon, who is a Las Vegas native, said.
There are nearly 700 hotels with more than 100,000 rooms in the DC Metro area and in 2016, around 20 million people visited the nation’s capital.
Top hotel officials in DC said safety is a priority and all of the hotels in the DC area have their own safety policies.
A lot of the industry leaders were not sure if security would get stricter – would there be metal detectors at check-in? Would the concierge screen luggage?
At least one report said hotels may train security to look closer at bags that are long enough to carry rifles and also pay better attention when large-scale events happen in nearby venues.
"Every time a situation or a tragedy is presented, there is always something to learn from and what that lesson is we may not know right now, but maybe it is being more vigilant and paying attention more to the people who walk in,” de Leon said.
There is a thin line between having tight security and allowing people to have their privacy, she said.
A vigil for the victims is planned for Thursday at 7 p.m. at Freedom Plaza in DC.
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