Until yesterday Stephen Paddock was an absolute nobody, and now his is a name that will forever be associated with another dark day in America.
The death toll from the worst mass shooting in modern-day American history (until the next one) is approaching 60, and more than 500 people were also injured, some of whom are in critical condition.
According to some eyewitnesses, the bullets rained down from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino for between 10 and 15 minutes, and as of yet it is not known what Paddock’s motives were.
There’s just something about this picture that I find incredibly frightening – the windows from where the gunfire came.
We’ll start with CNN:
He bought multiple firearms in the past, but investigators believe the firearms were purchased legally, a law enforcement official said. A Mesquite store, Guns & Guitars, said it sold a gun to Paddock and that “he never gave any indication or reason to believe he was unstable or unfit at any time.”
Police found at least 23 weapons inside his hotel room, including multiple rifles, some with scopes. At least one rifle may have been altered to function as an automatic weapon, a law enforcement official said.
Stephen Paddock lived in Mesquite with his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, police said. She was out of the country during the shooting, and is not believed to have been involved.
A search of Stephen Paddock’s home turned up at least 19 additional firearms, explosives and several thousand rounds of ammunition, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Monday night. Several pounds of ammonium nitrate, a material used to make explosives, were found in Paddock’s car.
How did he amass 42 guns without attracting any attention? Does the shop selling him the 42nd weapon have any idea that he has this huge collection?
Eric Paddock said his brother was a successful real estate investor who owned apartments and houses. Investigators were looking Monday at several properties in the Reno area associated with Stephen Paddock.
Because he had no children, he was free to come and go as he pleased, his brother said. Paddock had married and divorced twice, court records show. His first marriage lasted two years, from 1977 to 1979. He remarried in 1985, and divorced again in 1990, after four years of marriage.
He flew planes for a while until he got tired of it and started taking cruises, his brother said. A federal official confirmed he had a pilot’s license, but said that he was not up to date on the medical certification he would need in order to fly legally.
About his father being a bank robber:
One point of intrigue has emerged from the shooter’s background, courtesy of his brother: Their father was a bank robber.
According to the FBI, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock was on its most-wanted list from June 10, 1969 until May 5, 1977. He escaped from prison in 1969 and lived on the run until 1978, when he was arrested in Oregon, the Eugene Register-Guard reported at the time. Eric Paddock said his father died a few years ago and that “he was never with my mom.” Eric said he was born while his father was on the run.
But Eric Paddock resisted the idea that his brother was somehow emulating their father’s criminal tendencies. When pressed to explain what happened, he has no explanation.
“He was my brother, and it’s like an asteroid fell out of the sky,” he said. “We’re still just completely dumbstruck.”
Via the Mirror, ISIS trying to jump on the bandwagon:
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said at a media briefing that Paddock was not believed to have been connected to any militant groups.
“We have no idea what his belief system was,” he said…
However, that did not stop Islamic State claiming responsibility.
“The Las Vegas attack was carried out by a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried it out in response to calls to target states of the coalition,” the group’s news agency Amaq said in reference to the U.S.-led coalition fighting the group in the Middle East.
“The Las Vegas attacker converted to Islam a few months ago,” Amaq claimed.
But several US officials say there is no evidence to confirm that.
Over on the Daily Mail they have this infographic timeline of events – click for an enlarged version:
Here’s what Paddock’s view looked like, with the green roof in the photo below where the stage was located:
And the Daily Mail’s version of events from inside that room:
Paddock had committed suicide by the time police breached the door to his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort just after 10pm on Sunday night.
Paddock, who turned a gun on himself before he could be taken in, had knocked out two windows of the large, two-room corner suite with a hammer.
He then used the two angles afforded by the windows to set up a killing field at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, which had been taking place across the road from the hotel.
Paddock, who had smuggled 23 guns up to the room in 10 suitcases over four days since he checked in to the hotel, had also taken up several thousand rounds of ammunition to fuel his rampage.
No doubt more will emerge about this monster, and we haven’t covered half of what’s out there in this post above, but for now it’s the motive that has most people scratching their head.
I suppose we’ll never be able to make sense of this, even if we know what he was thinking.
I love a good lottery winner story. In the past month alone, we had two mates who honou...
We're almost there, friends. For those still ticking off the last of the tasks on the t...
[imagesource: Getty] Finding the right balance when it comes to money can be difficult,...
The saying goes that 'golf is a good walk spoiled', but every so often you hit one decent ...
Sheesh, R17 000 a month and you're right on the rocks in a prime Atlantic Seaboard locatio...