Police say a 64-year-old man committed the deadliest mass shooting in United States history from his 32nd-flood Las Vegas hotel room.
Authorities identified Stephen Paddock, 64, as the lone suspect who opened fire on thousands of people attending a country music festival Sunday evening.
Officials said Monday afternoon that 58 people were killed and at least another 527 were injured from gunfire at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
The shooting started during a headlining performance by country music star Jason Aldean, and a deceased Paddock was located by authorities less than two hours later. He was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a hotel room at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino following a police operation. Police say Paddock had at least 10 weapons with him in the hotel room, and he’s believed to have checked in to the hotel September 28. It’s not currently known how he got the weapons and ammunition into the room.
Additional information about Paddock’s past is starting to unravel, and his brother, Eric Paddock, told media members outside of his home that he’s “just a guy” that “freaked.”
Eric told The Daily Mail that his brother, to his knowledge, had “no political affiliation” and also had “no religious affiliation.” In an interview with CNN, Eric said he had no idea how his brother obtained the weapons, but he held pro-gun beliefs. Public records obtained by The Daily Mail indicated that Paddock held both hunting and fishing licenses.
Paddock was not a registered voter, as either a Democrat or a Republican, in Clark County or elsewhere in Nevada, where his permanent residence was located. He was also not a registered voter in Florida, despite some social media claims he was a registered Democrat there.
“He’s never even drawn his gun,” he said. “It makes no sense. He’s never hit anybody. He had a couple of handguns, I think. He had a safe with a couple of handguns, he might have had one long rifle, but he never had any automatic weapons that I knew of at any time. It just makes no sense. It’s like an asteroid fell.”
The Daily Mail reported that Paddock lived in a home 90 minutes outside of Vegas in Mesquite. He purchased the home in a retirement community for $369,000 in 2015, records show.
At the home, he lived with “companion” Marilou Danley, who was sought by police immediately after the shooting because her debit/credit card was located inside Paddock’s hotel room. She was outside of the country at the time of incident and is believed to have nothing to do with the shooting.
In recent weeks, Paddock made several gambling transactions that were in the “tens of thousands” of dollars, NBC News reported. It wasn’t disclosed whether those transactions were wins or losses.
Paddock’s father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, was a bank robber who was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list in 1969 after he escaped a federal prison.
Additional information on Paddock’s political beliefs and views of President Donald Trump are scarce, and he doesn’t appear to have any social media presence.
After the shooting, many political figures called for stricter gun laws. Hillary Clinton was critical of the NRA: “Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.”
Clinton was one of several Democrats who spoke out against gun laws following the shooting.
“This must stop,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said in a statement. “It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren’t public policy responses to this epidemic. There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It’s time for Congress to get off its a– and do something.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden also tweeted about the shooting, asking the hypothetical question, “How long do we let gun violence tear families apart?” before calling on Congress and the White House to “act now to save lives.”
In a statement from the White House hours after the shooting, Trump expressed his condolences to the victims of the incident and their families and vowed to visit the city Wednesday.
“My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock and grief,” Trump opened his press conference saying. “Last night, a gunman opened fire in a large crowd at a country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. He brutally murdered more than 50 people and wounded hundreds more. It was an act of pure evil. The F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security are working closely with local authorities to assist with the investigation, and they will provide updates as to the investigation and how it developed.”
The president also thanked first responders for their quick reaction to the shooting.
“I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts in helping to save the lives of so many,” Trump said. “The speed at which they acted is miraculous.”
Photos and videos taken at the concert Sunday showed multiple victims, including some on the ground bleeding from injuries. In the videos below, concert goers can be seen sprinting and ducking for cover as a loud, rapid sounds of gunfire can be heard.
NOTE: The videos below contain disturbing content and profane language.
Discuss on Facebook