The police have named Stephen Paddock as the gunman who, from a hotel room in Las Vegas, mercilessly opened fire on people who attended a music festival outside a casino, killing at least 59 people and leaving over 500 more wounded in what is now considered as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Stephen Paddock, age 64, started his shooting spree from two windows of the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino right after 10pm local time last Sunday night, according to police. A SWAT team discovered Stephen already dead inside his hotel suite and believe that he took his own life.
Police said Stephen had at least 23 firearms with him in his hotel room. He had been occupying the room since September 28. Police also said that another 19 firearms, explosives, electronics and thousands of rounds of ammunition were discovered at his home at a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, just 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
In a press conference (October 2) Monday morning, FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron Rouse said that the bureau found "no connection with an international terrorist group." The motive is still undetermined.
Police have identified a female companion of Stephen named Marilou Danley, who was abroad at the time of the shooting. Police spoke to her Monday, and she is now believed not having to do anything with the incident.
Stephen Paddock apparently had no criminal record whatsoever, aside from a routine citation many years ago that was handled in court.
The gunman's brother Eric Paddock (picture right) spoke to reporters when they visited him outside his home Monday morning, saying he is "dumbfounded" and "horrified" by his brother's actions. He said, "No religious affiliation. No political affiliation. He just hung out. He had a couple of guns but they were all handguns, legal. He might have had one long gun, but he had them in a safe."
According to Eric, his brother Stephen was a multi-millionaire who accumulated his wealth via investing in real estate. He said Stephen was an accountant for several years, and Eric wasn't aware of his brother having any financial problems at all.
Eric Paddock said during an interview with the Associated Press that his brother was "not a normal guy" and his last communication with him was in September via text messages. He said Stephen played ‘high-stakes video poker' and once he texted him a picture of himself winning $40,000 on a slot machine.
Eric Paddock confirmed that their father was Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, a notorious bank robber who for eight years was on the FBI's most wanted list after he escaped from jail in 1969. He was serving a 20-year sentence for a series of robberies in Phoenix when he escaped, and he once tried to run down a federal agent with his car. Benjamin Paddock died in 1998.
On his remarks Monday morning, U.S. President Donald Trump called the shooting "an act of pure evil." He did not refer to the shooting attack as an act of terrorism.
As of now, investigators are still trying to find out what was Paddock's motive. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) said they were responsible for it, but showed no proof. U.S. officials say there are no signs that Stephen Paddock is linked to the radical Islamic groups.
Police acquired a search warrant for his Mesquite home and are investigating the area. Records reveal that in June 2016, Stephen Paddock moved in to Mesquite, Nevada. He previously lived in Reno, Nevada from 2012 to December 2016. He was listed at an address in Melbourne, Florida from 2013 to 2015. He moved between California and Texas from the late 1990s to the early 2000s.
From 1985 to 1988, Stephen Paddock worked for a ‘predecessor company' of defense contractor Lockheed Martin. Lockheed said they are cooperating with police to provide information of his employment. The company refused to reveal what position Stephen held.
Court records show that in 2012, Stephen sued the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Resorts in Las Vegas, saying that when he slipped and fell in the hotel, he suffered substantial injuries. The case was eventually dismissed by both parties, since they had agreed on a settlement.
Records also show that Stephen Paddock was a licensed hunter and he also had a license to fly a small plane.