On Sunday night, a gunman — who has since been identified as Stephen Paddock — killed at least 58 people outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Las Vegas strip. The attack also resulted in another 515 people injured, both from the shooting itself and the resulting stampede. The number of victims killed during this massacre now surpasses the 49 murdered in the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, thereby qualifying this as “the deadliest in modern U.S. history.” Paddock was pronounced dead by Las Vegas police in his hotel room. Here’s what we know about him:
- Who Is The Gunman? Paddock, a 64-year-old white male, is believed to have carried out his attack alone, beginning at around 10:00pm local time. His “companion,” a 62-year-old Asian woman named Marilou Dannley, was located for questioning at around 3:40am local time. The two lived together in Mesquite, Nevada (about 80 miles from Las Vegas). Here’s a photo of Stephen Paddock, which has been circulating on social media.
The Las Vegas Metro Police Department tweeted this photo of Dannley while they searched for her overnight. She has now been cleared by police of any involvement, and she was not with Paddock at the time of the massacre, for she was out of the country.
- No Known Criminal History: Paddock does not have a criminal history of note (at least not in Nevada), and Mesquite Police are said to have been aware of him but not for any prior convictions. Paddock, who isn’t a military veteran, resided in a retirement community.
- What Was Paddock’s Motive? Police haven’t yet pinpointed any motive on Paddock’s part, for as Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo stated, there’s no knowledge that he was connected to a militant group or other such organization. Police tell CBS News that they aren’t aware of any belief system or religion held by Paddock, and investigators are currently conducting a search of his home. Further, the FBI emphasizes that they know of no ISIS connection (despite the Islamic State’s claims otherwise) regarding this massacre.
- The Weapons Stash: A number of weapons — several guns, including at least 10 rifles — were discovered in Paddock’s room after his death. It’s not yet known whether these firearms were registered in his name or legally purchased, although he held a hunting license in Alaska.
- Paddock’s Death: After he opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, police located Paddock in his room (thanks to smoke detectors). Conflicting accounts surround his death, and at this time, reports that he was killed by police continue to circulate, although CNN relays word from law enforcement that he committed suicide in his room.
- His Relevant Family History Paddock’s father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock (a.k.a., “Bingo Bruce”), was on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted list for a number of years. From 1969 to 1977, the bureau pursued him in connection with a string of bank robberies.
- Other Details Of Note: NBC News reports that Paddock had conducted a number of large gambling transactions over the past few days, although authorities haven’t specified whether these were wins or losses. According to his brother, Paddock habitually gambled hundreds of dollars at a time, although he was employed as an accountant, and he was also a licensed pilot who owned two planes.
This is a developing situation, and we will bring more details as they arrive.