Everything We Know About Stephen Paddock – The Las Vegas Shooter
Authorities have identified 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, as the suspected gunman in the massacre that left 58 dead and more than 500 wounded Sunday night at a Las Vegas casino.
Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the crowd of 22,000 gathered below to watch Jason Aldean perform at the Route 91 Harvest Concert. SWAT officers found him dead from a self inflicted gunshot wound after breaching the door to his hotel room.
Authorities said they have not yet determined Paddock’s motivation or any ideological commitments that may have prompted the attack. But the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack Monday morning.
A statement published by Damaq, the ISIS propaganda agency, claimed Paddock as a “soldier of the Islamic state.”
The suspect “converted to Islam several months ago,” according to the statement.
U.S. officials, however, said there is no evidence that the suspect was connected to foreign terror groups.
Authorities found at least ten unspecified weapons in Paddock’s hotel room and a camera system, which authorities believed Paddock set up to monitor their approach. SWAT officers were reportedly alerted to Paddock’s position after smoke from his weapon set off the smoke detector in his hotel room.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Paddock, who was employed as an accountant, had a pilot’s license and a hunting license and no criminal record.
Paddock engaged in tens of thousands of dollars in gambling transactions in the weeks leading up the attack, but it remains unclear whether the transactions were wins or losses, law enforcement officials told NBC news.
Two on-duty Las Vegas police officers were among the more than 500 transported to local hospitals. One unnamed off-duty officer is among the dead, according to a police department press release. Massacre At Mandalay: Las Vegas Gunman Kills At Least 50 At Country Music Concert [VIDEO]
Police have located the suspect’s roommate, Marilou Danley, a 62-year-old Asian female, believed to have been traveling with Paddock prior to the attack. They do not believe she was involved in the incident.
The suspect’s brother, Eric Paddock, said his brother had no history of mental illness or known political or religious affiliation.
There was “absolutely no indication he could do something like this,” Eric Paddock told the Daily Mail. “He was just a guy. Something happened, he snapped, or something.”
Meghan Karney described the horrific scene that unfolded after the shots began to rein down on the concert.
“We heard what sounded like firecrackers going off. Then all of a sudden we heard what sounded like a machine gun. People started screaming that they were hit… When we started running out there were probably a couple hundred [people] on the ground,” she told MSNBC.
“People kept dropping and dropping… People were getting shot one foot away from us,” she said. “People were trying to save their friends. There were gunshots everywhere. Helping them would’ve meant that we got shot too.”
Videos taken at the scene show mass hysteria as gun shots rang out and the band fled the stage.