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(Courtesy of Eric Paddock via AP)

MESQUITE, Nev. (AP) — Stephen Paddock lived in a tidy Nevada retirement community where the amenities include golf, tennis and bocce. He was a wealthy real-estate investor, recently shipped his 90-year-old mother a walker and liked to play high-stakes video poker in Las Vegas.

Nothing in his background suggests why he would have been on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino with at least 17 guns on Sunday night, raining an unparalleled slaughter upon an outdoor country music festival below.

Law enforcement and family members could not explain what would motivate a one-time accountant with no known criminal record to inflict so much carnage. Paddock had apparently planned the attack in great detail, including showing up at the hotel with at least 10 suitcases.

“I can’t even make something up,” his bewildered brother, Eric Paddock, told reporters Monday. “There’s just nothing.”

At least 59 people were killed and nearly 530 injured in Paddock’s attack on the Route 91 Harvest Festival, where country music star Jason Aldean was performing for more than 22,000 fans. It was the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The 64-year-old gunman killed himself in the hotel room before authorities arrived.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, without offering evidence, but Aaron Rouse, the FBI agent in charge in Las Vegas, said investigators saw no connection to international terrorism.

Asked about a potential motive, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said he could not “get into the mind of a psychopath at this point.”

Public records offered no hint of financial distress or criminal history, though multiple people who knew him said he was a big gambler.

“No affiliation, no religion, no politics. He never cared about any of that stuff,” Eric Paddock said as he alternately wept and shouted. “He was a guy who had money. He went on cruises and gambled.”

Eric Paddock also told The Associated Press that he had not talked to his brother in six months and last heard from him when Stephen checked in briefly by text message after Hurricane Irma.

Their mother spoke with him about two weeks ago, and when he found out recently that she needed a walker, he sent her one, Eric Paddock said.

Eric Paddock recalled receiving a recent text from his brother showing “a picture that he won $40,000 on a slot machine. But that’s the way he played.”

He described his brother as a multimillionaire and said they had business dealings and owned property together. He said he was not aware that his brother had gambling debts.

“He had substantial wealth. He’d tell me when he’d win. He’d grouse when he’d lost. He never said he’d lost $4 million or something. I think he would have told me.”

Heavily armed police searched Paddock’s home Monday in Mesquite, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas near the Arizona border, looking for clues. Paddock lived there with his 62-year-old girlfriend, who authorities said was out of the country when the shooting happened. Eric Paddock described her as kindly and said she sometimes sent cookies to his mother.

Police also searched a two-bedroom home Paddock owned in a retirement community in Reno, 500 miles from Mesquite.

So far, Paddock doesn’t seem like a typical mass murderer, said Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI hostage negotiator and supervisor in the bureau’s behavioral science unit. Paddock is much older than the typical shooter and was not known to be suffering from a mental illness.

“My challenge is, I don’t see any of the classic indicators, so far, that would suggest, ‘OK, he’s on the road either to suicide or homicide or both,” Van Zandt said.

Nevertheless, his actions suggest that he had planned the attacks for at least a period of days.

Some of the rifles had scopes, the sheriff said. And two were modified to make them fully automatic, according to two U.S. officials briefed by law enforcement who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still unfolding.

“He knew what he wanted to do. He knew how he was going to do it, and it doesn’t seem like he had any kind of escape plan at all,” Van Zandt said.

While Stephen Paddock appeared to have no criminal history, his father was a notorious bank robber, Eric Paddock confirmed to The Orlando Sentinel. Benjamin Hoskins Paddock tried to run down an FBI agent with his car in Las Vegas in 1960 and wound up on the agency’s most wanted list after escaping from a federal prison in Texas in 1968, when Stephen Paddock was a teen.

The oldest of four children, Paddock was 7 when his father was arrested for the robberies. A neighbor, Eva Price, took him swimming while FBI agents searched the family home.

She told the Tucson Citizen at the time: “We’re trying to keep Steve from knowing his father is held as a bank robber. I hardly know the family, but Steve is a nice boy. It’s a terrible thing.”

An FBI poster issued after the escape said Benjamin Hoskins Paddock had been “diagnosed as psychopathic” and should be considered “armed and very dangerous.” He’d been serving a 20-year sentence for a string of bank robberies in Phoenix.

The elder Paddock remained on the lam for nearly a decade, living under an assumed name in Oregon. Investigators found him in 1978 after he attracted publicity for opening the state’s first licensed bingo parlor. He died in 1998.

Stephen Paddock bought his one-story, three-bedroom home in a newly built Mesquite subdivision for $369,000, in 2015, property records show. Past court filings and recorded deeds in California and Texas suggest he co-owned rental property.

He previously lived in another Mesquite — the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, Texas — from 2004 to 2012, according to Mesquite, Texas, police Lt. Brian Parrish. Paddock owned at least three separate rental properties, Parrish said, and there was no indication the police department had any contact with him over that time.

He has been divorced at least twice, including marriages that ended in 1980 and 1990. One of the ex-wives lives in Southern California, where a large gathering of reporters congregated in her neighborhood. Los Angeles police Sgt. Cort Bishop said she did not want to speak with journalists. He relayed that the two had not been in contact for a long time and did not have children.

In 2012, Paddock sued the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Resorts in Nevada, saying he slipped and fell on a wet floor there. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed by a judge and settled by arbitration.

Reached by telephone, Paddock’s lawyer at the time, Jared R. Richards, said he could not comment because of client confidentiality concerns.

___

Johnson reported from Seattle. Associated Press writers Terrance Harris and Tamara Lush in Orlando, Florida; Jennifer Kay in Miami; Florida; Eric Tucker in Washington, D.C.; David Warren in Dallas; Michael Sisak in Philadelphia; Lindsay Whitehurst in Salt Lake City; Jeff Donn in Plymouth, Massachusetts; Sadie Gurman and Eric Tucker in Washington; and AP researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.

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16 thoughts on “Las Vegas Shooter Was Wealthy Real Estate Investor, Brother Says

  1. From now on when white folks want to talk crazy I’m just going to say Vegas baby Vegas. What are we going to do about white on everybody crime?

  2. F-ing bastard! How can it be said that “NOTHING in his background suggests why….”
    Hello?? His father was wanted by the FBI for bank robbery and diagnosed “psychopathic, armed and dangerous…” Clearly, this sickness was in his DNA, as once again another family claims “not my brother…not my child…we had no clue…” WAKE UP, PEOPLE!! Pay attention!!

  3. Guest1 on said:

    Family and friends are saying this guy was a normal as sliced bread. Yeah okay, right. If you consider normal shooting up almost 600 people and killing 59 of them. Apparently, his family and friends knew nothing about him. If he was normal and didn’t fit the FBI’s profile of the average mentally ill white male mass murderer, then this speaks volumes. This means this man was a cold blooded killer, (even worse than his bank robbing daddy). (Oh no, his father was a criminal. Look at his upbringing. It’s obvious he was raised in a one parent home since his father was in federal prison and labeled psychotic. SMH. The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree. I stand by the statement that I made yesterday, some white people kill with malice and forethought and are just plain evil.

    On a side note: People had better start paying serious attention to #45’s behavior. His father had Alzheimer’s/Dementia. Remember the nut and the tree.

  4. Janaline on said:

    Oh Yeah!! Girlfriend MING-LING Conveniently Outta Town! Please! She Knew SOMETHING!! I Ain’t Buying Her BULL-SHHH Either!!

  5. Janaline on said:

    The News Reports say….. That There was NOTHING that Raised SUSPENSION about this FOOL! Well, I Guess NOT!! He was *WHITE* White people were NEVER Born/Raised to SUSPECT or Be SUSPICIOUS of Themselves!! Dude Took FULL Advantage of his WHITNESS!!! My BLACK SELF NOooo Matter HOW Legal I AM!! I Could NOT begin to PURCHASE LEGALLY that TYPE or That Much FIRE POWER!! Prayers to ALL Affected by such a SicK, EVIL Act!!! ~ Peace

  6. Leslie on said:

    I call B.S. on the so-called ISIS claim-of-responsibly. We don’t know that they ever made such a claim, but you can best believe that 45 wishes that they would, because in his warped mind, only then would it then be okay to call this guy what he was…a Terrorist! But at this point, he can’t make such a claim about this “lone wolf”, because he just doesn’t fit the demographic. 😒

    On another note, in all fairness, how would his brother know whether he had any religious beliefs, or political affiliations? He admittedly hadn’t even spoken to him in over 6 months! I’m an only child, but going 6 months without speaking to your sibling seems a bit odd to me…

    • americanize on said:

      You,re right Leslie,they never want to call a white male a terrorist.This was a terrorist act,Dylin Rouf,a terrorist act,Timithy Mcvay,a terrorist act.White Privilege at its best.At the cost of white lives,but white supremacy must privale at all cost.

      • Leslie on said:

        I agree with you. And I just read that over the course of the past 3 years, he’d had more than 200 reports of suspicious activities filed against him with authorities, most of which were related to completing large financial transactions because he was a gambler. But not all of
        the reports were financial, yet the cops have already started making excuses as to why they didn’t act on any of them. To be able to accumulate 200+ reports against you over a span of 3 years, and not be “flagged” or questioned even ONCE, is definitely a undeniable example of White privilege…

  7. this is just the world doing what it has done for so many years and it is never going to end until god comes wither people want to accept it or not ,we all think we know every thing ,But we are so blind because we think that we are smarter then the creator .I pray for those family that they will be strong .Right at the holidays things like this happen.Wake up America God is coming soon.Just so sad.

    • Which God are you referring to? Allah, Ahura Mazda, Horus, Krishna or the god of the bible that condones slavery – Ephesians 6:5, Ephesians 6:5-8, Colossians 3:22, Titus 2:9-10?

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