This post has been updated, with information on the criminal history of Stephen Paddock’s father.
The deadliest mass shooting in the US took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, last night, as a shooter opened fire on a concert from a window of the Mandalay Bay casino, shooting dead at least 50 people, and injuring upwards of 400 more. The man was identified by local authorities as Stephen Paddock, a resident of Mesquite, Nevada—roughly 80 miles from Las Vegas.
Even in the age of social media, where it can feel as if we can as if every facet of an individuals life can be uncovered by a few Google searches or queries on Facebook, there is not much information on Paddock available. Once authorities identify a suspect, social networks like Facebook and Twitter tend to act swiftly to remove profile pages. It doesn’t appear that Paddock had a Facebook page, but a woman he lived with, Marilou Danley, had one, before it was deleted earlier today (Oct. 2). Her pictures were standard holiday snaps and generic updates—a few appearing to include Paddock—with nothing to suggest any motives from Paddock.
Here’s what we know about Paddock so far:
- The 64 year-old man was not previously known to police, according to CNN.
- Paddock reportedly had “at least” 10 rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in the Mandalay Bay hotel room he had occupied since Sept. 28. Nevada doesn’t require gun licenses or for owners to register their guns, and citizens can own as many as they would like. Machine guns are legal in the state, but they have to be registered according to federal regulations, the National Rifle Association says.
- Paddock fired from a window on the 32nd floor of the hotel onto the Route 91 Harvest music festival taking place across the street. About 22,000 people were in attendance.
- Paddock was found dead, possibly having killed himself, when police entered his room, according to CNN.
- Local authorities are currently unclear on Paddock’s motives, according to the BBC.
- Paddock owned a home in a retirement community where he lived with Danley, 62. She was out of the country at the time of the shooting, according to police. Paddock’s home is being searched.
- Paddock held hunting and fishing licenses from Alaska, a private-pilot license, and may have worked as an accountant or auditor, according to ABC.
- He reportedly owned two aircraft as well. The Federal Aviation Administration is gathering his flight records, CNN reported.
- Paddock had no criminal record, apart from a citation several years ago.
- His brother, Eric Paddock, who lives in Florida, told NBC News he was stunned to hear what Stephen had done. Eric added that his retired brother was “just a guy.” He told CBS News that his brother had no military training, and had no idea where he obtained automatic weapons from:
- CBS News is reporting that Paddock’s father was Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, a bank robber who once tried to run down an FBI agent with his car, and was on the agency’s most-wanted list after escaping from a federal prison in 1969. Brother Eric Paddock told reporters that they did not grow up with their father around much, as he was in and out of prison, according to The Washington Post. “I was born on the run,” he said, adding that “my dad was about to be arrested for robbing banks.”