Police have identified Stephen Paddock as the mass murderer in last night’s Las Vegas shooting. Paddock was found dead in a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino on the Las Vegas strip after the shooting. Paddock’s death was an apparent suicide.
Who was Stephen Craig Paddock and why would he want to senselessly slaughter scores of people who were peacefully attending a concert?
Paddock, 64, was a resident of Mesquite, Nev. Mesquite is a small town about 80 miles to the northeast of Las Vegas on Interstate 15. Multiple sources report that police there had never had any problems with Mr. Paddock, but NBC has reported that he was “known” to authorities. The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that Mr. Paddock bought a 2,018 square foot home in Mesquite in 2015 for $369,000 and lived there with his girlfriend, Marilou Danley.
Danley was originally considered a person of interest in the attack, but seems to have been cleared of involvement at this point. NBC News reports that Paddock may have used her identification, but that she was out of the country at the time of the shooting. Police have reportedly already spoken with Danley. The Daily Wire, citing Facebook posts, claims that Danley may be married to a man named Geary Danley.
The Telegraph reports that Paddock had previous addresses in Reno and Henderson, Nev. as well as Melbourne, Fl. and several locations in California. NBC reports that the family grew up in Sun Valley, Calif.
Contrary to some reports, Mr. Paddock apparently did not have an active Facebook page. Heavy.com notes that the photo of Mr. Paddock holding a shot glass was actually taken from Marilou Danley’s Facebook page.
Paddock’s brother, Eric Paddock, 55, of Orlando, said that the murderer was “just a guy” without any serious health or money problems. Eric Paddock said that Stephen lived a quiet retirement life and would often go to Las Vegas to play poker and slot machines.
Stephen Paddock is also reported to have had a pilot license. NBC reports that the last time that he was known to have flown a plane was in 2010 and that he had owned two airplanes.
Authorities report that 10 guns were found in the hotel room with Mr. Paddock’s body and that guns and ammunition were also found in a search of his home. So far, there has been no indication that any of the guns were illegal. Paddock is known to have been a hunter with an Alaska hunting license.
The Associated Press reported that Islamic State claimed that Paddock converted to Islam several months ago. The AP notes that ISIS did not provide evidence of the conversion and authorities say that there is no known connection between Paddock and international Islamic terrorist groups. His brother said that Paddock had “no affiliation to anything.”
Thus far no motive has been established in the killing spree. Most recent mass shootings have been perpetrated by either Islamic terrorists or people with untreated mental illness. As of this writing, there is no indication that Stephen Paddock fits into either of those categories.
“As they drill into his life, there will be nothing to be found,” Eric Paddock said of his brother.