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Who is Stephen Paddock, Las Vegas shooter?

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 10/2/2017 Josh Peter and Kevin Johnson and Caroline Glenn and Aamer Madhani

An ambulance leaves the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Ave. after a mass shooting at a country music festival nearby on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas. At least 20 people are dead and more than 100 injured at this time. © Ethan Miller, Getty Images An ambulance leaves the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Ave. after a mass shooting at a country music festival nearby on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas. At least 20 people are dead and more than 100 injured at this time.

MESQUITE, Nev. — Police have identified the man accused of killing at least 58 people and wounding 515 in a Las Vegas shooting rampage as Stephen Paddock, a resident of Mesquite, Nev.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said officers determined the gunshots were coming from a room on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay complex on the Las Vegas Strip in what authorities say is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

As police entered the room, Paddock, 64, killed himself, Lombardo said. At least 10 rifles were found in the room; it appeared he had hammered out the windows of the room before shooting.

"Right now, we believe it's a sole actor, a lone-wolf-type actor," Lombardo said.

Lombardo said that investigators were still trying to determine the gunman's motive. "I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath at this point."


Investigators believe Paddock used the vantage point to fire on the 22,000 person crowd that gathered for an outdoor country music concert. He opened fire as the artist Jason Aldean performed.

Law enforcement officials have not uncovered any information to suggest other public venues are threatened, the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement. Still, DHS security may be heightened in and around public places and events, DHS said.

The Islamic State claimed after the attack that Paddock was one of the terror group's "soldiers." But  Aaron Rouse, chief of the FBI’s Las Vegas office, told reporters that investigators have found no links to international terror groups.

Eric Paddock, the brother of the suspected gunman, told reporters outside his home in Orlando that he was "dumbfounded" by the attack.

He said he last heard from his from his brother via text message to inquire about how their mother was doing after Eric Paddock's Florida neighborhood lost electricity for several days.

Eric Paddock added that his brother had "no machine guns" when he helped move him from Florida to Nevada a few years ago.

"There is no reason we can imagine why Stephen would do something like this," Paddock said.“We have no idea how this happened. It’s like an asteroid just fell on top of our family.”

Paddock told the USA TODAY Network in an interview that their late father, Benjamin Paddock, was a convicted bank robber and they were raised without him for most of their childhood. Benjamin, who was known as "Chromedome" and "Old Baldy" robbed a Phoenix bank in 1960, the Tuscon Daily Citizen reported in 1971. 

He later escaped from a Texas prison and for a time was on the FBI's Most Wanted List. He was captured in 1978 in Oregon, where he was running a big parlor.

Paddock said, to his knowledge, his brother didn't have a history of mental illness or substance abuse. He said his brother owned guns and played high-stakes video poker. 

In recent years, Paddock said they had gone skeet shooting and gambling together, but he had not detected anything was amiss.

But Paddock also described his relationship with his brother as being somewhat distant. He said Stephen barely knew his children and he talked to him every once in a while. He said he did not know Stephen's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, well.

"There's absolutely no way I can even conceive that my brother would shoot a bunch of people he didn't even know," Eric Paddock said. "There's no rationale. There's nothing anywhere that said why he did this."

Police blocked off the road to the suspect’s home in Mesquite, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Records show that Paddock resided at 1372 Babbling Brook Court in a home he purchased in 2015.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department obtained a search warrant and officers searched Paddock's home, said Quinn Averrett, public information officer for the Mesquite Police Department. The Mesquite department had secured the home and the perimeter around it but is playing only a supportive role in the investigation.

Law-enforcement agents completed an initial sweep of Paddock's home Monday morning in which investigators found additional weapons and ammunition, Averrett told reporters at a news conference Monday.  He later said he could confirm only that ammunition was found in the residence.

Investigators continued to search the residence, and Lombardo said that investigators were preparing to search a second residence in Nevada belonging to the gunman.

The house in Mesquite is in a retirement community, Sun City Mesquite, an upscale development of about 1400 homes. The community includes an 18-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a recreation center. Residents must be at least 55 years old, and no children are allowed.

Paddock was not known to the federal authorities. Paddock had no known connection to terrorism.

The gunman worked for the predecessor company of aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin from 1985 to 1988, the company said in a statement. The company did not release further details about his employment there.

Lombardo said law enforcement authorities had located a “person of interest” who he named as Marilou Danley, believed to be the suspect's roommate. She was later cleared of involvement, authorities said.

A federal law enforcement official who is not authorized to comment publicly said that Danley was located outside the country. Authorities were gathering information from her about Paddock.

Lombardo said officers had located a Hyundai Tucson and a Chrysler Pacifica Touring, both with Nevada plates, which were registered to the dead suspect.

Peter reported from Nevada and Glenn from Orlando. Contributing: Kevin McCoy and John Bacon



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