(National Sentinel) Mass Murder: The 64-year-old man who killed at least 59 people and wounded more than 515 with automatic weapons fire in Las Vegas Sunday night was a heavy gambler and may have been just as heavily in debt, which could explain his rampage.
Stephen Paddock fired into a crowd of thousands of people attending an outdoor country music concert from a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino and hotel Sunday night, sending bodies crashing to the ground and hundreds fleeing for their lives.
But his motives have remained a mystery as police and federal agents continue to investigate what is now the worst case of mass murder in American history.
As reported by the Washington Post:
He liked to bet big, wagering tens of thousands of dollars in a sitting. He owned homes in four states but preferred staying in casino hotels, sometimes for weeks at a time, as he worked the gambling machines.
Police found 23 guns in his hotel room after he apparently killed himself following the rampage. The found an additional 19 guns at his home in Vegas, one of four he owned around the country.
“If you told me an asteroid fell into Earth, it would mean the same to me. There’s absolutely no sense, no reason he did this,” his brother Eric Paddock told reporters outside his home in Orlando. “He’s just a guy who played video poker and took cruises and ate burritos at Taco Bell. There’s no political affiliation that we know of. There’s no religious affiliation that we know of.”
In the final years of his life, Stephen Paddock was living out his retirement in quiet obscurity. He liked country music, relatives said, and went to concerts like the Route 91 Harvest festival where he killed so many Sunday night.
He was worth more than $2 million, relatives said. Before retiring, he made a small fortune from real estate deals and a business that he and Eric Paddock sold off. He traveled a lot and had millions of free airline miles.
At various points of his life, Stephen Paddock worked for defense contractor Lockheed Martin and as an accountant and property manager. As a retiree, he had no children and plenty of money to play with. So he took up gambling.
Eric said he did not know of any mental illness, alcohol or drug problems in his brother’s life. He said he had no clue whether Stephen had gambling debts or was financially troubled.
“It’s like a job for him. It’s a job where you make money,” said Eric Paddock, adding that his brother could lose $1 million and still have enough to live on. “He was at the hotel for four months one time. It was like a second home.”
His brother was very particular about the games he played. “It had to be the right machine with double points, and there has to be a contest going on. He won a car one time,” Eric Paddock said.
“He’s known. He’s a top player. He’s the small end of the big fish.”
“Something broke in his head is the only thing possible. Did he have a stroke?” he said. “I’m hoping they cut open his brain and find something. There’s a data point missing.”
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