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Meet Stephen Paddock – A Millionaire Gambler Who Killed 59, Injured 527, Owned 42 Firearms



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Oct 03 2017
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Stephen Paddock was a high-stakes gambler recognized in the casinos of Nevada. More importantly, he was a self-made millionaire who dabbled in real estate investments in Texas. Divorced twice (in 1980 and 1990), 64-year-old Mr. Paddock was a retired accountant, having had his full-time employment 30 years ago. And he owned 2 single-engine planes.

 

Living in a US$369,000 home he purchased in 2015 in a quiet retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, he drew very little attention from his neighbours. But he frequently travelled to Las Vegas to play high-stakes video poker. However, public records offered no hint of financial distress or criminal history. His relatives claim that he displayed no strong religious or political views.

 

But when Stephen Paddock went on a 70-minute shooting spree, killing at least 59 and injured 527 people on the Route 91 Harvest Festival, where country music star Jason Aldean was performing for more than 22,000 fans, Islamic State (Daesh, ISIS, ISIL) sprung into action and took the credit – claiming that the attacker was one of its soldiers who had converted to Islam a few months ago.

Las Vegas Shooting - Stephen Paddock

ISIS Islamic State Holding Flags Swords and Gun

If it was true that Paddock had converted to Islam and terrorized his fellow Americans after being radicalized, he took his secret with him to the grave. As far as authorities are concerned, the FBI has found no connection on the mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino – the deadliest in the American history – to international terrorism.

 

Paddock’s employment included Lockheed Martin, an American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company, from 1985 to 1988. Paddock’s girlfriend, a 62-year-old Asian woman named Marilou Danley, was out of the country at the time of the shooting. The 64-year-old gunman killed himself in the hotel room before SWAT team arrived.

 

Police, however, has recovered a huge cache of guns and explosives from his Las Vegas hotel room and home – 23 guns, including assault rifles, at the Mandalay Bay hotel, and another 19 firearms along with bomb-making materials at one of his two homes. While his motive remains a mystery, there’s little doubt that Paddock had pre-planned the shooting for at least a couple of days.

Las Vegas Shooting - Where the Gunman Opened Fire - 2

Las Vegas Shooting - View From The 32nd Floor Of The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino

Mr. Paddock checked in as a hotel guest since Thursday, Sept. 28 before the attack. Strangely, hotel staff members who had gone in and out of his room located in the 32nd-floor had not detected the trove of weapons. Like the authorities, his brother, Eric Paddock, was dumbfounded that Stephen who had no military background could get himself the automatic weapons.

 

There was also zero escape plans at all, suggesting that Stephen Paddock was ready to take his own life after his “mission”. But he knew what he wanted to do and he knew how he was going to do it. He brought along an arsenal of firepower – 42 guns (including AR-15-style assault rifles), thousands of bullets and tripods in 10 suitcases to his hotel room overlooking the Route 91 Harvest country music festival.

 

Eric Paddock also told The Associated Press that he had not talked to his brother in 6 months and last heard from him when Stephen checked in briefly by text message after Hurricane Irma. Eric recalled receiving a recent text from his brother showing “a picture that he won US$40,000 on a slot machine. But that’s the way he played.”

Las Vegas Shooting - AR-15-Style Assault Rifles

Las Vegas Shooting - Police Take Cover

The only motive, or rather excuse, as to the reason why a 64-year-old rich retired accountant could do such an evil thing is that he was the son of a bank robber who ultimately escaped from prison and spent most of the 1970s on the FBI’s most wanted list. Mr. Paddock was only 7 when his father was arrested and subsequently convicted in 1961 of committing a series of bank robberies.

 

Benjamin Hoskins Paddock was sentenced to 20 years, but escaped from La Tuna federal prison in Texas in 1968 and then became a used car dealer and bingo parlour operator in Oregon. An FBI poster issued after the escape said Benjamin had been “diagnosed as psychopathic” and should be considered “armed and very dangerous.” The elder Paddock died in 1998.

 

Unless the authorities plan to blame the shooting on Paddock’s genetic, FBI is clueless on the case. Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI hostage negotiator, said – “So far, Paddock doesn’t seem like a typical mass murderer. Paddock is much older than the typical shooter and was not known to be suffering from a mental illness.”

Las Vegas Shooting - Benjamin Hoskins Paddock

 

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This is a very good HL&S article.

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