Skip to comments.Las Vegas Shooter's Life Comes Into Focus, But Not His Motive
Posted on 10/06/2017 7:25:31 AM PDT by Zhang Fei
Investigators in Las Vegas are sifting through evidence they've gathered from the homes of the man who sprayed a concert crowd with gunfire. They've begun to interview his girlfriend. They've learned quite a bit about Stephen Paddock's past and preparation, but there is still no explanation why he damaged and destroyed so many lives.
Ken Russell is a retired wildlife biologist who lives in the same neighborhood where the Las Vegas shooter lived, in the sunny retirement community of Sun City Mesquite. That the carnage on Sunday night was carried out by someone living there was a shock, he said.
"This is a quiet neighborhood," said Russell on Monday, as he walked among palm trees, cacti, and houses of stucco and tile. "All of them up here in Sun City are quiet. People are too old to make any commotion."
That was the first surprise for investigators: that a 64-year-old man, an apparently wealthy retiree, a former postal worker, IRS agent and government auditor, would commit mass murder. He doesn't fit the mass shooter profile.
Others in Mesquite spotted Paddock playing cards and video poker in the local casinos, betting and winning big, stopping in at the community center, or picking up coffee at Starbucks.
Even his younger brother said he was puzzled by the rampage.
"He was a guy who took his little brother camping," Eric Paddock told reporter Amy Green at NPR station WFME in Orlando. "He was a guy who loved his women. He was a guy who played video poker. He was a guy who worked his ass off and made my family helped make my family and my mother affluent. He was a guy who, you know, was nice to my kids."
"That he did what he did, it just doesn't compute," he said.
The shooter made millions in investments in real estate, according to public records, in California, Nevada, Texas and Florida.
And he loved gambling and guns. Paddock had elite status at bigger casinos in Las Vegas, according to industry sources who insisted on anonymity to protect their jobs. Police say he bought dozens of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition and explosives typically used for target shooting.
Three times earlier this year, he drove the 40 miles from Mesquite to St. George, Utah, to Dixie GunWorx, where gun seller Chris Michel found him more engaging than most.
"He came in and everything he wore, his demeanor, the person that he was, the openness, with his personality," said Michel. "He was the guy next door that would, you know, mow people's lawns for you. He would be the guy handing out ice cream cones on the corner when the bus comes to a stop to the kids. He would be the one that all of us would have taken to the family barbecue and invited. He just, he was an open guy to us."
Paddock easily passed the background checks he needed to buy a shotgun from Michel and other weapons from other dealers. So far, police have revealed no evidence of illegal possession of firearms. Some neighbors in Nevada, Texas and Florida who've spoken with reporters, simply say Paddock and his girlfriend kept to themselves, and didn't do anything alarming.
"He was very trusting to complete strangers," said Sharon Judy, who lived next door to the home Paddock owned in Melbourne, Fla. She says he handed her a key, asking her to keep an eye on the house and borrow any tools she might be able to use.
"It's really scary to think this is a guy next door," she told NPR's Pam Fessler. "Perfectly normal. On nobody's radar. Nobody's reason to think anything of any of it. And then all of a sudden he goes out and does something like this."
Police are similarly puzzled. Clark County Sherriff Joe Lombardo said the shooting and the evidence gathered so far show meticulous planning by a disturbed and dangerous man.
Paddock used Airbnb to rent a condo in a downtown Las Vegas high-rise during a different music festival the weekend before he fired upon the Route 91 Harvest Festival. And someone named Stephen Paddock booked a room at a Chicago hotel overlooking Grant Park during Lollapalooza there in August, though the hotel says no one by that name actually stayed at the hotel then.
"What we know is Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo, and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood," Lombardo said on Wednesday.
And the sheriff speculated that the shooter may have had an accomplice: "You've got to make the assumption he had to have some help at some point."
The shooter's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, said she had no hints of the rampage. Her attorney, Matthew Lombard, read a statement from Danley, which said in part:
"I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man. I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him. He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of, that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen."
"A little more than two weeks ago, Stephen told me he found a cheap ticket for me to the Philippines and that he wanted me to take a trip home to see my family. Like all Filipinos abroad, I was excited to go home and see family and friends. While there, he wired me money, which he said was for me to buy a house for me and my family. I was grateful, but honestly, I was worried that first, the unexpected trip home, and then the money, was a way of breaking up with me. It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone."
This apparent silence, the secret life, also defies another characteristic of mass shooters, says Dr. Reid Meloy, a forensic psychologist at the University of California San Diego Medical School. Meloy's research shows that some kind of grievance big or small can be a triggering event. The grievance can spiral into planning and preparing some kind of response.
"That's of course the mystery in this particular case is that there doesn't yet seem to be any grievance that's surfaced," says Meloy.
The secretive planning and preparing for the response can end up overshadowing the grievance as it becomes its own motivation. And Meloy says research shows that mass shooters often fuel their excitement by telling somebody something of their plans.
"A number of studies have found that a majority of these individuals that carry out mass murders will communicate their intent to a third party before they do it," he says. "There is at least one person that knows the path that this individual is on. There does not seem to be any evidence of that yet in this case which would be an anomaly."
That's an assessment shared by the sheriff on Wednesday.
"Anything that would indicate this individual's trigger point and that would cause him to do such harm we haven't understood it yet," said Lombardo.
Four days after the shooter carried out his meticulous plan, investigators have learned some things about Stephen Paddock. But still not enough to make sense of his terrible crime.
I think Trump knows too.
Before leaving for Las Vegas, he says: “this is a very sad day for ME”.
I think the evidence is pointing to a very anti-Trump individual radicalized by the media and liberal politicians.
Who's that guy, and don't say Stephen Paddock because it's absolutely not him.
Never mind that they don't even look alike but do you honestly think that Paddock, a man who surrounded his home with a mesh privacy fence and told his neighbors he didn't like people looking at him is going to march around Reno with a giant pink pussy on his head?
Sorry There's just so many posts saying somethings along the lines of, "If they find out this guy is a liberal, the media will cover it up!" when the media, CNN in particular, was completely honest about Hodgkinson's liberalism.
He needed no motive; he was an asset of the intelligence community, a “Useful Idiot.”
I suspect (and hope) we’ll find out more in the days ahead. He did understand one key aspect of operational security, though. Once a secret is known by more than one person, it’s no longer a secret. So maybe he took his motive to the grave with him.
What do you base that on?
Right now forensic specialists in Quantico are going through his computers. That's going to take a while. I'm sure the public will be debriefed on what is found, if anything's found.
So, after combing through hours of surveillance video at the hotel, they’re certain no one else ever entered that room; Paddock took all of those weapons and all of that ammo into the room by himself over a relatively short period of time and no one noticed anything?
“Sniff, sniff...” Not sure what it is, but something just doesn’t smell right.
“..some kind of grievance big or small can be a triggering event. The grievance can spiral into planning and preparing some kind of response...”
Investigators need to go WAY BACK... for the answer to this. If he has been stockpiling weapons, etc. for decades... the then trigger is that old too
Paid informant? Laundered cash by claiming big gambling wins? Could this guy have been a spook? Why don’t we know where he went to college, for pity’s sake??!
Who is ‘we’?
Cal State - Northridge, Business Administration
Just my observation from listening, reading and watching from afar, this guy was like a lone wolf who acted under the radar as an embedded terrorist cell waiting for the right time and venue to carry out his attack.
But with all the government surveillance of Americans going on, it is surprising that investigators have not uncovered any inkling of a motive yet.
I believe that this image and the video of the guy demonstrating and wearing the pussy hat most likely are of the shooter. Not that it matters all than much. I thought that the clip was found after someone who saw him at the event and remembered others calling him Steven went looking for videos.
The authorities are keeping the motive hidden because he was a disgruntled Trump hating Hillary or Bernie supporter. There are millions and millions of others just like him. The authorities do not want copycats springing up everywhere. Because despite all the tough talk on the right, the left has always been the side abundant with godless radicals who could not care less about the value of human life and hurting others. They are the ones who truly want civil war when they do not get their way. And they are the ones willing to attack and kill innocents if they have some sort of a fantasy that it will somehow help their cause. The practical danger level between a militant leftist and a radical Muslim is almost nil. You will notice that the people at the department of homeland security go out of their way to ignore both groups.
Lets not forget that the real NAZIs were socialists.
or at least one they are willing to disclose. Never trust a Fed.
Do hotel personnel pay special attention to guests wheeling suitcases into their rooms?
They knew within an hour after he was dead exactly what his motive was. They do not want to inspire a bunch of other disgruntled leftists copycats who feel wronged by the electoral process and would like to start a civil war to get their way.
I’m tired of this “secret life” hooey. Just because he didn’t inform the entire FB community his favorite latte and he didn’t have grandkids and half a dozen girlfriends to post about doesn’t mean a secret life. It’s more that crazy “Mrs. Kravitz” Susan neighbor didn’t approve of his lifestyle. She’s jealous he had money to travel the world and fly off to whatever city to gamble that he wished.
As to the why, that’s the big question. Yes, the feds know. Guaranteed within 5 minutes Big Brother and NSA had every bit of info on him for the past two decades.
I’m not so sure he scouted out other cities. He had hotel perks for all over the country. He wasn’t beholden to anyone to keep to a specific schedule. Someone like him could check in or check out of a hotel without answering to anyone and bet his history would prove he flitted around the country on whims.
I think it could be a hybrid attack; an anti-Trump/antifa inspired attack with help from international terrorism.
OK. Been looking for his college.
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