On October 1, 2017, 64-year-old Mesquite local, Stephen Paddock, unleashed a fury of gunfire upon a crowd of 22,000 concert-goers at an outdoor country music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, and in the days since, we’ve learned a lot about the man behind this horrible event.
The devastating attack left 58 people dead and over 570 wounded, in what has now been described as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The massacre is currently believed to have started at 10:05 p.m., in which gunfire rained down upon the crowd below for a staggering 10 minutes. However, before police could storm the room, Paddock had turned the gun on himself, where he suffered a fatal self-inflicted gunshot wound.
From suspicious money transfers, additional planned attacks, and even a family history on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, here are seven chilling facts that you need to know about the Las Vegas shooter.
7. He Shot A Security Guard Just Before He Unleashed His Attack
Six minutes before Stephen Paddock began unleashing havoc upon concert-goers from his hotel room, he shot a hotel security guard that approached his door. Jesus Campos, initially came to the 32nd floor after investigating an alarm that went off in another room, signaling that a door had been left open. While investigating, he heard a drilling sound coming from Paddock’s room, where he was then shot through the door.
Immediately after being shot, Campos notified the security team of his situation, which ultimately assisted the police in identifying exactly where the shooter was located. Even more so, Campos’ actions helped potentially save the life of a maintenance worker that was on the same floor at the time.
It’s scary to think that should Campos had not approached Paddock’s room, just how differently the attack may have played out.
6. He May Have Been Looking To Target Other Cities
In what can only be described as a chilling new discovery by investigators, it seems that Paddock may have very well been planning to carry out further attacks at concerts or sporting events in other major cities. Investigators claim that Paddock booked rooms at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago overlooking Lollapalooza and had reserved a room at the Ogden in Las Vegas during the Life is Beautiful festival that occurred late last month.
Boston police commissioner was even informed by FBI agents that evidence had been found that Paddock scouted sites in and around Fenway Park and the Boston Center for the Arts.
While Paddock’s motive is still unclear, it seems that we may never truly know if Paddock had indeed planned for further attacks to take place across The United States.
5. His Father Was Listed On The FBI’s Most Wanted List
Despite avoiding any major run-ins with the law before the devastating tragedy on Oct. 1, 2017, it seems that crime does indeed run in the Paddock family, with his very own father appearing on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list.
Patrick Benjamin Paddock—also known as “Big Daddy” and “Chromedome”—was a notorious bank robber who spent eight years of his life on the run from police. However, the notorious criminal was eventually arrested in Las Vegas in 1960 after he attempted to run over an FBI agent with his car.
Paddock was eventually charged with stealing $25,000 from three bank branches in Phoenix, Arizona and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
4. Paddock Had Over 40 Weapons & Explosives In His Possession
After sweeping the hotel room belonging to Paddock, investigators found no fewer than 23 guns, which included a number of AR-15 assault rifles, a Kalashnikov rifle, and a vast stockpile of military grade .223 caliber ammunition. It is believed at this stage, that Paddock had smuggled the weapons into the room after he checked in 10 suitcases under an ID belonging to his girlfriend.
Even more chilling is that police found more weapons and explosives at his Mesquite home, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The arms cache included 19 weapons, several pounds of a commercially available explosive and thousands of rounds of ammunition. They even discovered traces of ammonium nitrate fertilizer in his car, which is used to make homemade bombs.
Had Paddock escaped from the Mandalay Bay Hotel, it is scary to even think about what he may have had planned for all of those weapons and explosives.
3. He Often Berated His Girlfriend In Public
During an interview, Paddock’s girlfriend—Marilou Danley—made some very questionable statements to her attorney as she claims that she knew Paddock as a kind, caring quiet man that she loved.
However, the employees of a local Mesquite Starbucks seem to disagree with her statement as the store supervisor, Esperanza Mendoza, and her fellow staff witnessed Paddock’s abusive nature firsthand. The staff claims the couple were frequent customers and often witnessed Paddock mistreating her in front of them and berating her verbally.
The workers stated that during one visit, Danley asked Paddock to let her use his casino card to make the purchases. In response, Paddock glared down at her saying “You don’t need my casino card for this. I’m paying for your drink, just like I’m paying for you.”
2. He Wired His Girlfriend $100,000 Just Days Before The Attack
Just over a week before the tragic massacre occurred, Marilou Danley, Stephen Paddock’s girlfriend, had no idea that she would be travelling to the Philippines until Paddock had surprised her with cheap flight tickets.
Despite Danley’s excitement to be traveling home to see friends and family, she stated that she was wary of the gesture as she was worried that it may have been Paddock’s way of getting rid of her, or even breaking up. Her suspicions increased when Paddock wired her $100,000 which insisted it to be used to buy a house for Danley and her family. While she was convinced that the unexpected trip and money was a way of breaking up with her, she never thought Paddock would be planning such a violent attack.
As it seems, Paddock planned the attack in advance and wanted to ensure that Danley was not present during shooting —especially given the suspicious $100,000 money transfer.
1. He Was An Avid Gambler That Spent Thousands
Although it wasn’t unusual for Paddock to spend hours in front of the casino slot machines and video poker, he wasn’t particularly well-liked by many of the casino staff members as he often “… acted like everybody worked for him and that he was above others” as he would get irritated and angry when things weren’t to his liking.
Being the avid gambler that he was, it wasn’t uncommon for him to spend large amounts at the Las Vegas casino’s as his brother, Eric Paddock, even recently received a text messaging from his brother showcase a $40,000 win.
However, it did appear that Paddock had been gambling heavily in the weeks ahead of the massacre, as casino records show that he engaged in 16 transactions of more than $10,000 in the weeks leading up to the shooting. Unfortunately, it isn’t clear if he won or lost during these bets.
While Paddock’s motive is still unclear, many are questioning whether his gambling issues played some part in the attack.
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