(LAS VEGAS) — Stephen Paddock, 64, is the man suspected of killing at least 58 people and injuring at least 515 in Las Vegas on Sunday night in what is now believed to be the worst mass shooting in US history, police said Monday.
According to police, the shooter opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino at a large crowd of more than 20,000 concertgoers across the street attending the final night of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. Witnesses described the shooting as “nonstop gunfire,” suggesting the use of automatic or semi-automatic weapons.
Police responded to the scene Sunday night and breached the suspect’s hotel room and found that the shooter, who they believe acted alone, had killed himself. Police said more than 10 rifles were found in Paddock’s hotel room at Mandalay Bay, and they believe the shooter brought the weapons into the hotel on his own and used “a device similar to a hammer” to smash the hotel room windows between him and the crowd below.
Police had been seeking to question the suspect’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, 62, who appears to have lived with Paddock in Mesquite, Nev., about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, but authorities do not believe she was involved in the shooting as she was located out of the country.
The motive for the shooting remains unclear. Police said Paddock had no criminal history, save a minor citation, so officials had no prior knowledge about the suspect. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, but officials have not uncovered any connections between the suspect and any foreign terrorist groups.
“The FBI stated there is no apparent tie to international terrorism,” one senior official told ABC News. “Perhaps ISIS is just trying to take credit.”
He appears to have worked as an accountant or auditor and was at one point employed by a company that later become Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s largest defense contractors.
“Stephen Paddock worked for a predecessor company of Lockheed Martin from 1985 until 1988,” the company tells ABC in a statement. “We’re cooperating with authorities to answer questions they may have about Mr. Paddock and his time with the company.”
Paddock was also a licensed hunter and private pilot. He owned an aircraft that he kept at Mesquite Metro Airport in Texas from 2007 to 2009.
“I do not recall that he was ever a person who created any problems for us,” the airport director told ABC News. “He kept his accounts up to date and we never had any problems with him here.”
Eric Paddock, the suspected shooter’s brother, told ABC News that the family was completely “dumbstruck” by the news, likening the revelation to being “crushed by an asteroid.”
“We have no idea how or why this happened,” Eric Paddock said. “As far as we know, Steve was perfectly fine.”
While the suspect wasn’t familiar to authorities, his name should be. The suspect’s brother told ABC’s Tampa affiliate WFTS that their estranged father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, was a notorious bank robber who spent several years on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitive” list.
A wanted poster circulated in 1969 described the elder Paddock as a “very dangerous” criminal.
“Diagnosed as psychopathic,” the description reads. “Has carried firearms in commission of bank robberies. He reportedly has suicidal tendencies and should be considered armed and very dangerous.”
Officers also responded to the suspect’s home and executed a search warrant, where police said they found additional weapons and ammunition.
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