Nobody for now knows the intentions of Stephen Paddock, the gunman who killed at least 59 people and critically injured 527 others before taking his own life. His evil act has been described as the deadliest mass shooting in modern history of United States of America. This latest sad development would again reopen the call for gun control, which former President Barack Obama fought for during his regime, which of course he did not get enough support for.
Paddock, whose late father was bank robber who was on the wanted list of the police in the 60s according to the reports, checked into an expansive suit in the luxury Mandalay Bay Hotel on Thursday September 28, 2017, from where he perpetrated the dastardly act on Sunday October 1, 2017.
Security operatives recovered 23 weapons with thousands of ammunitions from the hotel room of 64 years old Stephen and later discovered another 19 from his residence where he lives with his girlfriend that is reportedly on holidays in Japan. Eric Paddock, the brother of the late assailant told the media that there was no sign of this sort of anger and evil intent about the brother.
Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards an open-air music festival attended by 22,000 in Las Vegas. The shooting, said the local police, started at 22.08 local time on Sunday (05:08 GMT on Monday). Paddock, a native of Mesquite, some 60 miles (100 km) north-east of Las Vegas, was believed to have been living in the hotel since September 28 and had unleashed hundreds of rounds of ammunition from a cache of weapons towards the revellers.
According to eyewitness accounts, hundreds of shots were fired as hundreds of people fled the scene. The sound of what appeared to be prolonged automatic gunfire could be heard on videos posted on the social media. Many hotels on the Las Vegas strip close to the scene remained on police lockdown and parts of the Las Vegas Boulevard were shut.
The shooter, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, was later found dead in a room on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Hotel in an apparent suicide. Lombardo said Paddock opened fire from the room and had acted alone. The authorities, according to him, had not completed an investigation into Paddock’s background and history.
But the police department, he added, had located a number of firearms in the room he occupied in the hotel. Officers will also be carrying out a search on Paddock’s residence.
Earlier, the police announced they were seeking a woman, Marilou Danley, Paddock’s partner, in connection with the shooting. But in his latest update, Sheriff Lombardo said she had been located outside the U.S. and was believed not to have played any role in the massacre. Danley was believed to have lived with Paddock, and Sheriff Lombardo said he used some of her identity documents to check into the hotel.
The FBI also spoke with Eric Paddock, the brother of the gunman, at his home in central Florida. Eric also gave a few interviews at greater length. “He was my brother and it’s like an asteroid fell out of the sky,” Eric told CNN. He said he last spoke to his brother when Stephen wanted to check in on their mother after Hurricane Irma. He also expressed shock and horror to CBS that his brother could commit such a crime. He had “no religious affiliation, no political affiliation, he just hung out”, Eric said.
“He’s not an avid gun guy at all. The fact that he had those kinds of weapons is just – where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background or anything like that. He’s just a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite, drove down and gambled in Las Vegas. He did stuff. Ate burritos,” the gunman’s younger brother said. Eric said when he heard the news he became scared for his brother’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, worrying that “he might’ve hurt her too”.
Even as the police said Paddock had no known connection to terrorism, the so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting – an assertion dismissed by the FBI.
The terror group’s news agency Amaq had claimed: “The Las Vegas attack was carried out by a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried it out in response to calls to target states of the coalition,” adding: “The Las Vegas attacker converted to Islam a few months ago.”