Two men who have admitted to selling weapons to Paddock said that he seemed normal at the time.
Christopher Sullivan, general manager of Guns & Guitars in Mesquite, Nevada, told the New York Times that he sold Paddock a handgun and two rifles.
He said Paddock had passed standard federal screening checks, and seemed like ‘a normal fellow, a normal guy – nothing out of the ordinary.’
‘As for what goes on in a person’s mind, I couldn’t tell you,’ he added. ‘I know nothing about him personally.’
Chris Michel, the owner of Dixie GunWorx in St George, Utah, told St George News that Paddock came into his store three times, and bought one shotgun.
Paddock was an ‘average, everyday Joe Blow,’ Michel said. ‘Nobody that stood out; no red flags’.
He said Paddock seemed ‘mellow’ and ‘not uptight’; a ‘grandpa next door’.
In the past, he has denied potential gun buyers their purchases if they appear to be ‘sketchy’, he said.
‘With him, we didn’t have that feeling. None of the staff had any red flags whatsoever.’
A SWAT team also raided a second property owned by Paddock in Reno on Monday. Bomb experts were on hand, due to concerns over booby traps.
Police have not yet revealed what, if anything, they found there. Speaking on Monday evening, police said that the scene was still being examined by detectives.
Although ISIS have repeatedly attempted to claim credit for the shooting, saying Paddock had recently converted to Islam, both his brother and authorities have dismissed the claims.
He had ‘no religious affiliation, no political affiliation,’ Eric said, adding: ‘He just hung out.’
He also had no Army training, nor expressed any particular interest in guns, Eric added – though he admitted that, as he lives in Florida, he had not spoken much with his brother over the last year.
‘His life is an open book. It’s all in public record,’ he said. ‘Once again, there is nothing. He went to college. He had a job.’
Paddock had both hunting and fishing licenses according to public records, as well as his pilot’s license, but no criminal record in the state of Nevada.
Only his gambling habit stood out as unusual; Stephen would play $100 hands of video poker, and ‘once texted me a picture that he won $40,000 on a slot machine,’ Eric said.
Neighbors at one of his properties in Florida said that they had barely talked to him – that he gave them keys to check on the property, and would only turn up every three months or so.
When he did, they said, he would rarely be seen because he stayed up late at night playing poker online.
Law enforcement officials said that in recent weeks he had made a number of transactions in Las Vegas that were in the tens of thousands of dollars.
On some days he spent more than $30,000, and on others more than $20,000, according to an individual who had seen Paddock’s Multiple Currency Transaction Reports.
It’s not known whether he made money back on any recent bets, or lost it.
Paddock lived in Mesquite with his 62-year-old girlfriend Marilou Danley. She was initially named a person of interest in the shooting, because she appeared to have checked into the hotel with him.
But when police called her, they found out she has been out of the country and that Paddock had used her ID to check into the hotel.
They no longer believe she had anything to do with the massacre, but plan to interview her when she returns to the US.
A friend told the Reno Gazette-Journal that Danley is in the Phillipines, but Lombardo said Monday afternoon she is believed to be in Tokyo, Japan.
In his private life, Paddock enjoyed country shows on the Las Vegas Strip – such as the one he eventually attacked.
Paddock’s time in Las Vegas wasn’t totally without event, however; in 2012 he filed a lawsuit against Cosmopolitan Hotels & Resorts following an incident that occurred at their Las Vegas casino.
Paddock spent two years in court fighting his case after submitting his initial complaint citing ‘Negligence – Premises Liability.’
It was ultimately dismissed with prejudice in late 2014, and exact details of the case were not available on the Clark County Courts website.
Paddock was also the son of Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, a serial bank robber who ended up on the FBI Most Wanted list back in 1969 when he escaped from federal prison in Texas while serving a 20 years sentence.
The FBI kept him on the list for the next eight years, and he was eventually found one year after he was removed from the list in 1978 while outside an Oregon Bingo hall.
The agency said that the fugitive had been ‘diagnosed as psychopathic’ and also had possible ‘suicidal tendencies.’
Paddock had committed suicide by the time police breached the door to his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort just after 10pm on Sunday night.
The attack played out as Jason Aldean performed on stage to close out the third and final day of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, which was taking place across the street from the resort.
Over 22,000 people were in attendance at the event, and described the attack as ‘nonstop gunfire,’ which only stopped when Paddock went to reload his weapon.
Police said in a press conference early Monday that that Paddock’s death was the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
During the chaos, claims of multiple shooters, bombings and suspicious cars circulated, but police said they were only rumors.
THE FIRST LAS VEGAS VICTIMS ARE IDENTIFIED
The first shooting victims have been identified after 59 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday in what has become the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
Sonny Melton, 29, Denise Salmon Burditus, 50, Lisa Romero, Jordan McIldoon, 23, Jessica Klymchuk, 28, Jenny Parks, Susan Smith, 53, Adrian Murfitt, 35, John Phippen, Rhonda LeRocque, Dana Gardner, Quinton Robbins, 20, and Bailey Schweitzer, all lost their lives when 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock of nearby Mesquite, Nevada began shooting from his hotel room across the street at the Mandalay Bay Casino.
Another 515 people were injured in what is now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Melton’s wife, Heather, a surgeon, was with him watching Jason Aldean at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. She said her brave and selfless husband died protecting her.
‘He saved my life. He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back,’ she told WSMV. ‘I want everyone to know what a kind-hearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe.’
The couple lived in Big Sandy, Tennessee, where Melton worked as a registered nurse in an emergency room and ICU at Henry County Medical Center.
His wife works at the hospital and he aided her in the operating room. They married in 2016.
‘We were the couple that never should have met, fallen in love or had a future together….but life is funny and we believe God brought us together as soul mates,’ read their wedding page on The Knot.
‘We have shared amazing times together and nearly unbearable heartaches but through it all we have grown stronger in our love for each other and our families.’
Mother-of-two and kindergarten teacher Jenny Parks, of Lancaster, LA in California, was also killed in the carnage.
Her aunt, Rhonda Boyle, wrote on Facebook: ‘It’s a sad day for me and my family my niece was murdered killed by that SOB in Los Vegas. Please pray for me and my family, she was a sweet woman… and a good mother.’
She leaves behind her husband Bobby Parks, 39, and their two kids.
Denise Salmon Burditus, 50, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, reportedly died in the arms of her husband of 32 years, Tony Burditus, just minutes after posting a picture of themselves at the festival.
Burditus, a semi-retired grandmother and mom, according to Facebook, regularly posted loving posts about her husband Tony, who was her high school sweetheart from Hedgesville High School. The couple had moved around a lot, according to friends, but had recently returned to Martinsburg to settle down.
Her friend Jeanette McNally said she was in ‘complete shock and grief’ at her pal’s death.
‘Beautiful Denise Salmon Burditus life was taken during the attack on Las Vegas,’ she wrote. ‘What a loss.
‘I’m just praying for comfort for their shattered hearts. Her family…Her adoring husband…Her beautiful children and grandbabies…Her friends whom she loved like family.’
Gallup-McKinley County School confirmed that Romero, a secretary at Miyamura High School, in New Mexico, was also among the dead. Superintendent Mike Hyatt sent out an email to district staffers, saying ‘our prayers go out to her family during this tragic time.’
Adrian Murfitt, from Anchorage, also died at the concert, according to his friend Brian MacKinnon, who attended the festival with him.
MacKinnon told KTUU that Murfitt was ‘one of the happiest people I know’ and that the ‘wrong person’ had died.
Susan Smith, 53, an office manager for the Simi Valley Unified School District since 2001, was also killed, a spokeswoman for the district confirmed. Smith was said to be a big country music fan and was the ‘hub’ and ‘heart’ of Vista Elementary School, where she worked for three years.
‘She was wonderful. She had a great sense of humor. She’s patient and kind,’ spokesman Jake Finch told the Ventura County Star.
Vista PTA released a statement which read: ‘Our hearts are full of sorrow for the passing of Susan Smith. She was a wonderful woman, an advocate for our children, and a friend.’
Rhonda LeRocque, a minister’s wife, from Tewksbury, Massachusetts, had been at the concert with her six-year-old daughter, father-in-law and husband of 20 years, Jason. Her father-in-law had just taken LeRocque’s daughter home when the gunfire began.
LeRocque died instantly after being shot in the back of the head.
Her devastated family told Boston 25 News that she was a country music lover, who loved her family and dreamed of owning her own company one day. She was ‘close to perfection as you can get,’ they said.
Fellow victim John Phippen, of Santa Clarita, California, was at the concert with his son Travis – a medic – when he was shot dead.
Travis, who was shot in the arm, was able to patch up at least 14 others at the scene, but tragically wasn’t able to save his own father.
John, who owned remodeling and repair company JP Specialties, in Clarita, was remembered by friends as a ‘good man’ and an ‘amazing soul’ who would often like to sing as he worked.
He had a ‘smile that would light up a room,’ friend Thomas Polucki told KHTS . ‘He will be missed.’
Two Canadians were among the dozens killed in the mass shooting McIldoon, 23, of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, and Klymchuk, a mother-of-four, visiting Vegas with her fiance from Edmonton.
Klymchuk was a librarian and school bus driver at St. Stephen’s School in Valleyview, Canada. Superintendent Betty Turpin, of the Holy Family Catholic Regional Division, passed on her condolences to the family for the ‘unimaginable attack’.
Premier of Alberta, Rachel Notley, added on Twitter: ‘Our hearts go out to the loved ones of Jessica Klymchuk, an Albertan who was killed in the Las Vegas attack. We are so sorry for your loss.’
McIldoon, 23, was attending the festival with his girlfriend, his parents told CBC, when he was gunned down.
Fellow festival goer Heather Gooze of Spring Valley, Nevada spread word of his death on Facebook.
‘Friends and family, I am OK. I am right outside of the festival grounds. We are not allowed to go anywhere,’ Gooze wrote Monday morning.
‘I am with a young man who died in my arms! RIP Jordan McIldoon from British Columbia. I can’t believe this just happened!!!’
McIldoon’s parents, who are flying down to Las Vegas, said he was a heavy-duty mechanic’s apprentice and was soon to attend trade school.
‘We only had one child,’ they said. ‘We just don’t know what to do.’
His grandfather Bob McIldoon told CityNews Vancouver; ‘It’s a terrible thing, terrible for everyone.’
Quinton Robbins, 20, of Henderson, Nevada, is another shooting victim who has been identified by family and friends on social media.
His aunt, Kilee Wells Sanders, confirmed on Facebook that Quinton had died on Sunday night, describing him as ‘the most kind and loving soul.’
‘Everyone who met him, loved him. His contagious laugh and smile. He was truly an amazing person. He will be missed by so many, he is loved by so many.’
Robbins studied at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and worked as a recreational assistant at the City of Henderson.
‘Quinton was a pay-it-forward kinda guy,’ Tyce Jones, a long time friend of the family, told Newsweek.
‘Always had a smile on his face and was a nice guy. He loved his family and loved to coach his little brother’s flag football team. He will be missed.’
Danley, who was identified as Paddock’s girlfriend, was married in 1990 to Geary Danley. There is no record of a divorce between the two, while Paddock divorced his wife 27 years ago.
Peggy Paddock, 63, lives in a two-story townhouse in Cerritos, about 30 mies south east of Los Angeles, where she stayed inside on Monday, too stunned to talk about the Vegas horror.
Outside her home, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Sgt. Cort Bishop said that Peggy was married to Stephen for six years but divorced him 27 years ago.
‘She is as shocked and surprised as everybody else by what happened in Vegas,’ he said, adding that she has no children with her ex and ‘has had no contact with him for many years.’
Sgt. Bishop added that Peggy has been in a relationship with her current boyfriend for 20 years and that he did not know why she kept her ex-husband’s name after the divorce.
Paddock married Peggy after the collapse of his first marriage to Sharon Brunoehler, who he was married to in the 1970s and 80s while living in California.
Paddock used Danley’s ID when he checked himself into the hotel according to a source with knowledge of the investigation, despite the fact that she was not with him during his stay.
Paddock and Danley live in a upscale community that includes an 18-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a recreation center with gym.
Danley is a nice woman who baked cookies for her mother-in-law ,said Eric, who conducted the interview outside his Florida home.
Residents must be over the age of 55 and no children are allowed to live in the development of over 1,000 homes.
TIMELINE OF TERROR IN VEGAS:
Country music star Jason Aldean was performing on stage at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival when lone gunman Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on the 22,000 people gathered.
About 10pm: Paddock smashes out two windows on the 32nd floor with a hammer-like implement and opens fire with his arsenal of at least 19 weapons – including fully automatic weapons.
10.08pm: First phone call to police that shots had been fired at the festival outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
10.38pm: Police in Las Vegas say that they are ‘investigating reports of an active shooter’ near to the Mandalay Bay.
11.08pm: Las Vegas police confirm they have shut down a portion of The Strip
11.20pm: SWAT teams storm the 32nd floor room that Stephen Paddock was firing from. They gained entry using flashbangs designed to stun the shooter. Paddock fired through the door as SWAT teams were trying to breach the room. By the time they entered the room, he had shot himself dead. Seventy-two minutes elapsed from the first 911 call to Paddock being found dead.
11.20pm: Hundreds of people began being transported to hospitals in Las Vegas
11.32pm: McCarran International Airport announced it was diverting flights destined for the city.
11.34pm: Interstate 15 in and out of Las Vegas was shut down for a time.
11.56pm: Hospitals in Las Vegas said that at least two people were dead and 24 were injured of which 12 were critical.
12.01am: Almost two hours after the first emergency call police confirmed that one suspect was ‘down’.
1.06am: The Southern California police department say that one of their officers is among the injured.
1.34am: At this point the death toll dramatic rises to 20 people injured and 100 injured.
1.54am: Police in Las Vegas says that two of their officers who were off-duty were among the dead.
2.13am: Investigators say that they are looking for the ‘roommate’ of the shooter – Marilou Danley and describe her as a person of interest.
3.30am: Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo announces that the death toll is now at least 50 dead and 200 injured – making this the deadliest shooting in US history
6.30am: Investigators say they have located Marilou Danley and say that she is overseas and is not longer a person of interest.
9.30am: Sheriff provides another update and says that the death toll is now in excess of 59 and that 527 people are injured.
In addition to his pricey Nevada property, Paddock was also the owner of two planes, and according to the FAA records was certified as a private pilot back in 2003.
His address on that 2003 certification is listed as Mesquite, Texas, where he lived for in a $200,000 home for 12 years from 1998 to 2010.
However, records do not show him owning or living at any home between 2010 and 2012, when he moved to Reno after two decades in Texas.
Luius Wiedemann, the husband of Stephen’s niece, Nicole, also commented on the attack, posting his thoughts on Facebook Monday morning.
‘I really don’t know what to say here. We’ve known Stephen Paddock for years. He was my wife’s uncle who we saw once every few years at family gatherings,’ wrote Wiedemann.
‘We have no clue, none whatsoever, on why he would do such a thing. We don’t know anything more than what the LVMPD knows about Stephen. In fact it’s been more than a year since we’ve been in contact with him.
‘We are still trying to process the information coming our way and field all of the media that have been knocking/messaging/calling us non stop.
‘We ask that you grant us some privacy while we digest the fact that this happened and more so that a member of our family was involved.’
He went on to write: ‘I implore everyone arguing online to turn off the screen and hug your loved ones as much as possible today. No amount of bickering online will bring these folks back to their families and loved ones.’
Wiedemann then closed out his post by saying: ‘Again, I cannot express how truly awful we feel for everyone involved. Our hearts go out to the families who lost their loved ones and to those injured in this unimaginable tragedy.’
Nicole later posted her own response to the attack on her Facebook account.
‘First off I want to express my deepest sympathies to everyone affected by this massacre, I am as shocked and appalled as anyone about this senseless act of violence,’ wrote Nicole.
‘It has been especially disheartening to find out that the perpetrator is a relative. Stephen Paddock was my uncle, but I did not know very much about him.
‘Sometimes I would see him in Las Vegas when I was there visiting other family, but these encounters were casual and infrequent.
‘It has been well over a year since I have had any contact with him. I cannot speak to what possibly motivates someone to do something like this nor what his specific motivations may have been. He never came across as religious or political.
‘My family and I are still in shock by this news and my heart goes out to all of those who lost or had loved ones injured in this tragedy. I am at a loss for words.’
On the surface, Paddock didn’t seem like a typical mass murderer, said Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI hostage negotiator and supervisor in the bureau’s behavioral science unit. Paddock is much older than the typical shooter and was not known to be suffering from mental illness.
‘My challenge is, I don’t see any of the classic indicators, so far, that would suggest, ‘OK, he’s on the road either to suicide or homicide or both,’ Van Zandt said.
Doctors have also spoken of the battle to see to the wounded during Sunday’s carnage.
‘I have no idea who I operated on,’ said Dr. Jay Coates, a trauma surgeon whose hospital took in many of the wounded. ‘They were coming in so fast, we were taking care of bodies. We were just trying to keep people from dying.’
As Sunday night led to Monday morning, the attack became the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
University Medical Center of Southern Nevada was one of many hospitals that were overflowing.
‘Every bed was full,’ Coates said. ‘We had people in the hallways, people outside and more people coming in.’
He said the huge, horrifying wounds on his operating table that told him it wasn’t just the massive numbers that made this shooting different.
‘It was very clear that the first patient I took back and operated on that this was a high-powered weapon,’ Coates said. ‘This wasn’t a normal street weapon. This was something that did a lot of damage when it entered the body cavity.’
He had seen similar wounds before but ‘of course never this many patients,’ he added.
President Donald Trump condemned the shooting as an ‘act of pure evil’.
In a televised address from the White House, he said he would be visiting the city on Wednesday ‘on a very, very sad moment for me … for everybody no matter where you are, no matter what your thought process’.
In a slow and sombre statement, Mr Trump said the nation was ‘joined together in sadness, shock and grief’ but that the US would rally together.
‘Our unity cannot be shattered by evil, our bonds cannot be broken by violence,’ he said. ‘We call upon the bonds that unite us: our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity.’
UK Prime Minister Theresa May meanwhile, said she hasn’t heard that any of the casualties were British.
She told told LBC radio: ‘The latest I heard is that we don’t yet know of any British casualties, although I think there were British people in the area, some of whom did manage to flee and weren’t casualties.
‘We also know there were some British troops nearby who went in to help.
‘The Foreign Office is continuing to work with the Las Vegas authorities to ensure that we know definitely.
‘At the moment, I don’t believe there were any British casualties, but there were certainly British people in the area who will have witnessed what was absolutely an appalling attack, completely senseless, random attack, by an individual who I understand had quite an arsenal of weapons in the hotel room.’
She added: ‘I think we can’t understand it because of course we have a different approach to guns. We have very strong gun laws here, and we tightened the gun laws initially after Dunblane because people saw the atrocity which took place there and we took action as a government.
‘But of course America has a different approach to guns. It’s up to them to see what they will do now, but I think most people in the UK will say, ‘If you look at what’s happened here, surely they will want to do something’.’
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh both said they were ‘saddened’ to hear of the shooting.
In a message of condolence to US president Donald Trump, they described the atrocity as a ‘terrible attack’.
The Queen’s message said: ‘Prince Philip and I were saddened to learn of the terrible attack in Las Vegas.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and those who have been injured.’