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The Man Who Shot Dead 59 People Took TWENTY THREE Guns Into His Hotel Room

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The Man Who Shot Dead 59 People Took TWENTY THREE Guns Into His Hotel Room

The man who shot dead 59 people and injured 527 others in Las Vegas on Sunday night was a multimillionaire who took a huge arsenal of 23 guns into his Mandalay Bay hotel room, which he transformed into an elaborate sniper’s nest before opening fire on a country music festival on Monday.

Stephen Paddock, 64, had made millions from real estate deals, according to his brother; he also owned two planes and several properties across the US, and seemed normal apart from his passion for gambling large sums.

But he’d also secretly amassed a massive arsenal of 42 guns, at least one of which was automatic and several of which had scopes.

He took 23 of those guns into his Mandalay Bay suite over several days and set up two rifles on tripods at windows overlooking the Route 91 Harvest country music festival.

Thousands of rounds of ammunition were also found in the suite, enabling him to fire repeatedly over the course of 72 minutes. His car had traces of a fertilizer used in bomb-making.

Paddock had lived in 27 residences in Nevada, Florida and Texas as an adult, but other than that he had apparently lived a quiet and unremarkable life – and the reason for his assault remains a mystery.

Stephen Paddock, 64, turned his luxury Las Vegas hotel suite into a sniper's nest on Sunday by smashing open two windows on the hotel's corner and setting up two guns on tripods before opening fire on the Route 91 Harvest music festival below

Above, the type of weapons found in the room. On the top is an Ak-47 and on the bottom is an AR-15. AR-15s are typically semi-automatic, while AK-47s can be either fully automatic or semi-automatic

The retired accountant had worked as an internal auditor at Lockheed Martin for three years in the late 1980s, and was a manager and investor in apartment complexes located in Mesquite, Texas and California, which made him millions, according to his brother.

Local police said they had no run-ins with the man, not even traffic violations, and his brother described him as ‘just a guy who lived in Mesquite who drove down and gambled in Las Vegas and… liked burritos.’

So the discovery that he had used 10 suitcases to methodically move an arsenal up into his Mandalay Bay room over the preceding weekend came as a shock to those who knew him.

Why Paddock (pictured with girlfriend Marilou Danley, 62) shot up the crowd is unknown. He had no religious or political affiliations, no military background, and was known to have just a couple of handguns, his brother said.

Eric Paddock said he thought his brother was far from a gun fanatic.

‘He had a couple of guns but they were all handgun, legal…he might have had one long gun, but he had them in a safe,’ he said.

Eric said he didn’t know about the 23 guns found in the hotel room – some of which had scopes, and two of which had tripods.

A law enforcement source told the Wall Street Journal that they found at least one fully automatic rifle among the batch, which included AR-15-style rifles and AK-47-style rifles.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said on Monday it wasn’t clear whether the gun was modified to make it fully automatic, or if it was originally made that way.

Eric said the revelation of his brother’s deadly plan, which saw thousands of rounds falling on a crowd of 22,000 people at a music festival below, was as unexpected as seeing a meteor suddenly landing on his street.

The shocks only grew in number Monday as police raided two of Paddock’s properties.

The first was his Mesquite home in a sleepy retirement community, which he purchased for just over $369,000 in 2015 according to public records.

What they found was a second arsenal, even bigger than the one in the Mandalay Bay room.

Some 19 additional firearms were in the house, along with the explosive Tannerite – which is used to make explosive targets for target practice – and several thousand rounds of ammunition, Lombardo said Monday.

He added that electronic devices were also found, but that they are still being examined to determine their purpose.

Photos of the property showed the garage door torn off its hinge and crumpled after the search.

Above, the view from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, in an updated photo. The concert was taking place diagonally across the street, where the stage is seen, with its green roof. 

Investigators load bodies from the scene of the mass shooting on Monday; the mass shooting that occurred on Sunday is the deadliest in American history

Bomb experts were included in the SWAT deployment due to the fear that Paddock may have left booby traps at the home. Explosives had been found in his Mesquite house, and fertilizer used in bomb-making found in his car in Las Vegas

Police also found the fertilizer ammonium nitrate – which can be used to make bombs – in Paddock’s car in Las Vegas on Monday.

GUN SELLERS: KILLER ‘SEEMED NORMAL’

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.

This is one of the Mandalay Bay Resort corner rooms (above), which is similar to the one from which the gunman launched his attack

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.

Danley is currently in Tokyo. Police do not suspect her to be an accomplice, but will interview her on her return to the US

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 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.’ 

Dad: Paddock's father was a serial bank robber who was 'diagnosed as psychopathic' and spent eight years on the FBI Most Wanted list after escaping prison (Benjamin Paddock's FBI flyer above)

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.

Paddock, who turned a gun on himself before he could be taken in, had knocked out two windows of the large, two-room corner suite with a hammer.

He then used the two angles afforded by the windows to set up a killing field at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, which had been taking place across the road from the hotel.

Paddock, who had smuggled 23 guns up to the room in 10 suitcases over four days since he checked in to the hotel, had also taken up several thousand rounds of ammunition to fuel his rampage.

His death marked the end of what has now become the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, which left at least 58 dead and 515 injured.

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.’

Denise Salmon Burditus, 50, was among the 59 people murdered at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday. She is seen with husband Tony Burditus at the festival in a photo posted to Facebook around 9.30pm PDT - minutes before the gunman opened fire

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.

Jordan McIlldoon (left) was reportedly among the 58 people who lost their lives during the mass shooting. McIlldoon is pictured above in Las Vegas last year, with a woman who appears to be his girlfriend

Lisa Romero

Adrian Murfitt, 35, was confirmed dead by a close friend who was also at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas

Married mother-of-two, and kindergarten teacher Jenny Parks was also killed in the carnage

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!!!’

Susan Smith, an office manager for the Simi Valley Unified School District since 2001, was also killed a spokeswoman for the district confirmed

Dana Gardner

Rhonda LeRocque

John Phippen

Bailey Schweitzer, Bakersfield, California, was the 13th Vegas mass shooting victim to be identified on social media

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.’

'He's just a guy who lived in Mesquite who liked burritos,' said Eric Paddock (above) of his brother, whom he noted had no 'political' or 'religious' ties

Paddock managed an apartment complex in Mesquite, Texas (above). He had made much of his money through real estate investments, and further cash gambling

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.

Paddock was married to Peggy (above) for six years before the two divorced 27 years ago

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. Officers entered the room and found he had taken his own life. 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.’

The same year he bought the parcel of land, Paddock also bought an apartment in Reno (building seen above)

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.’

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