Conspiracy theories are floating around the internet as they always do after terrorist acts like last night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, but the web is in overdrive this time. I won’t be adding to the list, but one thing is certain: there hasn’t been a case like suspected shooter Stephen Paddock.
Mainstream media and alternative media alike are reporting the same basic conclusions after hearing what acquaintances are saying about him. Other than being quiet and standoffish, there were no indicators that he was going to snap at any point and murder scores of people. Here’s what we know so far about him that stands out as different from just about any other mass shooter:
- Paddock was 64-years-old. The cast majority of mass shooting terrorists range in age from late teens to early 40s.
- He had plenty of material possessions including two homes and two planes, though as a high-stakes gambler there’s no telling what his current financial state is until police release that information.
- Neighbors and acquaintances generally felt he was unexceptional with his interactions. He was private and “aggressively unfriendly,” but still spent time going to concerts, golfing, and working out in public.
- Police have no investigative history about him.
- The last communication Paddock had with his brother was a inquiring about their mother who lost power during Hurricane Irma.
- Authorities seized over 30 firearms between his hotel room and home.
It’s unwise to attempt to “profile” a shooter in situations like Paddock’s because he doesn’t fit the mold. The FBI has stated that there were no connections between Paddock and any international terrorist organizations. The Islamic State claims otherwise, even releasing his name as “Abu Abd Abdulbar al-Ameriki.” If it turns out Paddock was converted and radicalized, then the peculiarities cease immediately. However, friends and family have given no indications he expressed any religious or political beliefs. If he really is an Islamic State terrorist, he’d be unlike any other they’ve had in the United States.
Gambling debt seems to be the most likely scenario at this point, though it’s still unknown if he had any. It’s just the safest speculation. We don’t know how deep the rest of his debt was, either. Still, if this was just about owing more money than he had, one would think if he had any equity in his planes, homes, or other possessions he would start selling them off. Even the most likely scenario seems peculiar at face value.
There’s one detail that cannot be ignored. His father was a convicted bank robber who escaped prison and tried to run down FBI agents with his car. Despite having no known criminal record in over four decades as an adult, family history runs deep. Perhaps he’s held off his genetic demons until now. Maybe he’s committed crimes in the past and was simply never caught nor suspected. Either way, it’s an interesting wrinkle in his background.
Here’s what’s being reported about Paddock so far. As more emerges, we’ll update this post:
Vegas Shooter’s Dad, Patrick Benjamin Paddock, Was a Convicted Bank Robber Who Escaped Federal Prison, Tried to Run Down FBI Agents With His Car – Hit & Run : Reason.com
His first run-ins with the law occurred in Illinois, where he went to state prison in 1946 and again in 1953 for stealing cars, writing bad checks, and running con games. “Paddock has been described as a glib, smooth-talking ‘confidence man’ who is egotistical and arrogant,” the Daily Standard of Missouri would later report.
On multiple occasions, Stephen Paddock gambled more than $10,000 per day — and in some cases amounts greater than $20,000 and $30,000 — at Las Vegas casinos, according to an NBC News source who read the suspect’s Multiple Currency Transaction Reports (CTR) and a casino gaming executive.
“We know nothing. If you told me an asteroid fell it would mean the same to me. There’s absolutely no sense, no reason he did this,” he said, earlier. “He’s just a guy who played video poker and took cruises and ate burritos at Taco Bell. There’s no political affiliation that we know of. There’s no religious affiliation that we know of.”
We found Paddock has a hunting license in Alaska. He got a pilot’s license in 2003, which means he’s undergone some physical and mental evaluation.
Sixty-four-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire during the outdoor Route 91 Harvest country music festival Sunday from his 32nd-floor hotel room at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, located across the street from the festival venue. More than 58 people were killed and at least 515 people were taken to area hospitals, in the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history. Paddock was found dead in the hotel room with at least 10 guns, authorities said Monday.
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More than 50 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded in a shooting at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas on Sunday. The police have identified the gunman as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64.
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