Stephen Craig Paddock, who has been identified as a prime suspect in the Las Vegas shooting massacre, was a retired accountant and licensed pilot with no criminal record, it has emerged. The 64-year-old was found dead, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, when the police burst into his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Hotel.
Several weapons, including a number of long rifles, were recovered from the room after the shooting, considered as the deadliest in modern US history. Initial investigations show that Paddock was travelling with a female companion named Marilou Danley just hours before the attack.
The police are currently searching for Danley. Paddock opened fire on a large crowd at a music concert from the 32nd floor of the hotel on Sunday night, killing at least 58 people and injuring over 500.
The Islamic State group later said the attack was carried out by one of its ‘soldiers’ to avenge the killings of jihadists by countries in military conflicts.
Police said Paddock, who lived in a two-bedroom house in Mesquite, some 80 miles from Las Vegas, may have acted alone as he was not found to be connected with any terror outfit. The suspect’s brother, Eric Paddock, said the family was stunned by the news.
“Where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background or anything like that,” he said.
“He’s a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite, drove down and gambled in Las Vegas. He did stuff. Eat burritos,” AFP quoted him as saying.
The gunman’s photographs flashed by TV channels showed him as having a trimmed white beard and moustache. Paddock was a former accountant and a licensed pilot with no criminal record.
Source : Zee Media Bureau