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 16 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.
He took 16 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 for at least 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.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.
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.