By Express News Service
CHENNAI: Three days after the Las Vegas massacre, a stunned world is still asking what sort of a man would shoot 59 people who never did him any harm. Indeed, what do we know about Stephen Paddock?
He was clean until Sunday
Apart from the chilling fact that he sprayed thousands of bullets at innocent concert goers from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay, Stephen Paddock left behind no clues to help investigators deduce his motive. Police have concluded that he had no links to any terrorist organisation and that he acted alone. No note has been found, no Facebook rant. Nor did his immediate family or relatives notice anything strange about him in the days leading to Sunday.
He had no prior criminal record and was seemingly a law-abiding citizen but for one parking ticket.
Just a guy who played video poker
His close relatives are flabbergasted that Paddock was the man who carried out the massacre, the bloodiest in US mass shooter history. They said they did not see this coming. "He was my brother, and it's like an asteroid fell out of the sky. We're still just completely dumbstruck,” his brother Eric told reporters. “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.”
He was successful in real estate
According to Eric, Stephen Paddock led a normal life and had been a successful real-estate investor. Prior to that, he had worked for the US government, first as a mail delivery man for the US Postal Service, and then as an agent of the Internal Revenue Service. Eric does not know of any struggles in his elder brother’s life.
Paddock was an investor. By one account, he owned as many as four homes in various parts of Nevada. According to the police, the houses were rented to tenants.
His ex-wives reported no violent behaviour
Both of Stephen Paddock's marriages ended in divorce, not something uncommon in the US. So far, neither of his ex-wives has recalled Paddock harbouring thoughts of murder of any scale. He was in a relationship with a woman named Marilou Danley. She landed in Los Angeles on Wednesday and was interrogated. She appears to be the only person who could give an insight into what was going on in Paddock’s mind in recent times.
Not a loser
Paddock was not a “loser” to borrow president Donald Trump’s description. According to his brother, Paddock could lose $ 1 million dollars and still have enough money left to lead a lavish life. He owned a house in one of Nevada’s posh localities. According to some estimates, he was worth over $ 2 million. Most of that money came from real estate. “He was a guy who had money. He went on cruises and gambled,” Eric said.
He liked casino hotels
If Stephen Paddock was really into anything, it was gambling. He used to spend a lot of time at casinos. According to his brother, Paddock used to check in at casino hotels and spend months there at a stretch, sometimes four or five months straight. “It was like a job for him, a job where you make money,” his brother said.
Not much in guns
Paddock was different from other shooters for not having an obvious penchant for hunting or guns. Be it Adam Lanza or James Holmes, most mass shooters were into guns from a very young age. Adam Lanza reportedly learned to use assault weapons before he entered teen age. Dylan Roof, who killed nine people at a church in Charleston, loved hunting. In contrast, Paddock, rarely hunted although he did own guns. According to his brother, Paddock never spoke of hunting.