By Patricia Garza, founder of littlebytesnews.com
As most of you have probably heard, the largest mass shooting in US history occurred last night in Las Vegas, Nevada near the popular tourist attraction known as “the strip”, the section of mid-town where a majority of famous resort hotels and casinos are located. Here is a rundown of some of what is currently known about the shooter and victims.
Yahoo News reports, “Paddock opened fire on a crowd of more than 22,000 concert-goers from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel on Sunday evening at approximately 10:08 p.m. The victims were across the street attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert when bullets rang out. LVMPD SWAT responded to the call, breached the hotel room and found the suspect dead,” the Las Vegas police said in a statement.
According to reports from Hollywood Reporter:
“His roommate and companion, 62-year-old Marilou Danley, is a person of interest in the case.
Paddock shot at an outdoor country music festival below the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay, killing at least 58 people and wounding 515 more as tens of thousands of frantic concertgoers screamed and ran for their lives, officials said Monday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.”
“Country music star Jason Aldean was performing Sunday night at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival when the gunman opened fire across the street from inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. SWAT teams quickly descended on the concert and the casino, and officers used explosives to storm the gunman’s hotel room, where they found he had killed himself, authorities said. The gunman, identified by Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo as Stephen Paddock, had as many as 10 guns with him, including rifles, they said.”
“Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, had checked into the hotel room on Thursday, authorities said. “What we are going to try to do as best we can is to get our first responders back on their feet and responding and conducting a proper investigation to ensure that we have the safety of this community at heart,” Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.”
The shooter’s brother Eric Paddock, who lives in Orlando, Florida and helped Stephen Paddock move about a year ago, said to his knowledge his brother was a retired accountant, enjoyed gambling, taking cruises and was never married with no children. He said his brother was wealthy, liked to attend shows and play poker with $100 per hand bets. He doesn’t believe the motive is tied to religious, political nor white supremacy as some may be speculating. He said he’s dumbfounded by his brothers actions.
Stephen Paddock had a pilot license but he let it expire, possibly due to medical reasons per initial reports on CNN. His brother also admitted their estranged and now deceased dad was a bank robber who was formerly on the FBI top ten most wanted list in the 1960s-1970s. The father was described as a psychopath and armed and dangerous after he escaped a Texas prison.
The last time Eric Paddock spoke with his brother was about five days after Hurricane Maria struck Florida. Stephen asked in a text message if they had power back on and how their 91 year old mother was doing.
No motive for the attack has been determined at this point, and his brother said he is unaware of any mental illness. But according to an earlier CNN report, ISIS has taken credit by saying Stephen Paddock was a convert to Islam. However, this has not been confirmed by the FBI and is believed to be propaganda from ISIS.
Sadly, one of the first victims of this heinous crime has been identified.
According to an article on Time, “A Tennessee man whose wife credits him with saving her life is among the dozens of people who were killed when a shooter opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas Sunday.”
“Sonny Melton, 29, died in the attack, his wife Dr. Heather Gulish Melton confirmed Monday. At least 58 people were killed and about 515 were injured in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
“Writing in a Facebook post, Gulish Melton said she “lost my true love and knight in shining armor. I appreciate the prayers but I just need some time,” the Jackson Sun reports. Gulish Melton, who attended the music festival with her husband, told NBC affiliate WCYB that he saved her life.”
According to a CNN report this afternoon a couple other victims have since been identified, a teacher from California and a police officer who responded to the scene. Their names and ages, as well as other victims have not been disclosed yet as police continue to investigate the scene and recover victims.
Since the deadly attack, many are already politicizing the issue by calling for more gun control. However, according to many criminal experts there is no way to predict someone’s actions, especially if there is no criminal or mental health history.
Gun rights advocates say taking guns away from citizens isn’t the solution either, as Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the country and 100s of deadly shootings occur there daily. In addition, the gun used by the shooter was likely a machine gun because the shots were rapid fire and lasted about 10-15 minutes.
Check back for additional updates to this article and additional news reports on this ongoing criminal investigation.