When news broke that Stephen Paddock, 64, had been found dead in his Las Vegas hotel room after shooting and killing 59 people and injuring more than 500, those who knew him were just as shocked as everyone else; his family and friends could think of nothing that would have motivated the massacre.
Stephen Paddock’s brother Eric Paddock spoke Monday following the news that his sibling had committed the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Eric provided details about his brother’s life, saying Stephen had never shown violent tendencies.
“He was my brother, and it’s like an asteroid fell out of the sky,” Eric said, suggesting the likelihood of his brother committing such an atrocity had seemed extraordinarily low.
“He was a wealthy guy, and he liked to play video poker. He went on cruises,” Eric said.
Stephen Paddock was twice divorced and had no children. A retired accountant and successful real-estate developer who enjoyed gambling in Vegas, Paddock lived with his girlfriend Marilou Danley in Mesquite, Nev. Authorities said they don’t believe Danley was involved in or knew anything about the massacre.
The mystery of why Paddock went on the rampage will take time to figure out. His brother said he held no ties to terrorist or extremist religious groups. He is said to have kept a low profile and had no real run-ins with law enforcement, nor any criminal record.
Paddock had an arsenal of firearms in his hotel room, which authorities believe were purchased legally. Paddock bought three guns from a Mesquite store, Guns & Guitars, and manager Christopher Sullivan told authorities that “he never gave any indication or reason to believe he was unstable or unfit at any time.”