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Brother: Las Vegas gunman was wealthy real-estate investor

Source: AP News

By: Ken Ritter and Gene Johnson

MESQUITE, Nev. (AP) — Stephen Paddock lived in a tidy Nevada retirement community where the amenities include golf, tennis and bocce. He was a wealthy real-estate investor, recently shipped his 90-year-old mother a walker and liked to play high-stakes video poker in Las Vegas.

Nothing in his background suggests why he would have been on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino with at least 17 guns on Sunday night, raining an unparalleled slaughter upon an outdoor country music festival below.

Law enforcement and family members could not explain what would motivate a one-time accountant with no known criminal record to inflict so much carnage. Paddock had apparently planned the attack in great detail, including showing up at the hotel with at least 10 suitcases.

“I can’t even make something up,” his bewildered brother, Eric Paddock, told reporters Monday. “There’s just nothing.”

At least 59 people were killed and nearly 530 injured in Paddock’s attack on the Route 91 Harvest Festival, where country music star Jason Aldean was performing for more than 22,000 fans. It was the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The 64-year-old gunman killed himself in the hotel room before authorities arrived.

Stephen Paddock lived in a Nevada retirement community, was a multimillionaire real-estate investor, and liked to travel to Las Vegas to play high-stakes video poker. Police say he shot and killed at least 59 concert-goers Sunday. (Oct. 2)

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, without offering evidence, but Aaron Rouse, the FBI agent in charge in Las Vegas, said investigators saw no connection to international terrorism.

Asked about a potential motive, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said he could not “get into the mind of a psychopath at this point.”

Public records offered no hint of financial distress or criminal history, though multiple people who knew him said he was a big gambler.

“No affiliation, no religion, no politics. He never cared about any of that stuff,” Eric Paddock said as he alternately wept and shouted. “He was a guy who had money. He went on cruises and gambled.”

Eric Paddock also told The Associated Press that he had not talked to his brother in six months and last heard from him when Stephen checked in briefly by text message after Hurricane Irma.

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