Picture Of Suspected Las Vegas Gunman Slowly Emerges

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Updated: 12:29 p.m. ET.

Less than twelve hours after he allegedly fired a fusillade of bullets onto an outdoor country music festival from a Las Vegas hotel room, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500 others before turning a gun on himself, little has emerged about the man suspected of carrying out the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, did not appear to have any social media accounts associated with his name. The few details that have trickled out from law enforcement and family members about Paddock’s life offer little insight into why he allegedly opened fire Sunday night on the Route 91 Harvest festival. Indeed, Paddock seems to have targeted the very things he enjoyed: country music and concerts at hotels on the Las Vegas strip.

“We are in complete shock, bewilderment and horror,” one anonymous relative who spoke to the Washington Post said. “We have absolutely no idea how in the world Steve did this. Absolutely no concept. There was nothing secret or strange about him.”

Unidentified relatives told the newspaper that Paddock, who lived in a retirement community in the sleepy desert city of Mesquite, some 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, lived a quiet, uneventful life. He enjoyed country music and visited Sin City frequently to gamble and attend concerts at the flashy hotels that line the Strip, the relatives said.

Paddock had in the last few weeks made several large gambling transactions in “the tens of thousands of dollars,” anonymous law enforcement officials told NBC News. NBC reported that it wasn’t immediately clear if those transactions were losses or wins.

His brother Eric Paddock told NBC that his father, Benjamin Hoskins Padgett, was a bank robber who was once on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List. An individual with that name is included in the FBI database of the agency’s most wanted fugitives, noting that he was removed in 1977 because he no longer fit the “‘Top Ten criteria.'”

The suspected gunman was a license pilot who at one point owned two planes, and he also had a hunting license from Alaska, according to NBC.

TPM’s attempts to contact Paddock’s relatives at publicly listed telephone numbers and through Facebook were unsuccessful.

Ten rifles were found in the hotel room his brother had checked into on Thursday on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas Police Chief Joe Lombardo reported. Lombardo said that police had completed the investigation of the room, where officers found Paddock dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Mesquite, Nevada police spokesman Quinn Averett said in a press conference that “some weapons” and “maybe some ammunition” were found in Paddock’s home, where officers executed a search warrant.

“He might have had a gun or two, but he didn’t have a huge stock of guns,” his brother Eric Paddock, who lives in Orlando, Florida, told the Las Vegas Review Journal.

“He’s just a guy who lived in Mesquite who liked burritos,” Eric Paddock said in a separate interview with CBS News.

Authorities had also learned that Paddock “additional property in northern Nevada” and were coordinating with the FBI to respond to and serve a search warrant at that location, according to Lombardo. He had no criminal history in Las Vegas except for a minor traffic citation, the police chief confirmed.

Mesquite Police Department spokesman Averett said that his officers had never had any interactions with Paddock, either. Averett described Paddock’s house as “a newer home, it’s a new subdivision and it’s a nice, clean, home” on a quiet cul-de-sac.

Paddock shared the residence with his girlfriend Marilou Danley, a 62-year-old woman identified by authorities as a person of interest in the investigation. Lombardo said she had been contacted outside of the country and that his department intends “to engage her” upon her return to the U.S.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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