- REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
As more information about Stephen Paddock emerges, it’s becoming clear that the man behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history was an avid gambler.
Paddock opened fire at a crowd at a country music festival from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Sunday in an attack that left 59 people dead and more than 520 others injured. The 64-year-old had checked into the hotel three days earlier and had brought in at least 10 suitcases filled with guns, authorities have said.
Paddock moved to Nevada about two years ago, after having made a significant amount of money as an accountant and through various real-estate holdings, his brother Eric Paddock has said.
“He was a guy who had money,” Eric Paddock told The Associated Press. “He went on cruises and gambled.”
Others who knew Stephen Paddock have also touched on his gambling habits – one neighbor told CNN that Paddock once said, “We’re up all night because we gamble.”
Paddock had an affinity for high-stakes video poker, according to his brother, who also described a recent text from Paddock as showing “a picture that he won $40,000 on a slot machine,” the AP reported.
In the weeks before the shooting, Paddock gambled with at least $160,000, NBC News reported, citing senior law-enforcement officials. He reportedly made multiple transactions of at least $10,000 on some days, though it is unclear whether he won or lost money.
Aside from the Mandalay Bay, Paddock had connections to at least two other casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.
Paddock was a frequent player “with the highest status” at Caesars Entertainment properties, a source familiar with the investigation told NBC News. This may mean he had Seven Stars tier status, which is invitation-only and includes comped rooms and player credits.
Paddock lost a lawsuit against the Cosmopolitan Hotel after slipping and falling there in October 2011 and leaving on a stretcher, NBC News reported. The Cosmopolitan’s attorney told NBC News that Paddock initially sought $100,000, which included what Paddock had said was the cost of his medical bills plus additional damages. An arbitrator dismissed allegations of negligence as “without merit,” according to NBC News.
Investigators are also looking into $100,000 that Paddock transferred to an account in the Philippines in the week before the shooting, according to a separate NBC News report. It is unclear whether the transfer is connected to Paddock’s gambling habits.
The Philippines is the home country of Paddock’s live-in girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who the police have said has been out of the country.
Paddock’s motive for the shooting remains unknown.