Who is Stephen Paddock, the alleged Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas shooter?

Photo via Sean MacEntee/Flickr (CC-BY)

Who is Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooting suspect?

Here's what we know so far.


Andrew Wyrich


Posted on Oct 2, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 3:40 pm CDT

Police have identified Stephen Paddock as the gunman in Sunday night’s shooting in Las Vegas, which left 59 people dead and 527 people injured.

Paddock was found dead in a Mandalay Bay hotel room on the 32nd floor, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Here’s what you need to know about Paddock:

  1. Paddock is 64, white, and lived in Mesquite, Nevada. The town is approximately 80 miles away from Las Vegas. 
  2. He was apparently known by local authorities, though it is not clear why he was on their radar.
  3. The suspect in the attack was originally misidentified as Geary Danley, who conservative websites originally thought was the shooter. The Gateway Pundit, a notorious right-wing website, called him “anti-Trump” due to what was found on a Facebook page for Danley.
  4. Paddock is believed to have managed an apartment complex in Mesquite, according to Steve Chenevey of Fox 5.
  5. Paddock allegedly fired shots from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel down on the concert goers. Video from the scene suggests he was using an automatic weapon. One concertgoer told CNN that the shooting went on for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Authorities say they do not believe he is connected to any terrorist organizations.
  7. Paddock had numerous firearms with him in the Mandalay Bay hotel room when found by police.
  8. Paddock acted alone in the shooting, according to authorities.
  9. Police were searching for another person of interest, Marilou Danley, but said that she had been interviewed her and do not believe she was involved with the shooting, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
  10. No motive for the shooting, which is the worst mass shooting in United States history, has been released by authorities. “We have no idea what his belief system was,” Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said. “Right now, we believe he was the sole aggressor and the scene is static.”

Police have blocked off Paddock’s home and have obtained a warrant to begin searching it, according to USA Today. The home is in a retirement community of approximately 1,400 homes and only allows residents who are older than 55 years old.

Update 10:54am CT, Oct. 2: Relatives said Paddock was retired and often visited Las Vegas to gamble and attend concerts, the Washington Post reports. “We are in complete shock, bewilderment and horror. We have absolutely no idea how in the world Steve did this. Absolutely no concept,” a relative told the newspaper.”There was nothing secret or strange about him.”

The Post also notes that Paddock was a licensed pilot who owned two planes and also had a hunting license in Alaska.

Update 1:12pm CT, Oct. 2: According to reports from law enforcement, Paddock had made several large gambling transactions in recent weeks.

It was not reported whether those were wins or losses, but according to the Post, it would not be out of the ordinary for Paddock.

Paddock’s brother Eric said Stephen routinely gambled with large amounts.

“My brother is not like you and me. He plays high-stakes video poker. He sends me a text that says he won $250,000 at the casino.”

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect the latest death toll in the Las Vegas shooting.

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*First Published: Oct 2, 2017, 8:25 am CDT