An “Act of pure evil,” is how President Trump described Stephen Paddock’s alleged deadliest shooting in United States modern history. The current death toll stands at 58, with 515 now reported as injured.
Just after 10 p.m. in Las Vegas, Nevada Sunday night, a gunman opened fire from a 32nd-floor room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and showered bullets over a crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival below.
The audience of 20,000 or more fans were listening to Jason Aldeen perform when the shots began. Mass confusion and panic set in as Aldeen and his band ran off the stage or hid behind equipment. Hoards of people tried desperately to take cover or flee the area.
In the midst of the hysteria, acts of heroism were seen as parents covered children with their own bodies and others acted as human shields. Even more individuals came to the rescue by hurling people over barricades and walls and kicking through obstacles to expose ways to escape.
Cries for help rang out after the gunfire, which lasted about 4.5 minutes according to witnesses. First responders, law enforcement officers, and SWAT teams worked quickly to secure the area and deliver medical attention and transport.
The suspected gunman, identified by officials as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the hotel room. Also discovered were at least 10, but some reports say as many as 19 firearms.
Information regarding the alleged shooter is limited, but his brother, Eric Paddock, who lives in Waterford Lakes, FL, said Stephen moved from his Viera, FL home two years ago and relocated to Nevada.
A former Florida neighbor said Stephen Paddock introduced himself to her as a “professional gambler” and showed her a photo of him winning a $20k slot machine jackpot.
The brother claims that the last time he spoke to the alleged gunman was several weeks ago when they discussed a power outage at their 89-year-old mother’s Orange County, FL home following Hurricane Irma.
Shocking news from Eric Paddock came when he revealed that the brothers’ father, Hoskins Paddock, was a known bank robber and on the FBI’s most-wanted list in the 1960’s.
Their father was arrested in Las Vegas after trying to run over an FBI agent. He later escaped from a Texas prison on New Year’s Eve, 1968. Hoskins Paddock had served 8 years of a 20-year prison sentence. As his son, he was also described as frequent gambler.
Details are few, but the father of the suspected shooter was again captured in Oregon in 1978 and died in 1998.
We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.