LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — More than five years after a mass shooting at a country music concert in Las Vegas, the FBI released more details on the shooter in two heavily redacted reports totaling 630 pages. Although the documents were recently released under the Freedom of Information Act, they are from the original investigation. Links to the documents are provided at the bottom of this story.
Heavily armed Stephen Paddock, 64, shot more than 1,000 rounds from a Mandalay Bay hotel room at the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert-goers on Oct. 1, 2017, killing 58 and injuring hundreds. Two additional victims died as a result of their injuries at a later time.
Since then, no clear motive for the attack has ever been established but the documents reveal some insight into Paddock’s personality and his interactions with people.
According to the FBI documents, “Paddock was very upset at the way casinos were treating him and other high rollers.”
A gambler who knew Paddock told the FBI he believed “the stress over that treatment could easily be what caused Paddock to ‘snap.'”
The gambler, whose name was redacted from the document, told the FBI that in recent years casinos used to give high rollers like Paddock free cruises, airline flights, penthouse suites, and other perks but in recent years had cut back on those.
Thursday afternoon, the FBI and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police released the following statement pertaining to the FBI documents.
“The LVMPD and the FBI conducted a joint investigation of the 1 October shooting. At the conclusion of that investigation in 2018, we were unable to determine a motive for the shooter. Speculating on a motive causes more harm to the hundreds of people who were victims that night. The FBI documents that were released as part of a Freedom of Information Act request, are from the original investigation, we do not believe they will shed new light in the case.”FBI and LVMPD
The FBI documents reveal Paddock was described as a “prolific gambler” who would gamble six to eight hours at a time, sometimes as long as 18 hours and he typically played video poker.
Paddock visited the Tropicana Las Vegas every three months on average and the FBI learned through gaming records and an employee interview that during a stay in mid-September, he lost $38,000. He was in a room facing south and asked if he could reserve a different room for the time frame of the shooting but that room wasn’t available.
FBI agents interviewed numerous people who came into contact with Paddock in the days prior to the shooting or knew him. One told the FBI that Paddock was fascinated with the two Oklahoma City bombers and thought Adolf Hitler was a good man. That person said he did not take Paddock’s viewpoints seriously until May 17, 2017. The FBI redacted the information on what changed that person’s opinion of Paddock.
Another person interviewed, likely a neighbor who lived near Paddock in Mesquite, told investigators Paddock was “very strange” and lights were never on in his house except during the middle of the night. The woman added that Paddock was never seen outside and always wore gloves. She said when she went to shake his hand upon meeting him, he refused to shake. The documents said Paddock told the woman he wanted a solid screen fence around his home because he did not want anyone to see him or look at him.
Investigators learned that Paddock acquired his wealth by selling apartment complexes in Texas and Los Angeles and he also had worked for the U.S. Postal Service and the IRS. The FBI found the sale of a complex in Texas in 2012 paid for dozens of weapons used in the shooting.
The documents also list all the evidence collected in the cases — literally, hundreds of items — including 24 guns and numerous bump stocks from his Mandalay Bay hotel room and 18 more guns from his Mesquite home.
You can read both FBI documents in the two links provided below:
- FBI document on Stephen Paddock (Interviews, Paddock’s movements before shooting, gambling records)
- FBI document on Stephen Paddock (Evidence in hotel room, fingerprints, tips to FBI)
The Oct. 2017 mass shooting was the deadliest in modern U.S. history. There were 60 people killed and more than 850 injured.