|“||There are so many people who don't deserve to be alive. Too many people are so concerned with themselves. You could be there for everyone, but when you need someone, there's nobody to be seen. I became reclusive for that reason. The best way to live life is with a wall between you and everyone else. So, when they do hurt you, the sting isn't so bad.||„|
|~ Paddock in a text to his girlfriend, two days before the shooting.|
Stephen Craig Paddock (April 9th, 1953 - October 1st, 2017) was an American mass murderer who killed at least 58 people during Jason Aldean's concert at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 1st, 2017. He shot himself when police closed in. It is currently ranked the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, surpassing the Orlando nightclub shooting perpetrated by Omar Mateen the previous year.
Paddock, a native of Iowa, grew up in Tucson, Arizona and Sun Valley, California. He was one of three sons of Benjamin Paddock, who had been convicted of bank robbery and was on the FBI's most wanted list after escaping from prison in 1969. Stephen was then 16.
Paddock graduated from John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in 1971. He earned a degree in business administration from California State University, Northridge, in 1977.
He was married and divorced twice, in 1977-1979, and in 1985-1990. He worked as an "internal auditor" for the predecessor of Lockheed Martin in 1985-1988. He lived in Texas and Florida, including a retirement community in Melbourne, Florida from 2013-2015. He last lived in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
While Newsweek reported that The Islamic State had claimed Paddock was a convert to Islam, so far the FBI has reported no evidence of that. ISIS claimed that in his alleged membership of ISIS, Paddock's name was Abu Abdul Barr al-Amriki. Officials with the Church of the SubGenius did report he was a member of their church, but that he held no position within the church and they did not condone his actions.
His motive for the shooting is as yet unknown. Prior to the shooting, he had no criminal record. While a frequent gambler, he was apparently financially successful.
2017 Las Vegas Strip shooting
Stephen Paddock rented a room on the 32nd floor at Mandalay Bay on Thursday, September 28, three days before the massacre. The police found 23 rifles and one handgun inside his room, including the AR-15-style and AK-47-style rifles, and a large quantity of ammunition. The number 23 is sacred to the Church of the SubGenius. Two of the rifles were mounted on tripods and were equipped with telescopic sights. According to firearms instructor Massad Ayoob, audio recordings of the attack indicated that the perpetrator probably used a bump fire device. A bump fire stock was also found in the room. According to police, Paddock acted alone and his motive is unknown. He was found dead in his room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
This is a list of victims who died in the shootings. In total, 58 were killed. 22 of the victims were male while 36 were female. The victims' names are followed by their date of birth, and their age at the time that they were killed.
- Hannah Ahlers - June 2, 1983 (34 years)
- Heather Alvarado - September 20, 1982 (35 years)
- Dorene Anderson - April 16, 1968 (49 years)
- Carrie Barnette - December 16, 1982 (34 years)
- Jack Beaton - December 10, 1962 (54 years)
- Steven Berger - September 30, 1973 (44 years)
- Candice Bowers - August 10, 1977 (40 years)
- Denise Burditus - June 5, 1967 (50 years)
- Sandy Casey - November 1, 1982 (34 years)
- Andrea Castilla - September 29, 1989 (28 years)
- Denise Cohen - August 2, 1959 (58 years)
- Austin Davis - June 20, 1988 (29 years)
- Thomas Day, Jr. - October 29, 1962 (54 years)
- Christiana Duarte - August 7, 1995 (22 years)
- Stacee Etcheber - February 2, 1967 (50 years)
- Brian Fraser - August 20, 1978 (39 years)
- Keri Galvan - August 20, 1986 (31 years)
- Dana Gardner - July 6, 1965 (52 years)
- Angela Gomez - December 26, 1996 (20 years)
- Rocio Guillen Rocha - December 20, 1976 (40 years)
- Charleston Hartfield - May 6, 1983 (34 years)
- Chris Hazencomb - September 27, 1973 (44 years)
- Jennifer Topaz Irvine - June 6, 1975 (42 years)
- Teresa Nicol Kimura - March 24, 1979 (38 years)
- Jessica Klymchuk - May 1, 1983 (34 years)
- Carly Kreibaum - December 9, 1983 (33 years)
- Rhonda LeRocque - August 29, 1975 (42 years)
- Victor Link - September 7, 1962 (55 years)
- Jordan McIldoon - October 6, 1993 (23 years)
- Kelsey Meadows - June 29, 1989 (28 years)
- Calla-Marie Medig - August 8, 1989 (28 years)
- James Melton - August 12, 1988 (29 years)
- Patricia Mestas - July 25, 1950 (67 years)
- Austin Meyer - September 18, 1993 (24 years)
- Adrian Murfitt - July 5, 1982 (35 years)
- Rachael Parker - December 16, 1983 (33 years)
- Jenny Parks - January 18, 1982 (35 years)
- Carrie Parson - December 28, 1985 (31 years)
- Lisa Patterson - June 26, 1971 (46 years)
- John Phippen - October 25, 1960 (56 years)
- Melissa Ramirez - November 29, 1990 (26 years)
- Jordyn Rivera - April 26, 1996 (21 years)
- Quinton Robbins - March 21, 1997 (20 years)
- Cameron Robinson - January 1, 1989 (28 years)
- Tara Roe - April 26, 1983 (34 years)
- Lisa Romero-Muniz - May 19, 1969 (48 years)
- Chris Roybal - October 9, 1988 (28 years)
- Brett Schwanbeck - January 31, 1956 (61 years)
- Bailey Schweitzer - April 5, 1997 (20 years)
- Laura Shipp - May 9, 1967 (50 years)
- Erick Silva - August 19, 1996 (21 years)
- Susan Smith - August 24, 1964 (53 years)
- Brennan Stewart - February 19, 1987 (30 years)
- Derrick Taylor - September 25, 1961 (56 years)
- Michelle Vo - January 10, 1985 (32 years)
- Kurt Von Tillow - December 4, 1961 (55 years)
- Bill Wolfe - October 15, 1974 (42 years)
- Neysa Tonks - July 27, 1971 (46 years)
- It is believed that Paddock had planned the shooting for at least a year before committing it, as he started buying firearms almost regularly in the year before the shooting occurred.
- He reportedly was having financial problems at the time of the shooting, and was also struggling with depression and alcoholism, which likely played a factor in the shooting.
- When police raided his hotel room, they found several hundred child pornography files on a laptop found with him, as well as ammonium nitrate, which is often used in the creation of improvised explosive devices. Fortunately, no explosives had been created. Also found were hand-written notes regarding bullet trajectory, the elevation of his hotel room, and how the wind would affect his shooting, among similar details of that nature.
- Paddock was an avid gambler, and therefore knew the Las Vegas area well.
- At the time of the shooting, Paddock had been in a relationship with a woman from the Philippines, and several weeks before, told her to return to the Philippines and gave her money to purchase a house there.
- During the 1980's, he worked as an auditor with the Internal Revenue Service.
- He had a pilot license, as well as an Alaska hunting license.
- Some far-right conspiracy theorists have claimed that Paddock was either a registered Democrat or a member of Antifa. Neither claim has ever been substantiated, as Paddock's political affiliations, if he had any at all, are unknown, and there are no indications that he was involved with Antifa.
- His birthday is on April 9, which is the same as Eric Harris, who was born 28 years after Paddock. Harris was one of the two culprits, alongside Dylan Klebold responsible for the Columbine High School Massacre 18 year earlier.
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Eric Paddock, Stephen's Brother
Benjamin Paddock, Stephen's Father