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Yesterday FHM reported on a mass shooting at the Las Vegas Country Music Festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Authorities now know that those shots were fired by 64-year-old Mesquite resident, Stephen Paddock. At this time, sources confirm at least 58 casualties and 515 injured victims — making this one of the largest mass murders in U.S. history.
In an interview with CBS, Paddock's brother Eric desperately tried to humanize his sibling. Speaking candidly about his seemingly average lifestyle, Eric was visibly dumbfounded and couldn't ascertain a single motive Stephen would have to open fire on hundreds of innocent concertgoers.
As you could see, Eric offered very little background that would lead anyone, particularly authorities, to believe that Stephen was a terrorist — an appropriate label given the number of casualties and nature of his crime:
"The fact that he had these kind of weapons is just...Where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background, or anything like that. Like I said, he's a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite and drove down and gambled in Las Vegas. He did stuff, like eat burritos."
Some of Eric's more pointed questions, like where Stephen was able to purchase automatic weapons are still under investigation. However, in the hours following the shooting a great deal of information on Stephen's background has surfaced. If nothing else, these details are a means of trying to understand his motive. These facts are as recent as a few moments ago. We will continue to update as new information comes forward. According to CBS News:
"Police said Paddock had at least 23 firearms in his hotel suite. He had been staying in the room since Sept. 28. They said another 19 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, explosives and electronics were found at his home at a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, about 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas."
Again, the minute details on how Paddock was able to accumulate this harrowing number of firearms is unknown. While his brother made it clear that Paddock had no military or criminal background, his familial history has been highlighted as a possible (albeit reaching) connection to his act of terror. CBS continued:
"Eric Paddock confirmed to multiple outlets that Stephen Paddock's father was Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, a notorious bank robber who was on the FBI's most wanted list for eight years after escaping from prison in 1969. He once tried to run down a federal agent with his car and was serving a 20-year sentence for a string of robberies in Phoenix when he escaped.
"An FBI poster about the elder Paddock at the time called him "armed and very dangerous" and he remained on the bureau's list until 1977. He died in 1998."
The poster below, as per the FBI illustrates the above description of Benjamin Paddock:
Benjamin's criminal history has merely been a foot note in criminal investigation of this mass shooting. Authorities are exploring further motives to determine if Paddock had associations with international terror groups. CBS highlights:
"Investigators are still trying to determine Paddock's motive. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the shooting, but offered no proof. U.S. officials tell CBS News there are no signs that Paddock had ties to radical Islamic groups or showed signs of being radicalized."
As a matter of public record, Paddock was a licensed hunter and had a license to fly a small plane. No other pertinent information, save for his high stakes poker habits, have been released.
If you are looking for a missing loved one, authorities have urged people to please call 1-866-535-5654. There is also a crisis response page on Facebook.
Image Via Twitter
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