Financial stress may have been motivation for Vegas massacre
LAS VEGAS The man who killed 58 people in Las Vegas last month had been depressed after losing a significant amount of money in two years, and this may have been a ‘‘determining factor’’ in the worst mass shooting in modern US history, the city’s sheriff says.
Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old high-stakes gambler and real estate investor, had lost a ‘‘significant amount of wealth’’ since September 2015, which led to ‘‘bouts of depression’’, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said in an interview with Las Vegas news station KLAS-TV.
‘‘This individual was statusdriven, based on how he liked to be recognised in the casino environment and how he liked to be recognised by his friends and family. So, obviously, that was starting to decline in the short period of time, and that may have had a determining effect on why he did what he did.’’
Investigators still have not determined exactly what led Paddock to unleash a barrage of gunfire at concertgoers from his highrise suite at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino on October 1. He killed himself after the massacre, which also wounded more than 500 people.
Las Vegas police and the FBI have examined his politics and his social behaviour, but have turned up little.
Investigators found no evidence that Paddock had help carrying out the attack but are continuing to question his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who was visiting family members in the Philippines during the massacre.
Danley was still considered a ‘‘person of interest’’ in the investigation and was being questioned again this week, Lombardo said. The FBI previously questioned her about Paddock’s gun purchases and what she may have noticed about his behaviour.
Danley has repeatedly denied knowing anything about the attack and said Paddock never said or did anything that would have led her to believe he was going to carry out a massacre.
However, Lombardo said he had doubts about her story, calling it ‘‘hard to believe’’.
‘‘You would think Ms Danley would have some information associated with that,’’ he said. ‘‘Currently, we haven’t been able to pull it out of her, if she has it in her.’’
The sheriff also described Paddock’s younger brother, Eric, as ‘‘manic’’ in interviews with news reporters outside his Florida home following the shooting, but did not elaborate. ‘‘You can see there’s something associated with the family,’’ Lombardo said. AP