Fi­nan­cial stress may have been mo­ti­va­tion for Ve­gas mas­sacre

Sunday News - - WORLD -

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

Stephen Pad­dock

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