Tragedy in Las Vegas


Alexis Santoro, Managing Editor, Current News Editor

On Oct. 1, Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on concertgoers at the Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. From his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort, he targeted the festival, killing 58 and injuring 500 in approximately 10 minutes. When the SWAT team got to his room, Paddock was found dead, surrounded by over 20 semi-automatic guns and dozens of rounds of ammunition. This shooting has been declared the deadliest shooting in United States history.

Paddock’s motives for the shooting have not yet been identified. When the police searched his house, they found over a dozen more guns and chemicals used to make explosives in his car. Upon further investigation, it was confirmed that 33 of his guns were purchased within the last year.

Investigators have also looked into Paddock’s past and uncovered information about his father, Benjamin Paddock, a diagnosed psychopath. He had been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for bank robbery and escaped, putting him on the FBI’s Most Wanted list in 1969.

Authorities reached out to Paddock’s brother who gave them some insight to his brother’s current work and living situations. Stephen Paddock had held various jobs in his earlier life before becoming a full time gambler. He also owned various different real-estate properties as a source of income.

Paddock had no record of criminal behavior prior to the shooting, and the people in his life claimed that they had no inclination as to what he was planning. In an interview with The New York Times, his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, stated that she didn’t know him as violent, but rather quiet and kind.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the shooting. However, Paddock does not have any known affiliation with any terrorist organizations. Additionally, they did not provide any proof validating that they were responsible for the shooting. Investigators have not completely ruled this out yet as a possible cause, however it is highly unlikely.

While investigations are still underway, it is important to honor the victims and help Las Vegas as they recover from this tragic event.