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Las Vegas shooter reportedly a real estate investor

10/04/2017

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It’s been two days since the mass shooting at the country music Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas — the deadliest in American history to date — and many are trying to piece together the story of Stephen Paddock, the 64-year-old gunman who killed 59 people and wounded 500 others from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. Paddock is reported to have committed suicide before law enforcement arrived, according to the Associated Press.

Among the survivors of the attack was North Dakota real estate agent Andrew Gudmunson, of Century 21 Action Realtors of Minot, who was shot and wounded, but in stable condition.

In the moments after the shooting, only a few details were known about Paddock: he reportedly lived in a luxury retirement community in Mesquite, Nev., had no previous criminal record and had no clear motives for planning such an attack.

“My challenge is, I don’t see any of the classic indicators, so far, that would suggest, “OK, he’s on the road either to suicide or homicide or both,” said former FBI hostage negotiator Clint Van Zandt in an interview with the Associated Press.

On Monday, Paddock’s brother, Eric, tried to process his brother’s actions live on CBS This Morning, and provided a little insight into Stephen’s life before Sunday. According to Eric, his brother had been a hard-working accountant and real estate investor who liked to gamble and take care of his 90-year-old mother who lived in Florida.

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According to multiple reports by ABC News, AP and the Los Angeles Times, Stephen began investing in rental properties in the late 80s, beginning with a small, two-building apartment complex in Hawthorne, a working-class neighborhood in Los Angeles.

From there, Stephen is said to have expanded his investments to Texas, where he owned an apartment complex in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite for almost a decade until he sold it in 2012. One former tenant told the Los Angeles Times that Paddock was a stickler for checking his renters’ credit and evicting those who didn’t pay.

After selling his apartment complex, Stephen reportedly moved to Florida, where he stayed for a few years, before moving to Nevada for the weather and high-stakes gambling scene.

“No affiliation, no religion, no politics. He never cared about any of that stuff,” said Eric in an interview with the Associated Press. “He was a guy who had money. He went on cruises and gambled.”

“He had substantial wealth. He’d tell me when he’d win,” he added. “He’d grouse when he’d lost. He never said he’d lost $4 million or something. I think he would have told me.”

A former neighbor, Sharon Judy, told the Los Angeles Times that Stephen had shown her a picture of a $20,000 jackpot he’d won and described himself as a “professional gambler by trade.”

The Associated Press reported that Eric said the last text he received from his brother was a picture that showed he’d won $40,000 on a slot machine. Moreover, Eric said he wasn’t aware of any substantial gambling debt — something theorists have suggested as what pushed Stephen over the edge.

As of now, investigators are searching Stephen’s belongings, which allegedly include 17 guns and other modifiers that allowed him to make the guns fully automatic. Investigators are also looking for any written motives or plans.

Email Marian McPherson.

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