The gunman

A high-stakes gambler who played video poker

The brother of the man who killed at least 50 people and injured hundreds more in Las Vegas on Sunday night, says his family is "shocked, horrified, completely dumfounded."

LAS VEGAS • Stephen Paddock, the retired accountant who smuggled an arsenal into a Las Vegas hotel and mowed down at least 59 concertgoers from a 32nd-storey window, was a high-stakes gambler whose bank-robber father was once on the FBI's most-wanted list.

The 64-year-old had a home with a Filipino-Australian woman in a tranquil golf course retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, and regularly sent cookies to his mother, who is in her 90s in Florida. A licensed pilot, he owned two planes. He also had a hunting licence from Alaska.

"He's just a guy who played video poker and took cruises and ate burritos at Taco Bell. There's no political affiliation that we know of. There's no religious affiliation that we know of," his brother, Mr Eric Paddock, said outside his Orlando, Florida, home.

"He didn't have active employment. His life was an open book. It's all in the public record."

In recent weeks, the gunman made gambling transactions worth tens of thousands of dollars, although it was unclear whether they were wins or losses, NBC News reported, citing unidentified law enforcement officials.

He had no criminal record beyond a traffic violation, Las Vegas police said. Besides the cul-de-sac in Mesquite, he owned another home on the fringes of Reno, another gambling hub in Nevada.

"It was like living next to nothing... He was just nothing, quiet," said Ms Diane McKay, Paddock's neighbour in Reno.

At both homes, he was seen regularly with Ms Marilou Danley, 62. Australian media said she was on holiday in the Philippines with three girlfriends, while US investigators said she was possibly in Tokyo.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, WASHINGTON POST, REUTERS

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2017, with the headline 'A high-stakes gambler who played video poker'. Print Edition | Subscribe