Las Vegas shooting: Who is Stephen Paddock?

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At least 59 people have been killed and more than 500 others injured during a mass shooting at a country music concert in the US state of Nevada.

What happened?

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  • Police believe 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on a group of more than 22,000 concert-goers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
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  • At least 59 people were killed and 527 others were injured.
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  • The identities of the victims have yet to be released.
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  • A US official said on Tuesday that Paddock had reported at least a dozen gambling transactions of $10,000 or more in the past several weeks.
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  • He said Paddock had transferred $100,000 to the Philippines and investigators are attempting to trace that money.
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  • The official said investigators are focusing more attention on what the girlfriend of Paddock may have known about the attack. Federal investigators are expected to question Marilou Danley when she returns to the US on Wednesday.

Who is Stephen Paddock?

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  • Las Vegas Metropolitan Police named the suspected attacker as Stephen Paddock.
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  • In a statement, police said they found him dead in the hotel room from which they believe he carried out the attack. They also found at least 23 firearms.
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  • Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo described the assailant as a “lone wolf” and insisted that the police have “the situation under control”.
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  • Police have carried out search warrants at two homes owned by Paddock in Nevada. At least 19 firearms were found at Paddock’s home in the city of Mesquite. Police are still investigating his home in the city of Reno.
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  • Police are currently trying to establish a motive for the shooting. They told reporters on Monday afternoon that they had no working motive at the time.
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  • Paddock’s brother, Eric, told local media on Monday that he couldn’t “even make something up” regarding what Paddock’s motive might be.
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  • “No affiliation, no religion, no politics. He never cared about any of that stuff,” Eric Paddock said. “He was a guy who had money. He went on cruises and gambled.”
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  • Paddock has no none criminal record.
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  • His father, according to The Associated Press, was a notorious bank robber who escaped from federal prison in Texas in 1968. He was found a decade later and died in 1998.
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  • Police have said they believe Paddock is the sole person responsible for Sunday’s attack.

Where did it take place?

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  • The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is located on the Las Vegas Strip, an area lined with upscale casinos, hotels and tourist attractions.
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  • Las Vegas is a popular tourist destination for domestic and international travellers. Some figures estimate that an average of more than 40 million tourists visit the city each year, which is an average of more than 109,000 every day.
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  • The shooting happened during a country musical performance at the Route 91 Harvest festival. Photos posted on social media show attendees hitting the floor as others fled in panic.
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  • Over 22.000 people attended the concert, according to the Las Vegas police.

What are people saying?

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  • Witnesses and concert attendees said the shots came from an elevated position in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
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  • Cole Watson, who was at the concert with his wife and kids, said that “at first it sounded like someone was setting off a whole lot of firecrackers”.
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  • Watson said when everyone realised it was gunfire, “everybody started running”.
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  • In a televised address US President Donald Trump called the attack “an act of pure evil”.
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  • Trump praised the Las Vegas police and said that their rapid response prevented more deaths.
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  • Writing on Instagram, musician Jason Aldean, who was performing at the time of the shooting, described the incident as “beyond horrific” and said, “it hurts my heart”.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

SOURCEAljazeera
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