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Stephen Paddock: Who was the Mandalay Bay attacker and what was his motive?

Leon Watson
The Telegraph

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The gunman responsible for the worst mass shooting in modern US history is believed to be a grandfather who lived in a remote desert home.

Stephen Paddock, 64, was named by police as the perpetrator of the shooting on Sunday night.

The Nevada native left more than 50 dead after opening fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip.

People carry a person at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gunfireCredit: David Becker/Getty Images

Paddock was killed when police blasted their way into his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

Officers responded to that hotel room and engaged the suspect, killing him.

Here is everything we know about the gunman:

Where was he from?

Paddock is reported to have lived in a retirement village in Mesquite, Nevada, since June 2016 and is believed to have been born on April 9, 1953.

It is claimed he previously lived in Reno, Nevada, from 2011 to 2016, and also had an address in Melbourne, Florida, from 2013 to 2015.

He has also lived in Henderson, Nevada, and several locations in California since 1990, it is reported. 

Stephen Paddock, 64, was named by police as the perpetrator of the shooting 

Mesquite is located about 80 miles, or an hour and 16 minutes, away from Las Vegas, along Nevada’s border with Arizona.

Mesquite, a city in Clark County, is home to about 17,400 people, including several retirement communities, along with casinos and golf courses.

Did he act alone?

Despite initial reports of multiple gunmen, police do not believe at this time that there were any other shooters. However, Isil did later claim responsibility for the attack and saying Paddock converted to its ideology.

This remains unconfirmed and there is nothing yet to suggest it is true.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, described Paddock as a "lone wolf".

Officers were initially seeking his travelling companion and roommate who has now been located but is not believed to have been involved.

At this stage, Paddock does not have any known ties to terrorist organisation and no motive has been put forward.

When asked by a reporter if it was an act of terrorism, Sheriff Lombardo said: “No, not at this point. We believe it was a local individual. He resides here locally.

"I’m not at liberty to give you his place of residence yet, because it’s an ongoing investigation, we don’t know what his belief system was at this time. … Right now we believe he is the sole aggressor at this point and the scene is static."

Was Paddock known to authorities?

NBC reports that he was.

But public records do not show any criminal convictions for Paddock in Nevada.

Mesquite Police told CBS News that he was not known to them, and that he lived in a retirement community, is a white male and wasn't a military veteran.

What was his motive?

He was not believed to be connected to any militant group, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.

"We have no idea what his belief system was," Lombardo said. "We've located numerous firearms within the room that he occupied."

Eric Paddock, the gunman's brother, said:  "We are completely dumbfounded. We can't understand what happened."

US President Donald Trump responded to the massacre on Twitter, saying: "My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!"

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