As more details emerge about Stephen Paddock, an increasingly mysterious and sinister profile emerges about the man who killed 59 people and injured nearly 500 more in a mass shooting in Las Vegas Sunday night, the deadliest in U.S. history.
Investigators are reportedly seeking a woman who Paddock was seen with in the days before the deadly massacre. Law enforcement officials told NBC News that the unidentified woman — who is not Paddock’s girlfriend Marilou Danley, as she was out of the country at the time — could help authorities put together a timeline of Paddock’s final days. It is not known if she has any connection to the attack.
In a press conference Wednesday night, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said he is seriously considering the possibility that Paddock, who brought nearly two dozen firearms to his room in the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, may have had an accomplice.
“Do you think this was all accomplished on his own? You’ve got to make the assumption he had to have some help at some point,” Lombardo said.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Paddock wired over $100,000 to the Philippines in the days before the mass shooting. According to CNN, Danley told investigators that the money was intended for her to buy a house for her family there. Danley also said she was worried that the surprise trip to her native country and the large sum of money meant that Paddock was trying to break up with her. She said she saw no indication that he was planning any type of violence.
It is not entirely clear how Paddock amassed what appears to be significant wealth. His brother Eric Paddock told reporters Wednesday that Stephen was a professional gambler. That is what the shooting suspect listed as his occupation when he purchased a home in 2014 — with cash.
Neighbors in the Nevada retirement community where Paddock bought the $369,000 home told CNN that Paddock built a “privacy screen” around the house, so that neighbors couldn’t see in. It also reportedly blocked what they said were spectacular views.
After neighbors complained, the homeowner’s associated reportedly ordered Paddock to take down the screen.
According to multiple reports from neighbors, Paddock did not have a reputation for being a friendly person.
“I don’t want to be looking at people, and I don’t want people looking at me,” he reportedly once told a neighbor in the retirement community.
CBS News reports that Paddock’s go-to game was high-stakes video poker. Gambling strategist Michael Shackleford told the news station that successful players of the game often employ a long-term strategy that can yield high winnings but after a period of significant loss.
“In any form of gambling, you need a strong stomach and you need to have a very cool head about the ups and down,” Shackleford said, adding that a regular player would likely need access to significant funds to cover the period of losses.
“If this guy was a millionaire, it’s quite possible he was not bothered by the ups and down. He probably had steel nerves and was a difficult person to move emotionally.”
Despite his apparent wealth, a waitress at a diner where Paddock and Danley were regulars told CNN that he wasn’t a particularly generous tipper.
[Feature photo: Twitter]