Victims’ families and survivors of the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1 are hoping that court proceedings surrounding Stephen Paddock’s estate may help in some way to break through the two-monthlong silence regarding the horrific gun massacre that took 58 lives and injured over 500 people — causing, for many of them, serious emotional trauma on top of their physical injuries.
And as they struggle to recover physically and mentally, the survivors are growing impatient with how little they understand about how and why the shooting happened: What was Stephen Paddock’s motive? How did he get so many guns into the Mandalay Bay Hotel Resort & Casino? Why did he choose that night, that particularly crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival?
“We’re in the dark. The people that were there that went through this, they haven’t heard anything,” Claudia Romero, whose husband Harry was shot through both of his legs, told CNN.
“It’s just like it happened and for some reason someone said turn it off, and stop talking about it. And they did,” he said.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, media coverage of the shooting has been scarce, and Las Vegas police have not given a press conference since several weeks ago. The public, the families of victims, and the survivors, are no closer to understanding what happened than they were in the first days following the massacre.
As far as the public knows, Paddock did not leave behind any clues as to a motive or affiliation with any particular ideology, or indicate that he was working on behalf of any terrorist group — which is highly unusual for people who commit mass killings.
So far, the only thing that investigators have discovered that could point to any kind of motive is the fact that Paddock, a professional gambler, had lost money in the months before the mass shooting.
Still, he didn’t lose everything: Paddock reportedly left an estate worth $5 million — and 450 lawsuits have been filed regarding the lawsuit, many against Paddock’s estate.
Most recently, the family of shooting victim Keri Galvan has filed a $45 million lawsuit against Paddock’s estate.
At a Nevada court on Thursday, attorneys for the victims asked that Paddock’s heirs sign over any interest in his estate. Craig Fiegener, a reporter for NBC-TV in Las Vegas, tweeted on Thursday that Stephen’s brother Eric Paddock was not in court today, although he was at a previous hearing regarding his brother’s estate in November.
It is not known what decisions regarding the distribution of Paddock’s estate on Thursday, but the reporter said in a subsequent tweet that a county administrator said that his office was not equipped for the burden of handling Paddock’s estate, and indicated that a woman who had previously volunteered to act as independent executor may handle it.
County administrator John Cahill says it would be too burdensome for his office to handle Paddock’s estate. He mentions Donnalyn VanOrman-Wasano as an option.
— Craig Fiegener (@CraigNews3LV) December 14, 2017
Multiple media outlets have sued for the release of information related to the investigation, including surveillance camera footage and search warrants. The next hearing date regarding the media lawsuit is scheduled for January.
[Feature image: Associated Press]