Newly released documents connected to the October 1 Las Vegas mass shooting investigation may have provided a clue into Stephen Paddock’s possible motive for gunning down 58 people attending an outdoor concert from his perch inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
The documents were released in compliance with a court order issued late last month, after multiple media outlets sued the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police department for the release of documents — including audio and video files — connected to the deadly mass shooting. In a press conference following the court’s decision, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said that authorities would be releasing the information on a rolling basis for at least several months.
On Wednesday, the LMPVD made public over a hundred pages of investigator interviews and witness statements from people who had encountered Stephen Paddock, or someone they suspected could have been Stephen Paddock, prior to the deadly shooting. Among those witnesses were a Mandalay Bay housekeeper who cleaned Paddock’s suite, and a jailed man who said that Paddock had ‘ranted’ to him about gun control.
According to the Associated Press, the unidentified man told investigators that he had met Paddock outside of a sporting goods store about a month before the shooting. He reportedly said that Paddock had ranted against the government, saying he believed the government intended on confiscating guns from American citizens.
The witness said that Paddock claimed that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) response Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was “a dry run for law enforcement and military to start kickin’ down doors and … confiscating guns.”
“Somebody has to wake up the American public and get them to arm themselves,” the man claimed Paddock said.
“Sometimes sacrifices have to be made.”
All of the names of witnesses have been redacted from the police documents, and the LVMPD did not respond to a request from the Associated Press for more information.
An unidentified woman said in a handwritten statement that she believed she may have encountered Paddock at a Las Vegas restaurant three days before the massacre. She said she overheard a conversation between the man she believes was Paddock and another man, and that Paddock was speaking angrily about FBI-involved standoffs in Waco, Texas, and at Ruby Ridge in the 1990s.
“At the time, I just thought ‘strange guys’ and I wanted to leave,” the woman reportedly wrote.
According to the police documents another witness said he may have encountered Paddock the night before the shooting. The man, a British citizen, told investigators that he had an “unusual conversation” with a man he met at the Luxor hotel on the Saturday night before the massacre, and that he felt he should share his encounter with authorities.
The witness said the man he met talked to him “about God” and spoke of Bible stories and how God had saved people who were down on their luck. The man reportedly told the witness that he was an ex-cop, and that his second wife had drank herself to death with vodka. He said he had one son, who was in prison. At one point, the man reportedly said something about wanting to die. He also spoke of a current girlfriend, who he said was younger, and reportedly complained that the girlfriend frequently demanded sex from him.
A housekeeper who cleaned Paddock’s hotel suite at the Mandalay Bay on September 27 told investigators in an October 13 interview that she found him unnerving.
“He keep on staring at me,” the housekeeper said, reporting that Paddock was on his computer at the time but that she did not see the screen. At one point Paddock asked her if she was ok, and she said she told him yes.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the housekeeper also said she thought it was unusual that he had so much luggage in his room. Paddock reportedly brought over two dozen bags into his 32nd floor suite, taking several trips. Many of those pieces of luggage contained firearms.