Stephen Paddock, the 64-year-old man who killed at least 58 people and left more than 500 injured in a Sunday night shooting at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, was “just a guy” who frequented the city’s hotels, gambled and attended shows, according to his younger brother.
Eric Paddock, 55, was visibly shocked as he spoke to reporters outside of his home in Florida’s Orlando area on Monday morning. He described himself as “horrified” and “dumbfounded.”
Discussing any possible explanation for his brother’s murderous rampage, he said, “There’s just nothing,” and likened the news to an “asteroid” that “fell out of the sky.”
Asked to characterize his brother, he termed him an average man who “drove down and gambled in Las Vegas.”
“He’s just a guy who played video poker and took cruises and ate burritos at Taco Bell,” he told the Washington Post. “There’s no political affiliation that we know of. There’s no religious affiliation that we know of.”
Stephen Paddock was found dead by law officers of a self-inflicted gunshot in the room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino from where he fired on the concertgoers. At least 10 firearms were found in the room, authorities said.
Eric Paddock said his brother owned some guns, but never an automatic weapon or machine gun.
“[He’s] not an avid gun guy at all” he told CBS News. “Where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background.”
“My kids didn’t know him that well or anything,” noting how far away his brother lived. He added that he did hear from Stephen Paddock recently after Hurricane Irma hammered much of Florida a few weeks ago.
“He texted me to ask about my mom after the hurricane,” Eric Paddock said. “I can show you the text. ‘How is mom? Did you get power?’ That was it.”
Their mother is 90 years old and is “totally dumbstruck” by her older son’s massacre, Eric Paddock said. “We have absolutely no clue why this happened,” he said.
Stephen Paddock lived with his partner, Marilou Danley, in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Eric Paddock described Danley as a “nice lady.”
“I’ve met her three or four times,” he said. “She’s got a Facebook page. She sends cookies to my mom.”