Newly released FBI documents show that the Mandalay Bay mass shooter was “very upset” at how casinos were treating high rollers. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Providing new insights
Newly released FBI documents point towards a potential motive for the mass shooter who killed 60 people in Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock was in a 32nd floor hotel room at the Mandalay Bay when he opened fire on people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival on October 1, 2017.
released documents detailing interviews with people who had interacted with or knew the shooter
In response to the Wall Street Journal submitting a public records request, the FBI has released documents detailing interviews with people who had interacted with or knew the shooter. The 64-year-old shot himself before the authorities could apprehend him. Little indication was given regarding the motive for the shooting.
The FBI documents describe how Paddock was “very upset” about the way casinos in the region were treating big spenders. This could have been a contributing factor to the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
A high roller
The shooter was a frequent gambler in Las Vegas and mainly played video poker. He was said to have a typical bankroll of between $2m and $3m. Paddock frequently gambled across Nevada with hundreds of thousands of dollars for about a decade before the mass shooting.
Paddock initially made his money by purchasing and selling apartment complexes across the US. He did not have a criminal record or any connections to hate groups.
Paddock described himself as a professional gambler and told certain people that it was his main source of income. He reportedly lost $38,000 at the Tropicana a few weeks before the shooting.
A possible explanation
An unnamed gambler informed the FBI that Paddock had been extremely upset about how casinos were treating high rollers. About three years before the mass shooting, many Nevada properties started banning certain VIP players from hotels, casino floors, and events. The shooter claimed to have been banned from three casinos in Reno for earning too much money in them.
An FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit panel spent a year trying to figure out Paddock’s motive for firing more than 1,000 rounds in an 11-minute period. They were unable to find a clear motivating factor.
The acquaintance believes that the VIP policy of casinos could have eventually led Paddock to “snap.” Speaking about the Mandalay Bay, the gambler said to the FBI that the property “was not treating Paddock well because a player of his status should have been in a higher floor in a penthouse suite.”
The individual explained that Paddock told him he bought a handgun to protect himself, as he was often carrying around $100,000 in cash. After the shooting, authorities discovered that Paddock had been stockpiling dozens of legally bought weapons in the year leading up to the event. He spent several days transporting the guns up to his room at Mandalay Bay.