LAS VEGAS — The owner of gun store where 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, the shooter who killed at least 59 people and wounded 527 more during a concert on the Las Vegas Strip, issued a statement expressing condolences to the families affected by the tragedy.
The statement also defends the grounds on which Paddock obtained the weapons.
Paddock was identified as a citizen of Mesquite, Nevada, a town of about 18,000 people on the Nevada-Arizona state line 82 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Authorities searched his home Monday and found weapons and ammunition, but Mesquite police spokesman Quinn Averett did not give details. Averett didn’t know how long Paddock had lived in the area.
“What’s unique for us is the gunman, the shooter, and the person with him, we in the Mesquite Police Department have not had any contact with these people in the past. We haven’t had any traffic stops, any law enforcement contact, no arrests or nothing,” Averett said.
Law enforcement has no “derogatory information” about Paddock, besides the fact he received a citation several years ago that was handled in the court system, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.
They believe Paddock fired the shots on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Paddock was apparently targeting a crowd of 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival below.
Paddock was found dead in his room when a police SWAT team broke down the door. Lombardo said authorities believe Paddock killed himself.
Officers found at least 10 rifles in the room. The manager with the store where Paddock bought the weapons, Guns and Guitars, issued a statement regarding the mass shooting.
“We mourn for this tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the lost and injured,” the statement read.
“Mr. Paddock was a customer and purchased firearms from our store; however, all necessary background checks and procedures were followed, as required by local, state and federal law.
“He never gave any indication or reason to believe he was unstable or unfit at any time. We are currently cooperating with the ongoing investigation by local and federal law enforcement in any way we can.”
Police don’t think anybody else was involved in the shooting. Paddock been staying in the Mandalay Bay since Thursday, authorities said.
Lombardo did not call the shooting an act of terrorism.
“We have to establish what his motivation was first,” Lombardo said. “There’s motivating factors associated with terrorism other than a distraught person just intending to cause mass casualties. Before we label with that, it’ll be a matter of process.”
Marilou Danley was identified as Paddock’s companion or roommate, Lombardo said.
She does not appear to have been involved in the shooting and was in the Philippines when the shooting took place, authorities said. Paddock had been using some of her identification, Lombardo said.
Paddock had a private pilot’s license and the Federal Aviation Administration is gathering his records, according to FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown.
So far, authorities have found no military records for Stephen Paddock.AlertMe