Las Vegas: Stephen Paddock 'gambled $1m a night' and had Valium doctor on retainer

Police are scrambling to find a motive for the massacre

Andrew Buncombe
New York
,Mythili Sampathkumar
Monday 09 October 2017 13:43 BST
Las Vegas shooting: Who is gunman Stephen Paddock?

Stephen Paddock, the man who carried out the mass shooting in Las Vegas before turning the gun on himself, gambled up to $1m a night and frequently popped Valium for anxiety.

In a deposition he delivered four years ago as part of a civil lawsuit against a hotel where he said he had slipped and fell, the one-time accountant portrayed himself as a big spender who was frequently “comped’ rooms by the casinos he frequented.

He also claimed that he was, at one point, the “biggest video poker player in the world”.

“How do I know that – because I know some of the video poker players that play big. Nobody played as much and as long as I did,” he said.

He said at the height of his play in 2006, he “averaged 14 hours a day, 365 days a year”. “I’ll gamble all night,” he said. “I sleep during the day.”

Asked if he ever visited the hotel pool, Paddock replied: “I do not do sun.”

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Details of the 97-page testimony, obtained by CNN, come as police in Las Vegas, along with federal agents, are still struggling to identify a motive behind the attack, carried out on people who were attending a country music festival, which attracted a crowd of up to 22,000, taking place off the Las Vegas Strip. Paddock, who was 64, killed 58 people and injured almost 500 before turning a gun on himself.

Stephen Paddock’s brother, Eric, was interviewed twice over the weekend, having arrived from his home in Florida. He faced hours of interviews with FBI agents, a police detective, a profiler and a psychologist.

Eric Paddock says he wants to help investigators get into his brother’s mindset. He said that he’ll retrieve his brother’s body and have it cremated.

While police and the media have managed to build an extensive profile of Paddock, who appears to have spent many years drifting from various cities in the American West, there are precious few clues as to what led him to plan and carry out the attack with such deadly precision. Investigators have also taken another look around Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nevada – about 80 miles from Las Vegas – to “re-check and re-document”.

It is known that in recent months Paddock had been buying more and more weapons – officials have so far recovered 47 guns from his various properties and cars. Officers are digging into Paddock’s finances as part of their attempt to look for something that may have triggered his actions but so far they have found little in terms of solid clues,

During the testimony, Paddock was asked whether he had a good relationship with the doctor who prescribed him the pills – Steven Winkler.

“He’s like on retainer, I call it, I guess,” he said. “It means I pay a fee yearly... I have good access to him.”

Paddock said he believed he had 10 or 15 pills remaining in a bottle of 60 that were prescribed a year and a half earlier.

He was asked whether he was sober on the night of the accident for which he had filed the lawsuit.

“I was my normal happy-go-lucky self,” he said. “Perfectly sober.”

Meanwhile, country music star Jason Aldean returned to Las Vegas to meet with victims of the mass shooting. Aldean was performing at the Route 91 festival when Paddock opened fire.

The “Don’t you wanna stay” singer visited patients and families at the University Medical Center.

The hospital thanked the singer in a Facebook post, writing that it “helped heal hearts and cheer those who were wounded in this tragedy".

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