Stephen Paddock's brother speaks out after worst mass shooting in US history: 'We're horrified'

This is the worst mass shooting in modern US history

Mythili Sampathkumar
New York
Monday 02 October 2017 14:38 BST
Stephen Paddock's brother speaks out

The brother of Stephen Paddock, the suspected gunman in the Las Vegas shooting that killed more than 50 people, has said that his family have been left stunned by the news.

“We have no idea. We're horrified. We're bewildered and our condolences go out to the victims,” Eric Paddock said in a brief telephone interview with Reuters, his voice trembling. “We have no idea in the world.”

Mr Paddock also said his now-deceased brother was "not an avid gun guy at all".

Las Vegas shooting: What we know so far

Police believe Mr Paddock shot himself just ahead of their arrival. He allegedly shot down from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Hotel at a crowd of 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the famous Vegas Strip.

Country music star Jason Aldean was performing on stage at the time of the shooting, around 10 pm local time.

Mr Paddock is from Mesquite, Nevada approximately 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas and lived in a retirement community there.

The New York Times has reported he was known to Las Vegas police, but only for a routine traffic violation. He was not known to the Mesquite police at all, according to Quinn Averett, a spokesman for the Mesquite police.

Mr Paddock had over ten rifles in his hotel room, where he had reportedly checked in three or four days ago, according to Sheriff Joseph Lombardo. Police also said they believe he had a "device like a hammer" to smash the windows of the room in order to shoot.

Police are set to search Mr Paddock's residence as well.

Las Vegas Police have not called this a terrorism event, however it may qualify as one under Nevada state law.

The law defines terrorism in the state as any event that "is intended to...cause great bodily harm or death to the general population."

There have been reports that terror group Isis has been celebrating the event on their channels, but that is not an indication it was directly involved.

Police questioed a women believed to be a companion of Mr Paddock's, Marlilou Danley, but have since cleared her of any involvement in the shooting.

Mr Paddock's alleged motive is unknown as well as whether there were any other people involved in the planning and commission of this heinous crime.

His brother, getting emotional, said his family felt like "an asteroid fell out of the sky" after hearing about Mr Paddock's involvement and death.

Eric said Mr Paddock was fond of gambling and country music, but had no real "religious affiliation, no political affiliation."

"The fact that he had those kinds of weapons is just ... where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background or anything like that," he added, speaking to CBS News in Orlando, Florida.

"He was just a guy...he snapped or something."

Mr Lombardo did not want to specualte on Mr Paddock's alleged motive, saying: "I can't get into the mind of a psychopath".

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