The shooter who police allege killed at least 58 people on the Las Vegas Strip on Saturday night has been identified as 64-year-old local resident Stephen Paddock.

Paddock was a resident of Mesquite, a retirement community about 130 kilometres north of Las Vegas.

Police confirmed that Paddock is dead, having killed himself in a hotel room at the Mandalay Bay resort, from which he allegedly fired upon the Route 91 Harvest country music festival.

Ten or more guns were found in Paddock’s hotel room after the shooting, and police currently believe they were purchased legally. Among the weapons found were a .223 caliber and a .308 caliber. There is a suspicion – through observation of footage from the attack – that at least one of the semi-automatic weapons may have been altered to function as a full automatic, though this is unconfirmed.

The attack is the worst mass shooting in modern United States history, with at least 58 people confirmed dead and at least 500 injured – many critically.

According to the shooter’s brother Eric Paddock, Stephen was a retired accountant who received the bulk of his income from gambling. In a shellshocked interview with reporters, Eric said that his brother had never displayed violent tendencies and described him as “just a guy who lived in Mesquite who liked burritos.”

See the interview below:

Eric says in the interview that he doesn’t see any political or religious motivation for the attacks, an angle police are still investigating. He also shared an older photo of himself and his brother with news agencies.

Eric Paddock’s interview also confirmed that his brother’s father was a bank robber who spent years on the FBI‘s most wanted list. Reporters confirmed that a Benjamin Hoskins Paddock was on the most wanted list from June 10, 1969 until May 5, 1977.

Immediately after the attack, police attempted to locate Paddock’s alleged companion, Australian citizen Marilou Danley. The former Gold Coast resident was understood to be in a relationship with Paddock and living with him. However, it was confirmed she was in the Philippines at the time of the attack, and police have cleared her of involvement.

As is often the case with mass casualty events in the United States and globally, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack through their news agency, alleging that Paddock converted to Islam in the months before the shooting. Until the investigation is complete, this should be taken with a grain of salt – as ISIS loses more of their territory, they have become far more aggressive in this particular media strategy, sometimes without much supporting evidence.

New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi, who reports on ISIS, embarked on a lengthy thread on Twitter exploring ISIS’s statement in the context of some of their recent attempts to claim responsibility for attacks, and it’s worth a read if you click through the following link:

Multiple senior law enforcement officials and a casino executive allege that Paddock had racked up a number of “large gambling transactions” in recent weeks, gambling tens of thousands of dollars per day. It is unknown whether they were wins or losses.

We’ll keep you posted on the investigation as it continues.

Image: Twitter