Vegas Gunman Stephen Paddock's Family 'Dumbfounded' After Massacre Leaves At Least 58 Dead
The family of Stephen Paddock say they were blindsided by news their relative is presumed responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
The 64-year-old Nevada man has been identified as the gunman who opened fire on an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas late Sunday, killing at least 58 and wounding more than 500.
The alleged killer's brother, Eric Paddock, lives in Florida, where he told reporters he has spoken with police about the shooting, which has left the family "dumbfounded."
"We can’t understand what happened," said Eric Paddock, who said he last spoke to his brother after hurricane Irma. "We have absolutely no idea whatsoever... I can’t imagine. When you guys find out why this happened, let us know. I have no idea whatsoever."
Another person who identifies as a member of Paddock's family took to Facebook to distance herself from her now-infamous relative.
"First off I want to express my deepest sympathies to everyone affected by this massacre, I am as shocked and appalled as anyone about this senseless act of violence," Nicole Paddock wrote Monday.
Nicole Paddock called it "disheartening" to learn that Stephen Paddock, her uncle, was identified as the gunman.
"But I did not know very much about him. Sometimes I would see him in Las Vegas when I was there visiting other family, but these encounters were casual and infrequent. It has been well over a year since I have had any contact with him. I cannot speak to what possibly motivates someone to do something like this nor what his specific motivations may have been. He never came across as religious or political.
"My family and I are still in shock by this news and my heart goes out to all of those who lost or had loved ones injured in this tragedy. I am at a loss for words."
Police, meanwhile, have not released Stephen Paddock's motive for the shooting.
Authorities say they found Stephen Paddock, who they believe targeted victims at street level from his 32nd floor Mandalay Bay hotel room, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Footage from outside the famed Las Vegas strip resort shows what appeared to be the shooter's shattered hotel room windows.
Among the hundreds of victims was an off-duty officer with the Bakersfield, California Police Department. He was taken to a hospital for nonlife-threatening injuries, according to a statement.
Several of the department’s officers were off-duty and were reportedly attending the concert when the gunfire erupted.
The FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were assisting local authorities with the investigation, the agencies said.