POLICE sought clues on Tuesday to explain why a retiree who enjoyed gambling but had no criminal record set up a vantage point in a high-rise Las Vegas hotel and poured gunfire onto a concert below, slaying dozens of people before killing himself.
The Sunday night shooting spree from a 32nd-floor window of the Mandalay Bay hotel, on the Las Vegas Strip, killed at least 59 people before the gunman turned a weapon on himself. More than 500 people were injured, some trampled, in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, left no immediate hint of his motive for the arsenal of high-powered weaponry he amassed, including 42 guns, or the carnage he inflicted on a crowd of 22,000 attending an outdoor country music festival.
Paddock was not known to have served in the military, to have suffered from a history of mental illness or to have registered any inkling of social disaffection, political discontent or radical views on social media.
“He was a sick man, a demented man,” U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters. “Lot of problems, I guess, and we’re looking into him very, very seriously, but we’re dealing with a very, very sick individual”
He declined to answer a question about whether he considered the attack an act of domestic terrorism.
U.S. officials also discounted a claim of responsibility by the Islamic State militant group.
Police said they believed Paddock acted alone.
“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters on Monday. “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath.”
Although police said they had no other suspects, Lombardo said investigators wanted to talk with Paddock’s girlfriend and live-in companion, Marilou Danley, who he said was traveling abroad, possibly in Tokyo.