New FBI docs show Las Vegas mass shooter was upset with casinos
The high-roller gambler who opened fire on concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip had lost tens of thousands of dollars while gambling weeks before the mass shooting and was upset about how the casinos had treated him, according to FBI documents made public this week.
The documents do not reveal a motive for the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, but they paint a detailed account of gunman Stephen Paddock’s final days before the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting that killed 60 people and injured over 500 more.
A gambler whose name is redacted from the hundreds of pages of documents told the FBI that Paddock “was very upset at the way casinos were treating him and other high rollers.”
During a two-day stay in mid-September at the Tropicana Las Vegas, the documents say that Paddock lost $38,000. Paddock, according to one FBI record, had a bankroll of “approximately $2-3 million.” He had frequented three casinos in Reno, the Atlantis, Peppermill and Tamaric Junction — “and was banned from all three.” The FBI noted that he and other high rollers were often banned because of their high winnings. “Paddock’s preferred game was video poker,” the documents note, “where he would bet $200 or more, per bet.”
In the past casinos had given high rollers special treatment: “free cruises, airline flights, penthouse suites” and more, but they had changed their practice and had begun banning them from specific casinos and hotels.
The gambler told the FBI that Paddock was stressed out about the treatment of high rollers “and believed the stress could easily be what caused Paddock to ‘snap,'” one of the interview documents says.
The FBI documents also include an interview with an unidentified woman who appears to have been a neighbor of Paddock’s. She said he was very strange and never made eye contact, and she told the FBI interviewer they never had any “friendly chats.” She also recalled that a few days before the mass shooting, on Sept. 28 or 29, 2017, she saw him standing in the driveway with his hands on his hips and he seemed “‘pissed,'” the interview document said. She asked “if he was okay, and he told her that someone had left a mark on his driveway and he was really upset,” according to the interviewer’s notes. The woman described it as a small dirt mark.
Neither the FBI nor the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the lead investigating agency, presented an official motive for the shooting. Both agencies have said Paddock acted alone.
The 10-minute massacre unfolded on the final night of the three-day Route 91 Harvest music festival across the street from the Mandalay Bay resort. Authorities have said Paddock, 64, unleashed a barrage of bullets into the festival crowd from his corner suite on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay.
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