News and Commentary

Vegas Shooter’s Brother: ‘He Snapped’

The brother of the man who opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas on Sunday night told reporters that his brother was a regular guy who appears to have just “snapped.”

On Sunday night, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort on a crowd at a Jason Aldeen performance at the Route 41 Harvest festival. By the end of Paddock’s horrific act, over 50 people were dead and over 400 injured. The nightmare — which is the most deadly mass shooting in the history of the country — ended when Paddock committed suicide via firearm in the hotel room, where he had been staying since Thursday. Authorities found a cache of ten rifles in the room.

In an interview with on Monday, the shooter’s brother, Eric Paddock, said the family was “shocked” at his brother’s actions, saying they had “absolutely no indication” he was capable of such a heinous act.

“He was just a guy. Something happened, he snapped or something,” said Paddock, speaking from his home in Orlando, Florida.

“He has no political affiliation, no religious affiliation, as far as we know. This wasn’t a terror attack,” he added.

Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo’s early comments to reporters echoed Paddock’s claim. Lombardo told reporters that currently authorities do not believe the shooting was an act of terror, though the investigation was still ongoing.

“We know absolutely nothing, this is just… we are dumbfounded,” Paddock told the Daily Mail. Speaking of what motivated the attack, Paddock reiterated, “We have absolutely no idea.”

Paddock said that he and his brother did not speak often, in part because they lived so far apart.

“He’s my brother, we don’t have a very close relationship but we talk occasionally,” he said. “There’s no rhyme or reason here, it makes no sense.”

As for his family, which includes his mother who lives nearby, Paddock said they were managing “OK” but struggling to understand what happened.

“Our family is OK, we’re sitting in here in our house hoping that everyone doesn’t attack us,” he said. “My mother is 90 years old, lives down the street from me, we’re just completely dumbfounded. You can imagine how this is affected her.”

Asked about his brother’s “companion,” Marilou Danley, who was initially a person of interest, Paddock said, “She has nothing to do with this, at least from my perspective.”

Police say they no longer believe Danley is connected to the shooting.

“Our condolences go to the victims and all their families,” said Paddock.

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