MESQUITE, Nevada – In pre-dawn hours Monday, heavily armed police converged on the Mesquite retirement-community home of a man authorities say killed at least 58 people and injured at least 515 when he opened fire at a country-music concert in Las Vegas Sunday evening.
“Worst phone call a mother could receive,” Sue Reynolds, of Southern Utah, told St. George News Monday. “My daughter was in the middle of it. She called crying saying, ‘I love you, they’re killing everyone,’ as I hear gunfire and screaming in the background. She’s OK but the people next to her didn’t make it.”
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department identified the lone suspect involved in the late-night mass shooting as 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock, described by police as a white male from Mesquite, Nevada.
Mesquite Police Chief Troy Tanner said police, including detectives from Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, surrounded and entered Paddock’s single-family, one-story, three-bedroom home in the Sun City retirement community of Mesquite – the home where Paddock lived with 62-year-old Marilou Danley.
Danley was initially identified as a person of interest in connection with the shooting. Authorities did not find Danley at the Mesquite house and police saw “no movement” inside before serving a search warrant at the home, Tanner said. Police later said Danley is out of the country and that “detectives have made contact with her and do not believe she is involved with the shooting.”
“We have completed the search warrant in Mesquite,” Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said during a press conference Monday. “I am not aware of any derogatory information that we can utilize to the furtherance of this investigation at this point. But we have just recovered items and it will take a little while to evaluate that information.”
Paddock opened fire Sunday evening on a crowd of more than 22,000 concert-goers from a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police and SWAT officers responded, breached the hotel room and found him dead, Lombardo said, adding that more than 10 rifles were found at the scene.
Authorities said they believe Paddock killed himself prior to police entry.
Paddock, who has no known criminal history, checked into the hotel Thursday and brought the guns in himself, officials said. Authorities believe Paddock used a device similar to a hammer to smash the hotel room windows.
The FBI said Monday that Paddock’s motive was unclear and that they have found no connection between the shooting and any international terrorist group.
The announcement from Special Agent in Charge Aaron Rouse at Monday’s news conference was made after the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack without providing evidence.
A brother of the Las Vegas shooter said Stephen Paddock was a multimillionaire who made much of his money investing in real estate.
Stephen Paddock had never shown violent tendencies, his brother, Eric Paddock of Orlando, Florida, told CNN, adding, “He doesn’t even have parking tickets.”
Eric Paddock said he helped Stephen Paddock move to Mesquite about a year ago, noting, “He had no machine guns when I moved him from Melbourne to Mesquite.”
Their father was a bank robber who spent years on the FBI’s most-wanted list, said brother Eric Paddock. The FBI lists the late Benjamin Hoskins Paddock as being on the FBI’s most-wanted list from June 10, 1969, until May 5, 1977.
Benjamin Paddock operated an Oregon bingo parlor after escaping from a Texas prison in the late 1960s, according to The Associated Press. FBI agents arrested Patrick Benjamin Paddock on Sept. 6, 1978, at the Bingo Center in the small city of Springfield.
Benjamin Paddock was paroled the following year and returned to Oregon. He continued the bingo operation until authorities shut it down in 1987 and charged him with racketeering.
Chris Michel, owner of Dixie GunWorx in St. George, told St. George News he once sold a gun to Stephen Paddock.
“I recognized him immediately … he’s been in my store … we sold him a shotgun,” Michel said.
The owner of a gun shop in Mesquite, Nevada, said Stephen Paddock bought firearms there and never gave any indication that he might have been unstable, according to The Associated Press.
Guns & Guitars general manager Christopher Sullivan said in a statement Monday that Stephen Paddock showed no signs of being unfit to buy guns.
Store spokesman Shawn Vincent declined comment on how many guns Paddock bought and said those details could only be shared with authorities. Sullivan says all necessary background checks and procedures were followed under local, state and federal laws and that he’s cooperating fully with law enforcement.
Stephen Paddock had worked as an accountant – and public records showed he held both a pilot’s license and a hunting license, according to ABC News. He was also employed by defense contractor Lockheed Martin between 1985 and 1988.
The hundreds of people who were wounded during the shooting rampage were taken to five southern Nevada hospitals, and officials said blood donations are needed.
“We are asking to solely utilize United Blood Services for blood donations and the UMC to donate blood,” Lombardo said Monday.
Anyone wishing to help is asked to donate blood for the injured victims at United Blood Services located at 6930 W. Charleston in Las Vegas or 601 Whitney Ranch Drive in Henderson, Nevada.
University Medical Center is also hosting a blood drive in conjunction with United Blood Services and is being held at UMC’s Delta Point Building located at 901 N. Rancho Lane, Las Vegas.
Major Lisa Smith with the Salvation Army of Mesquite reached out to the Mesquite Police Department to notify community members that free counseling services will be offered by the organization to those who have been affected by the tragic events in Las Vegas.
The Salvation Army of Mesquite can be reached at 702-345-5116.
This is a developing story.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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