People who observed Stephen Paddock in the weeks before he killed 58 people at a Las Vegas concert last October said he railed against the government, behaved oddly and expressed a willingness to die.
People who observed Stephen Paddock in the weeks before he killed 58 people at a Las Vegas concert last October said he railed against the government, behaved oddly and expressed a willingness to die, according to papers newly released by the Las Vegas police, reports the Wall Street Journal. One woman told police she heard Paddock at a diner discussing with another man deadly standoffs between federal agents and antigovernment activists at Ruby Ridge, Id., in 1992 and Waco, Tx., in 1993.“ They kept mentioning the 25th anniversary of Ruby Ridge,” the woman said. “They were speaking of things that struck me as odd. At the time, I just thought ’strange guys’ and I wanted to leave.” Law-enforcement officials still are unclear why the 64 year-old Paddock, a high-rolling, eccentric gambler and gun enthusiast, opened fire on the country-music concert in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The 1,200 pages of witness statements shed more light on his state of mind leading up to the shooting.
An inmate at the Clark County Detention Center told investigators that three weeks before the shooting, Paddock answered his online ad for the design to a device that converts semi-automatic AR-15s to automatic. When they met, the man said Paddock said he would “give me $500 apiece” to make the converters. When the man said he didn’t want to go to prison for that, Paddock went on an antigovernment rant, saying, “Somebody has to wake up the American people and get them to arm themselves … Sometimes sacrifices have to be made.” A British tourist told investigators he spoke for an hour the night before the shooting with a man he later recognized as Paddock. The shooter began quoting stories from the Bible about people down on their luck, and said that he wanted to die.