Before Las Vegas mass shooting, a friend of the gunman implored him not to ‘shoot or kill innocent people,' newspaper reports
A friend of Stephen Paddock, who carried out the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history in Las Vegas in 2017, said in letters that he was concerned about Paddock committing a shooting and asked him not to "shoot or kill innocent people."
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a friend of Stephen Paddock who committed the deadliest mass killing in US history, the Las Vegas shooting, in 2017, wrote in letters to Paddock that he was worried about him committing another shooting. He asked him to not'shoot innocent people' or kill them.
The newspaper reported that ten letters were found by the new owners in Mesquite Texas in late November 2017. According to FBI records. CNN has requested these records.
According to the newspaper, Paddock wrote a friend of his, Jim Nixon, in a May 27, 2017 letter: 'I'll find someone who can help you.' Please don't shoot or hurt people who have done nothing to you. I'm worried about your way of talking, and think you will do something terrible. Please, please do not do what I believe you will do.
Paddock shot at a large crowd of concertgoers in October 2017 from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. He killed 58 people and injured about 500 more. Two more victims died from shooting-related injuries in the years following the massacre.
The Review-Journal did not publish any of these letters in full.
Nixon told CNN that he wrote to Paddock two or three letters a year.
He said they first met in Virginia 'around 2010-2011' and formed a "good relationship". Nixon told Paddock that after they got to know each other, he invited him to Nevada for fishing at Lake Mead or off-road bicycling in the desert.
Nixon claimed that their relationship was never a problem, but Paddock later became 'bitter' at the system and began 'talking about death a lot'. Nixon said Paddock had mentioned going 'postal', which caused him to be concerned for Paddock.
The Review-Journal reported that Nixon inquired in a letter dated August 2014 regarding a statement Paddock was alleged to have made about an upcoming plan.
The Review-Journal published a letter that said: 'You stated in (3) years, you would be prepared and your plan would appear in Nevada, California Illinois, Texas, New York, and other cities'. What do you mean?
According to the newspaper, in another letter dated 2 March 2017, Nixon wrote that he must be going on a hunting expedition with all of those guns he is stockpiling.
Nixon wrote, 'You're a good man and I'm concerned about your well-being' in a letter dated on May 27, 2017 according to the Review-Journal. I believe you're lying to me, and that you will hurt or kill someone. You sound like an absolute madman on the phone.
Nixon told CNN he did not tell authorities about his concerns regarding Paddock because he 'didn't know' that Paddock was going to act and 'couldn’t read Paddock’s mind'.
Nixon claimed he did not believe Paddock when the first reports of the suspect's identity surfaced. Nixon said that when it was confirmed by authorities that Paddock was the culprit, he thought 'damn, what a fool'.
The FBI has not confirmed a motive in the shooting
On October 1, 2017, Paddock began shooting at a country music concert that was taking place across the street. The gunfire lasted 10 to 15 mins, according to witnesses. Officials said that Paddock, 64 took his life before officers knocked on his door.
Authorities found 24 guns at his home and 23 in the room.
Investigators have been searching for a motive for many years. The FBI recently released documents which indicate that he might have harboured resentment about how casinos treated him, and other high rollers.
The heavily redacted documents, which include hundreds pages of investigation records and evidence inventories as well as interviews with people who were familiar with Paddock, also give a more complete picture of his obsessive gaming habits.
The documents of investigation never reveal a motive.
The FBI began its investigation the next day following the Route 91 Harvest festival massacre and ended it over a year afterward, announcing that it had not found a clear motive for Paddock’s attack.
Although the FBI stated in 2019 that Paddock was not motivated by a grievance towards any casino or hotel specifically, a fellow gambler who was interviewed by investigators following the attack claimed Paddock became angry over how casinos treated VIP players.
According to documents, the gambler, who has been redacted from his name, told the FBI Paddock had been 'upset by the way casinos treated him and other high-rollers'. He believed that the frustration may have led the gunman 'to snap'.
Documents show that the gambler believed casinos used to give high rollers perks such as free flights and cruises, but he thought their approach had changed over the years prior to the shooting.
The gambler claimed that Paddock was banned from three casinos in Reno, Nevada where he frequently played.
The gambler believed that Mandalay Bay was not treating Paddock properly because a player with his status would have been on a higher level in a penthouse.
It is not clear how Paddock knew the gambler due to the redactions.
The gunman was a "prolific player of video poker"
According to FBI interviews, Paddock spent and lost exorbitant sums of money in casinos to become the player he thought he was.
Documents said that the fellow gambler had told investigators Paddock's bankroll was between $2 million and $3 million.
The gambler claimed that he would play at casinos for up to 18 hours per day.
Investigators spoke to a woman working at the Tropicana resort and casino in Las Vegas, just across the Strip from Mandalay Bay. She said Paddock visited the Tropicana about three times a year.
The documents stated that Paddock was described as a "prolific player of video poker" who only wanted to talk about gambling whenever they spoke.
Paddock told the FBI that she lost $38,000 during a three-day visit to the casino in September 2017.
In 2017, real estate agents reported to CNN that Paddock claimed that his income was derived from gambling, and that he wagered about $1 million per year. The agents claimed that Paddock paid $369.022 cash for the house they sold him in 2014.