After years of mystery surrounding the motive behind the 2017 Las Vegas massacre, newly-released FBI documents suggest that the shooter—a gambler named Stephen Paddock—was angry over how casinos were treating him.
A Fellow Gambler Notes Stephen Paddock Felt Like A Spurned High Roller
On Oct. 1, 2017, Paddock opened fire from his hotel room on people attending a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. 58 people were killed at the scene, and hundreds more were injured.
In the years following the incident, the death toll was raised to 60 after two women died of complications related to their sustained injuries, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Troublingly, the motive behind the United State’s deadliest mass shooting was unknown, as the 64-year-old died by suicide as authorities closed in on him.
However, AP News reports that new documents from the FBI indicate that Paddock’s actions may have been influenced by deep-seated anger over how casinos had begun to treat him.
Authorities note that an anonymous gambler shared that Paddock, as a “high roller,” was initially treated to luxury trips and goods at the casinos’ expense. However, in the years leading up to the massacre, these policies began to shift, and the superstar treatment faded away.
Eventually, Paddock was allegedly banned from three casinos in Reno “for playing well and winning large quantities of money.” As a result, the gambler noted that the “stress of the matter “could easily be what caused” him to simply “snap.”
LAS VEGAS (AP) — FBI documents show gunman who killed 60 people in 2017 Las Vegas shooting was angry about how casinos were treating him.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) March 30, 2023
Las Vegas Officials Don’t Buy The Narrative
In spite of the FBI’s stance, local authorities stand by the initial conclusion that the motive was unable to be pinpointed.
“We were unable to determine a motive for the shooter. Speculating on a motive causes more harm to the hundreds of people who were victims that night.”
This sentiment was corroborated by Kelly McMahill, who headed the investigation.
“There’s no way that LVMPD would have hidden any potential motive from our victims and survivors for five years.”
What do you think about the FBI’s speculation surrounding Stephen Paddock’s potential motive?