Stephen Paddock has been called a normal guy by his family. However, as police begin to piece together a motive for the mass Las Vegas shooting that took place over the weekend, new details emerge to suggest that Paddock’s mental health had reportedly been “deteriorating” prior to the shooting. Several motive theories have surfaced since Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of thousands attending last weekend’s country music festival in Las Vegas, and investigators are now saying that Paddock had been “descending into madness” for months, which is being called a “new detail” about a possible motive.
A new report on ABC News on Wednesday says that Stephen Paddock’s “deteriorating” mental health had been apparent due to a change in his appearance and behavior for the last few months. Reportedly, someone who was briefed on new details about the Las Vegas shooting investigation said that Stephen Paddock’s appearance became “increasingly slovenly” with “significant weight loss,” and the 64-year-old Nevada retiree had become obsessed with his long-time girlfriend’s ex-husband — all of which are now clues as to why Stephen Paddock committed the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history on Sunday night.
Other details about Stephen Paddock’s character come from his family, who resides in Florida, as well as former neighbors and acquaintances, as shown on the Telegraph. Paddock’s family members claim that Stephen was a retired accountant who “was never in a hurry” and made money from real estate and high-stakes gambling. Stephen Paddock reportedly recently sent his elderly mother, who lives in Orlando, Florida, a walking aid by postal mail, and former Florida neighbors called Stephen Paddock “very friendly,” which is contrary to other reports from passing acquaintances, who said that Stephen Paddock was “standoffish” and kept to himself.
Although investigators have not yet pinned down an exact motive, USA Today noted that people are clamoring for a reason behind Sunday night’s “lone wolf” mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. The need for understanding has led to speculation about several possible motives, including that Stephen Paddock may have been set off by gambling debts or an ongoing grudge against a Las Vegas casino. A recent report by the Mirror also suggests that Stephen Paddock may have inherited a mental illness from his criminal father, which is a theory that coincides with new details about Paddock’s increasingly unstable mental status leading up to the shooting.
In trying to determine why exactly Stephen Paddock killed 59 people and injured hundreds more, a retired FBI profiler, Jim Clemente, said that a “psychological autopsy” may be required to find out if Stephen Paddock had a neurological disorder or a malformation. According to the Independent, Clemente also said that there could be genetic, personality, and psychological components that led to Paddock loading the gun, aiming it, and pulling the trigger. Clemente also speculated that Stephen Paddock may have had some kind of “major trigger in his life” that set him off, including a possible loss, breakup, or recent terminal disease diagnosis.
Eric Paddock did reportedly reveal that his brother, Stephen, had a “confrontational side at times.”
[Featured Image by John Raoux/AP Images]