It’s hard to believe that it will be 6 years this fall since the horror at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
58 people were killed and hundreds more were injured when Stephen Paddock opened fire on the last night of the country music festival from a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay.
But nearly six years later, the question remains: Why did he do it?
The FBI ended their investigation into the shooting in 2019, but haven’t been able to come up with a motive for the horrific massacre – which has understandably left people frustrated and questioning how and why somebody would carry out such an attack for seemingly no reason.
Well we’re finally getting a look at some of the documents that the FBI reviewed in their investigation, and getting a better look into the life and mind of the madman on the 32nd floor.
Previously-disclosed documents show that Paddock, a professional gambler who had made – and lost – millions in Las Vegas casinos, was growing angry at the casinos for their treatment of VIP gamblers.
And letters to Paddock from a friend that have just been released show just how concerned those close to him were that Paddock was going to snap and hurt innocent people.
The letters, written by Jim Nixon to Paddock months before the shooting and obtained by the Las Vegas Review Journal, were found by the new owners of an office building in Mesquite, Texas in November 2017, and forwarded to the FBI. And in the letters, it’s clear that Nixon was concerned about Paddock’s mental state.
In one dated May 27, 2017, Nixon wrote to Paddock:
“You are a good person and I want you to know that I am concern about you and your wellbeing. I believe you are lying to me and you are going to hurt someone or kill someone. You sound like a real mad man on the phone tonight…
I can get someone for you who can help you. Please don’t go out shooting or hurting people who did nothing to you. I am concern about the way you are talking and believe you are going to do something very bad. Steve please please don’t do what I think you are going to do.”
Just a few days later, on June 1, 2017, Nixon wrote:
“My friend it sound like you are going to kill or murder someone or some people. Please whatever it is I would like to talk to you about it and we can discuss it. Please don’t go on any shooting rampage like some fool.”
Nixon also commented on Paddock’s weapons stockpile in March 2017:
“You must going on a hunting trip with all those guns you are stockpiling.”
And the letters also indicate that Paddock had asked Nixon about various festivals, as well as hotels near Dodgers Stadium:
“About your request for all nation festivals or musics you can google them yourself. Of course I can check on getting you some tickets for you and your girlfriend if you will tell me which one you want to attend?”
Nixon revealed that he never contacted authorities about his concerns, and that nobody in law enforcement reached out to him after they discovered the letters to Paddock.
While these letters obviously don’t reveal a motive for the shooting, they do seem to indicate – as is usually the case – there were warning signs well ahead of time that were either missed or ignored. And unfortunately, the result was that 58 innocent people lost their lives.