The Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock: Separating fact from fiction

The Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock: Separating fact from fiction
Authorities recovered 23 weapons from gunman Stephen Paddock's suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Paddock acted alone in the deadly mass shooting Sunday night at a music concert in Las Vegas. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Since the deadly shooting in Las Vegas that left at least 59 people dead and another 527 injured, there have been several conflicting news reports about the gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock. Some of these stories were even promoted by top websites like Google and Facebook.

Here’s a look at what’s true and what’s not true about the shooter, based on what we know so far.

Fact

● Authorities recovered 23 weapons from Paddock’s suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, including several rifles and some scopes.

● Several pounds of ammonium nitrate, which is used to make explosives, were found in his car.

● At least 19 more firearms, explosives, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and electronic devices were found at Paddock’s house.

● Paddock was not a registered Democrat or Republican and was not registered to vote in Florida, where he had a permanent home address.

● Police said he had no significant criminal record.

● His father was a convicted bank robber.

Fiction/Not yet determined

●  The gunman was a far-left liberal who was a Rachel Maddow fan and advocate for MoveOn.org.
A pro-Trump website known for circulating fake news published a story incorrectly identifying the shooter and tying him to far-left causes.

●  Paddock had ties to ISIS.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting but the FBI has not found any evidence that ties Paddock to the terrorist organization.

● Multiple gunmen were responsible.
Authorities believe that Paddock acted alone.

● Paddock used fully-automatic firearms in the attack.
Authorities have not yet released final details of the actual firearms used in the attack. Some reports have indicated that Paddock was in possession of some fully-automatic weapons, and authorities believe Paddock was in possession of at least one bump-stock device, which allows semi-automatic weapons to fire at a much faster rate. Reports are still conflicting as to the exact model of gun(s) that were used and how (if at all) they may have been modified for use in the shooting. 

While authorities are looking into the possibility of gambling debts and mental illness playing a role in Paddock’s motives, no links to either theories have been found yet.

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