Tom Costello of MSNBC had a little more information about Stephen Paddock, the suspect in the mass shooting that killed 50 and injured upward of 400 at a concert in Las Vegas late Sunday night:
“Somebody at NBC News just gotten a brief interview it would appear with the brother of the suspect who describes his brother as saying he was just a guy. He lives in Mesquite. He went to the hotels. He gambled. He went to shows. He said when you find out what happened, call me. So taking his family by surprise.”
Just a guy who, according to the sheriff of Las Vegas at a press conference early this morning, had 10 guns with him in his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay hotel.
We have been through enough of these mass shootings at this point to hear how surprised the family of the shooter always is by these events. He — and it is always a “he” — was just a guy. Maybe he drank a little, maybe he gambled, maybe he owned a few guns, sure, but no one ever thought he would use them for anything other than picking off the jackrabbits invading his garden or something.
And Paddock, as we noted earlier, lived in Nevada, which has some of the most lax gun laws in the nation.
It is very, very early in this investigation. There is likely still a ton of information about Paddock still to be dug up. We might find out he was deep in gambling debt. Or had an anger management problem. Or was an NRA member convinced that the federal government would come for his guns one day. Or really, really hated Jason Aldean's music. Or any one of a million other possibilities that motivated him to do what he is accused of doing.
But one thing we know for sure: He lived in a place where he had easy access to any gun he wanted. You leave millions of them lying around — and this nation has an estimated 350 million or so of them lying around — and someone is always going to see them as a solution to whatever problem, real or imaginary, is pressing in on him.
Maybe now we can have this conversation. Maybe.
Watch Costello recount Paddock's brother's statement in the video below.