Evidence portrays someone descending into madness, though political motive is still being investigated.
Not surprisingly, the political left is claiming there is an inherent racism in not calling Stephen Paddock, who murdered 58 people with rifle fire from the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, a terrorist.
This tweet by Glenn Greenwald pretty much sums up the claim that the darker your skin, the more likely you are to be called a terrorist:
Not many people refer to Jared Loughner, who shot Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and killed several others, as a terrorist. Not because of the color of his skin, but because his motive wasn’t political. He was a murderer, who also was borderline insane (he initially was held not competent to stand trial) and had no political motive.
We also don’t refer to serial killers as terrorists, because their motives are not political. They may be psychopaths and sociopaths, but they are different in categorization from those who kill for political reasons.
By contrast, when numerous killers and attempted killers operate under the direction of or inspired by ISIS, they have political motives and are properly called terrorists regardless of skin color. Had Paddock been operating for or inspired by ISIS, as ISIS claimed, there is no doubt he would be called a terrorist.
Based on what is currently known, the ISIS connection is unproven. Maybe that will change. There’s speculation, but no evidence, based on cruises he took that stopped in the Middle East, but that seems thin evidence unless there is more to it:
Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock had visited the Middle East during a series of cruises, police have revealed.
Investigators remain stumped as to Paddock’s motives but said he visited the contentious region on a cruise.
He also took at least 11 other cruises to other destinations over the last several years, the AP reported.
The region, where Isis and other jihadi groups have a presence in some areas, may be of interest to security services because of speculation Paddock became radicalised.
As of now, Paddock appears to be more and more like a Jared Loughner, someone with severe mental problems who acted without political motive. ABC News reports:
Law enforcement officials increasingly believe Stephen Paddock, the gunman who killed and wounded concertgoers from a perch in a high-rise casino hotel last Sunday, had severe mental illness, ABC News reports.
Sources told ABC News that Paddock has been described in hundreds of interviews as standoff-sh, disconnected, and having difficulty establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships.
Authorities have still not found a definitive motive for the massacre.
“We still do not have a clear motive or reason why,” a frustrated Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said Friday. “We have looked at literally everything.”
Investigators have chased 1,000 leads and examined Paddock’s politics, his finances, any possible radicalization and his social behavior – typical investigative avenues that have helped uncover the motive in past shootings.
There had been much speculation about a note visible in photos of the room from which Paddock shot. Perhaps it was a political statement or gave a clue to motive.
No such luck. CBS News, previewing an interview for 60 Minutes to run tonight, says it was a calculation of bullet trajectories:
A note found in the hotel room of the man who shot into a crowd from his perch in a Las Vegas high-rise included hand-written calculations about where he needed to aim to maximize his accuracy and kill as many people as possible.
In an interview airing Sunday on “60 Minutes,” three police officers who stormed Stephen Paddock’s hotel room in the Mandalay Bay hotel tell correspondent Bill Whitaker new details about the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. The officers were the first to see Paddock’s body and the arsenal of weapons and ammunition he had stockpiled.
Officer David Newton from the Las Vegas Police Department’s K-9 unit said he noticed a note on the shooter’s nightstand once officers breached the room. He said the note was located near one of the windows that Paddock had smashed with a hammer to fire onto the crowd below with high-powered semi-automatic rifles outfitted to increase their rate of fire.
“I could see on it he had written the distance, the elevation he was on, the drop of what his bullet was gonna be for the crowd,” Newton said. “So he had that written down and figured out so he would know where to shoot to hit his targets from there.”
I guess we’ll have to wait for the program to find out what else was in the note, but as of this writing there’s no indication of motive in it.
We’re also finding out more about Paddock’s personal life, including his reported frequent visits with Las Vegas prostitutes, one of whom is claiming Paddock liked to engage in violent rape fantasies. The Daily Mail reports:
A Las Vegas prostitute who was hired by murderer Stephen Paddock has spoken out about their ‘violent’ sex sessions and how he bragged about having ‘bad blood’.
The woman, who spoke anonymously, said she would spent hours drinking and gambling in Sin City with Paddock, who she described as ‘paranoid’ and ‘obsessive’.
If he hit a winning streak, he would take her back to his room for ‘really aggressive and violent sex’ including living out rape fantasies, she said.
Paddock also boasted about his bank-robber father, saying that ‘the bad streak is in my blood’ and ‘I was born bad’, according to texts seen by the Sun on Sunday.
The 27-year-old woman said Paddock, 64, would often rant about conspiracy theories including how 9/11 was orchestrated by the US government.
The escort, who said Paddock paid her $6,000-a-time for their meetings, also had texts in which he described tying her up ‘while you scream for help’.
The NY Times, which of course would love to find a “right-wing” motive if it could, describes Paddock’s apparent mental slide leading up to the shooting. Of particular importance is that Paddock was a successful businessman and gambler, which contradicts claims that the engaged in the shooting because of gambling or other debts:
Stephen Paddock was a contradiction: a gambler who took no chances. A man with houses everywhere who did not really live in any of them. Someone who liked the high life of casinos but drove a nondescript minivan and dressed casually, even sloppily, in flip-flops and sweatsuits. He did not use Facebook or Twitter, but spent the past 25 years staring at screens of video poker machines.
Mr. Paddock, a former postal worker and tax auditor, lived an intensely private, unsocial life that exploded into public view on Sunday [the day of the shooting] ….
On Friday, a law enforcement official said Mr. Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, told investigators that he seemed to be deteriorating in recent months both mentally and physically. Perhaps his methodical and systematic mind had turned in a lethal and unpredictable new direction. To the few people who knew him well, it is the only plausible explanation….
Police have revealed other information that answers some of the questions I posted the other day.
NBC News reports, Police ‘Confident’ No One Else in Shooter’s Room Before Las Vegas Attack:
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said Friday in an interview that police don’t believe anyone entered the room at Mandalay Bay prior to the shooting carried out by Stephen Paddock Sunday night.
Earlier, senior law enforcement sources said investigators were puzzled by a charger that did not appear to match any of Paddock’s cellphones. Police have now been able to match all of the cell phone chargers found in the room with multiple cell phones that Paddock had with him.
“He was the only shooter; I’m very confident of that,” McMahill said. “I’m also confident that there were no other people in the room leading up to this event.”
Additionally, the reason Paddock stopped firing appears to have been caused by the hotel security guard approaching the room, which turned Paddocks attention away from firing out the window to preparing for a siege:
It’s not over until it’s over, but as of this writing it appears that Stephen Paddock was a Jared Loughner-type mass murderer who descended into madness, just more lethal.DONATE
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