FBI documents shed light on possible motivation for Las Vegas mass shooting

100717 Leonard Note Paddock pic
In a interview with CBS “60 Minutes,” police share details about a note that Stephen Paddock left in his hotel suite at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort. (AP Photo/John Locher) John Locher

FBI documents shed light on possible motivation for Las Vegas mass shooting

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Documents released by the FBI suggest that alleged Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock may have been motivated to execute a mass shooting because of the way he had been treated by casinos.

Paddock, 64, opened fire into a crowd of concertgoers on Oct. 1, 2017, killing 58 and wounding hundreds more, in what became the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. However, his motive has remained elusive. Recently released documents, uncovered by the Wall Street Journal, suggest that Paddock’s status as a prolific gambler may hold the answer. An interview with a fellow gambler suggested the mass shooter felt slighted by the way he was treated by the casino, where he carried out the shooting.


The acquaintance said Paddock said he “was very upset at the way casinos were treating him and other high rollers.” The stress over the perceived slight could “easily be what caused Paddock to ‘snap,’” he added.

He noted that casinos had cut back the number of perks given to high rollers, particularly the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Paddock was a frequent customer of the Atlantis, Peppermill, and Tamarack Junction casinos in Reno, Nevada, before he was banned by all three for winning too much money. The treatment was a stark contrast from previous high rollers, who received free cruises, flights, penthouse suites, and high-quality cars, among other treats.

He also lost a lot of money from gambling, going from $2.1 million in his bank account to just $530,000 two years prior to the shooting.

The interviewee also told the FBI that Paddock “never showed any signs of radicalized behavior and never expressed interested in firearms.” He added that the shooter “was very intelligent and, like all professional gamblers, frequently kept to himself.”


While one interviewee said Paddock was “not a political person and never discussed politics,” another claimed he was “mad at the system” and showed great interest in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Despite the findings, the report stopped short of ascribing any single motive, in line with the previous yearlong investigation from the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, released in 2019, which found “no clear single motivating factor.” It also found no indication that Paddock was motivated by a grievance against “any specific casino, hotel, or institution in Las Vegas.”

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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