Before Stephen Paddock became the nation's deadliest mass murderer, he was Priscilla McBride's landlord.
He owned and managed the complex on Via Ventura in Mesquite. At one point, he lived above the Mesquite apartment complex office with his mother. He sold the Central Park Apartments several years ago.
“He was a nice guy,” McBride says. “If you didn’t follow his rules, out you went.”
So, McBride was shocked to wake up Monday morning to find out that her former landlord had opened fire the night before from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel with an arsenal of rifles. He killed 59 people and injured more than 500 people who were attending a country music festival.
“He was a loner,” she says. “He didn't seem to have a lot of friends. Everybody here was like a family and he treated us like we were family.”
Paddock was the son of an infamous bank robber from the 1960s. An FBI wanted poster says his father, now deceased, was “diagnosed as psychopathic” and “reportedly has suicidal tendencies.”
But the younger Paddock himself had never been in any serious trouble. Mesquite police issued a statement saying that they had never dealt with him “in any way.”
He was a real estate investor, a high-stakes gambler and a pilot. At one time, he rented a hangar at Mesquite Metro Airport from 2007 to 2010. He stored a plane there.
His brother Eric Paddock, who lives in Orlando, told reporters he was dumbfounded by what his brother had done.
“There's not anything I can say,” he said. “This is like he shot us.”
He last heard from him about two weeks after Hurricane Irma ravaged Florida.
“I can show you the text,” he said. “He said, ‘How’s mom? Did you get power.’ That was it.”
He says his brother had no history of mental illness.
“Find out who got the machine guns for him,” his brother told reporters. “Where the hell did he get the machine guns?”
In the late 1980s, Stephen Paddock worked as an internal auditor at Lockheed. He bought two homes – one on Clear Lake Lane and another on Keswick Lane -- in Mesquite in 2005. He sold them in 2008.
Neighbors recall little about him. They, too, remembered him as a landlord.
“He wasn’t very sociable,” his former neighbor George Huertas told the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram. “[His mother] said he was a bad boy.”
Other neighbors told the Star-Telegram that the Paddock brothers moved her in to the home on Clear Lake Lane. They said that his brother moved their mother to Florida several years ago.
Most recently, he had been living with a woman in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada. No one there seemed to know him very well, either.
Officials searched the home Monday and said they found weapons and ammunition.
Stephen Paddock checked into the hotel on Thursday. He spent several days gambling before he embarked on his killing spree.
He died by his own hand inside that Vegas hotel room. The why he did it may never be known.
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