Las Vegas shooting suspect spent two years in Florida

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after during Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.
People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after during Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas. Getty Images

Las Vegas shooting suspect Stephen Paddock owned a home for two years in Melbourne, a one-hour drive from his niece and brother in Central Florida.

The former accountant and Lockheed internal auditor managed Mesquite Central Park Apartments in Mesquite, Texas -- not to be confused with Paddock’s current Mesquite, Nev., residence -- before buying a brand new 1,773-foot stucco house in Lennar’s Heritage Isle development in May, 2013 for $246,000. His younger brother, Eric Paddock, and Eric’s daughter, Nicole Paddock, live in Orlando.

Eric told The Orlando Sentinel Monday he has spoken with Las Vegas police and “We are completely dumbfounded. We can’t understand what happened.”

Nicole Paddock posted to Facebook about the tragedy just before noon Monday.

How much time Stephen Paddock spent at the Melbourne house is unclear. He also owned property in Nevada during this time. A neighbor, Don Judy, told The Palm Beach Post that Paddock introduced himself as a gambler who went back and forth to Las Vegas, handed over a house key and asked his new neighbor to check on the house from time to time. And borrow tools and equipment in the neighborly way if needed.

No other resident is listed for the home beyond Paddock and the couple to whom he sold the house in May, 2015. He sold it for $235,000, $11,000 less than his purchase price.

Paddock’s suspected of committing the largest modern day mass shooting in United States history, firing on 22,000 concert patrons from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. As of noon Monday, there were 58 dead and more than 500 shot or injured in the aftermath of the shooting. Las Vegas police say Paddock was dead when they got into his room after the shooting.

Paddock’s father, Benjamin H. Paddock, made the FBI’s Most Wanted List in June 1969 and the convicted bank robber and con man stayed on it until May, 1977. A March 1969 Wanted poster described Benjamin Paddock as “diagnosed as psychopathic, has carried firearms in commission of bank robberies. He reportedly has suicidal tendencies and should be considered armed and very dangerous.”

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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