The public has many unanswered questions regarding the Las Vegas shooting, which left 59 dead and over 500 wounded. The killer, Stephen Paddock, is the subject of many of those questions — a mysterious man with no criminal record, no history of mental illness, and no known motive.
Americans are looking for meaning, and some are trying to establish a connection with recent news from one of Paddock’s closest family members. According to ABC News, the killer’s estranged brother, Bruce Paddock, was arrested on Tuesday in California on suspicion of possessing child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child.
A felony complaint filed against Paddock alleges that he possessed over 600 images of underage pornography between January and August of 2014. Police say the evidence was discovered inside a Sun Valley, California business where Paddock had been squatting while living as a transient.
Paddock was evicted before the evidence was found. Because he had no address, police were unable to locate him until he was recently found in a North Hollywood assisted-living facility, where he was awaiting surgery for spinal stenosis.
After his brother’s crime, law enforcement located Paddock and obtained a warrant for his arrest. His bail was set to $60,000. Paddock faces one count of possession of child pornography and 19 counts of sexual exploitation of a child.
Unlike his more notorious brother, Bruce Paddock has a criminal history that includes convictions for vandalism, theft, criminal threats, and driving with a suspended vehicle. He called his own crimes “minor” compared to his brother’s.
After it was discovered that Paddock had an active arrest warrant for a vandalism case for which he failed to perform community service, he quickly paid a fine, boasting “I’m not proud of it. But I never went to prison.”
After the massacre carried out by his brother, Bruce Paddock was visited twice by FBI agents for questioning. He tried to reconnect with his family. “I want to see if we could patch up what we destroyed so many years ago,” he said.
Prior to his arrest, Bruce Paddock expressed concern over his brother’s remains, reaching out to the coroner’s office in an attempt to claim the body. Paddock has said that his elderly mother is “yelling at me all the time not to talk to anyone.” Bruce Paddock is not to be confused with his other brother, Eric, who lives in Florida and has been vocal in providing information to the press regarding Stephen’s background.
The Las Vegas massacre has been characterized by a lack of clear-cut information, leading to much speculation. According to the New York Post, Jesus Campos, the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino security guard who was the first person on the scene when Stephen Paddock began firing on the crowd of thousands of outdoor concert goers, took a mysterious trip outside the country just days after the shooting.
Should the Vegas gunman’s brother serve life in prison?
And as the New York Times reports, Paddock inexplicably removed the hard drive from at least one of the computers found in his hotel room. Additionally, housekeepers who attended his suite said they saw no sign of his weapon stockpile — which included 19 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Americans demand answers, but it currently remains unclear how much information law enforcement is keeping confidential for the purposes of investigation, and how much they, themselves, are yet to discover.