Before he allegedly opened fire on a crowd at a country music festival in Las Vegas, killing at least 58 people and wondering almost 500 in the worst mass shooting in modern American history, Stephen Paddock was a high-rolling video poker player who gambled all night and slept all day.
New details into Paddock’s everyday life are revealed in a court deposition from October 29, 2013, when he was deposed as part of a civil lawsuit against the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Paddock filed a negligence lawsuit against the hotel, claiming he slipped and fell on a walkway there due to a “dangerous condition,” according to court documents obtained by CNN. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed in 2014.
Paddock was a creature of habit, according to court documents. He almost always wore black Nike sweatpants and a favorite pair of size 13 black flip-flops — the same style that he was wearing the night of the shooting.
Paddock stated that he had no mental-health issues, no history of addiction, and no criminal record — but did say that he was prescribed Valium “for anxiousness” by Nevada internist Steven P. Winkler. At the deposition, Paddock admitted that he paid Winkler a yearly “retainer” fee so that he could maintain good access to him.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Dr. Winkler prescribed him diazepam in June, based on information contained in Nevada’s prescription drug monitoring database. So far, the doctor has declined to comment on his alleged treatment of Paddock.
Paddock said in the deposition that he had a concealed weapons license in Texas, and split his time between that state and California, Nevada, and Florida.
He often traveled to Las Vegas, where he stayed in rooms that were provided for free since he was a high roller there — but he said that since 2009, the casinos’ practice of comping big spenders had slowed significantly, so he did not come to the city as often.
On the night he was injured, Paddock said that he was headed to the high-limit room when he slipped on some liquid and fell. He testified that he hurt his hamstring, which he said resulted in a lingering injury.
At one point, he described himself as being the “biggest video poker player in the world” and would gamble for an average of 14 hours per day, every single day. He said that he would gamble $100 to $1,350 per hand — and said that he could bet “a million dollars” in a single night.
He said: “I’ll gamble all night … I sleep during the day.” Asked if he ever visited the hotel pool, Paddock replied, “I do not do sun.”
Paddock said he rarely drank alcohol when he gambled because he wanted to have his “wits” about him since the stakes were so high. Paddock, who worked for a time as an IRS agent before investing in real estate, said that he was sober on the night he was injured. “I was my normal happy-go-lucky self,” he said.
When he did choose to drink, however, he would bring his own drinks to the high-roller tables to avoid having to tip the cocktail waitresses.
Police say they have yet to determine Paddock’s motive for the horrific mass shooting. In his room, officials found a piece of paper containing numbers — which, according to some law-enforcement sources, could be coordinates pertaining to the shooting — but no suicide note.
Paddock’s brother Eric is struggling to understand his brother’s actions, telling reporters, “If Steve could do this, we are all in deep (expletive) because there’s nothing there. I hope to hell that they find when they do the autopsy that there’s a tumor in his head or something because if they don’t, we’re all in trouble.”
The investigation continues.
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Main photo: Stephen Paddock [LVMPD]