No Record of Military Service for Las Vegas Shooter, Pentagon Says
- This undated photo provided by Eric Paddock shows his brother, Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock. (Courtesy of Eric Paddock via AP)
- A body is covered with a sheet after a mass shooting in which dozens were killed at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
The suspect in the Las Vegas shootings had no record of military service and no ties to international terrorism, the Pentagon and the FBI said Monday.
An extensive search turned up no evidence that 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, of Mesquite, Nevada, ever served in the military, said Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman.
Las Vegas police have identified Paddock as the gunman who opened fire on thousands attending a country music concert from a hotel room in Las Vegas, killing at least 58 people and leaving 515 wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, said Paddock was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a 32nd-floor hotel room overlooking the concert.
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Eric Paddock, the alleged gunman's younger brother, also told reporters that his brother had no military background and "no religious affiliation, no political affiliation, no white supremacy as far as I know."
Eric Paddock said the family was "completely dumbfounded" and had no insight into what his brother's motive may have been.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, through its Amaq news outlet, claimed that Stephen Paddock was acting for ISIS, but the FBI dismissed the claim.
At a news briefing in Las Vegas, Aaron Rouse, the FBI's Special Agent in Charge, said Stephen Paddock had "no connection with an international terrorist group," but the investigation into his background is continuing.
In an afternoon briefing to defense reporters, Manning said initial checks by all the services indicated that no active-duty members of the military were among the victims in Las Vegas.
The Nevada National Guard had yet to complete a thorough check on the status of its members, Manning said.
The review was slowed in part because many officials weren't working on Monday, according to Lt. Col. Mickey Kirschenbaum, a spokesman for the Nevada Guard.
There are 4,200 members of the Army and Air National Guard in the state, he said. Of the 3,200 Guard soldiers in the state, about 1,800 -- or more than half -- come from the Las Vegas metro region, he said.
Kirschenbaum said some of its members likely responded to the tragedy in an unofficial capacity as first-responders.
"We do have many members of the Guard who work as police officers with metro police departments, fire departments and hospitals," he said.
-- Brendan McGarry contributed to this report.
-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.
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