Las Vegas Shooter's Brother Says Family Is 'Dumbfounded' by the Violence: 'We Can't Understand What Happened'

Eric Paddock said he's "completely dumbfounded" after his brother opened fire on festival attendees in Las Vegas on Sunday night, killing at least 50

The brother of the man whom authorities say opened fired on concertgoers in Las Vegas on Sunday night, killing at least 58 people and wounding more than 527 others, said on Monday morning that he’s “completely dumbfounded” by the mass violence.

“We can’t understand what happened,” Eric Paddock told a crush of media from his home in Orlando, Florida, about his 64-year-old brother, Stephen Paddock.

Stephen, according to police, was holed-up in a 32nd-floor room in the Mandalay Bay Hotel on Sunday night when he opened fire on the 22,000-strong crowd at the Route 91 Harvest festival, about 1,200 feet away.

Investigators have said he was found dead in his room of a suspected suicide, with more than 10 rifles.

“He’s not an avid gun guy at all,” Eric said. “The fact that he had those kinds of weapons is just … where the hell did he get [them]?”

Eric said his brother has no military background and no political or religious affiliations.

“He’s just a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite and drove down and gambled in Las Vegas,” he said. “He did stuff … he ate burritos.”

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The shooting started a few minutes after 10 p.m. local time, as Jason Aldean began his closing set on the third night of the festival. The musician ran off stage soon after the first bursts of gunfire.


The shooting surpasses the Pulse nightclub massacre in 2016 as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Eric said his brother “had a couple of guns” and that they were all “legal.”

The shooter did not have a job, his brother said.

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“His life is an open book,” Eric said. “There’s nothing. He went to college. We are shocked. We are horrified. We are having trouble finding the words.”

He said the last time he’d heard from his brother, he received a text soon after Hurricane Irma, inquiring about their mother’s safety since she lives in Florida.

The brothers were not close, Eric (whom PEOPLE could not immediately reach) told reporters.

“My kids didn’t know him that well or anything,” he said. “He lives on the other coast. He sends his mom cookies.”

How to Help and Learn About Loved Ones

Friends and family are asked to report missing people believed to be connected to the shooting using the hotline 1-800-536-9488.

Anyone with photo or video evidence of the shooting is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

The city of Las Vegas has established a Family Reunification Center to help connect relatives with the more than 500 people who were injured.

In addition, city officials urged those locally who wish to donate blood to visit one of two donation centers operated by United Blood Services, either at 6930 W. Charleston in Las Vegas or at 601 Whitney Ranch Drive in Henderson, Nevada.

A victims’ fund has been started on GoFundMe by Steve Sisolak the Clark County, Nevada, commission chair. Other groups providing relief include the local chapter of the American Red Cross and the National Compassion Fund.

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