From the moment that the news broke on that fateful October night, the Las Vegas shooting incident has been spawning a never-ending nest of new questions.
According to police, shooter Stephen Paddock was a retired, multimillionaire real estate investor and avid gambler. His high roller status had Paddock on a first name basis in many of Sin City’s more luxurious locales, including the Mandalay Bay, where the soon-to-be murderer was set up in a lavish 32nd floor suite overlooking the Las Vegas Strip and a country music festival taking place across the street.
Then, again according to the partial narrative released by authorities, Paddock turned this glamorous hotel room into an elaborate sniper’s nest from which he would unleash countless rounds into the country music fans below. When it was all said and done, 58 concert goers had lost their lives, Paddock was dead, and police were stumped. Paddock left behind no note, no manifesto, and no clue as to what his motivation in the killing may have been.
The investigation that followed was largely off the radar, as police and federal agents shielded their work from the public eye.
Given the enormous brutality of the attack itself, and the silent treatment that the police were giving the media, the internet soon got to work constructing a number of bizarre conspiracy theories around the incident. The most prevalent of these theories revolved around Paddock being an illegal arms dealer who was summoned to the luxury suite to await a high level deal for the cache of weapons he had with him. In this story, we are led to believe that the “buyers” Paddock was dealing with were actually terrorists of some fashion, who then killed Paddock, unleashed Hell on Las Vegas, and magically escaped.
While this far fetched nonsense has laid dormant in the darker corner of the internet for weeks, a strange revelation in a newly released FBI document seems to indicated that Paddock may in fact have been an illegal arms dealer.
“One affidavit includes email exchanges between firstname.lastname@example.org, a Microsoft account that FBI authorities believe belonged to Paddock, and email@example.com. (It is unclear if the FBI knows who is responsible for the latter account.) The messages were sent on July 6, 2017.
“The affidavit reads:
“‘…[firstname.lastname@example.org] sent an email to email@example.com which read, “try an ar before u buy. we have huge selection. located in the las vegas area,” Later the day, an email was received back from firstname.lastname@example.org to [email@example.com] that read, “we have a wide variety of optics and ammunition to try.” And lastly, [firstname.lastname@example.org sent an email to email@example.com that read, “for a thrill try out bumpfire ar’s with a 100 round magazine.” Investigators believe these communications may have been related to the eventual attack that occurred at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.’
“The exchanges took place nearly three months before the onslaught. And CNN reports that ‘investigators at the time of the filing had been unable to determine if Paddock was sending emails between two accounts both belonging to himself, or was communicating with someone else.'”
The odd email addresses with “centralpark” included could be a clever ruse that Paddock was employing, or underground codes of the illegal arms trade.
The remaining bits of the story concocted by internet sleuths has yet to be corroborated in the slightest, leading many to believe that their guess regarding Paddock’s arms-dealing side job was just a lucky stab out of thin air. Until we hear the final word from the FBI, however, few will be satisfied with the answers provided.