There are still a number of enormous questions to be answered in the case of Stephen Paddock and his Las Vegas rampage, but we are slowly inching closer to the truth this week.
On October 1st of 2017, Paddock committed the most heinous mass shooting that the United States had ever seen. From his 32nd floor suite at the Mandalay Bay on the iconic Las Vegas strip, the retired multimillionaire opened fire on a crowd of country music fans below, who were enjoying a performance by Jason Aldean.
In the aftermath, 58 had been killed and more than 500 more had been injured, many during the ensuing panic and stampede.
Paddock wasn’t your typical mass shooter, however, and was an accomplished gambler and real estate investor before hauling literally hundreds of pounds of firearms all the way up to that corner suite at the luxury hotel, and ending nearly 5 dozen lives.
His motives are still a mystery, as far as the public is concerned. There was no note, no manifesto, and no real history to follow with Paddock, making his version of a monster the most unnerving of them all.
Now, many who’ve studied mass shootings in the past are beginning to see familiar narratives in Paddock’s case, however, as the shooter’s recently released autopsy report indicates that he was under the influence of SSRI’s.
“The autopsy, which included toxicology tests and a brain examination, found that Paddock had anti-anxiety medication in his system. It also confirmed what authorities had previously said — that Paddock died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head after he opened fire at an outdoor concert from his 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay suite, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.”
This didn’t seem to ring any bells with one family member.
“’It seems that based on the autopsy reports there were no physical excuses for what Steve did,’ said his younger brother Eric Paddock, who lives in Orlando, Fla. ‘We may never understand why Steve did this.'”
This cleverly worded statements makes no mention of the drug cocktail coursing throughout his brother’s body, however.
“Amounts of nordiazepam, oxazepan and temazepan, which are consistent with the anti-anxiety drug Valium, were found in his urine, a toxicology report shows. There was no mention in the results of substances associated with alcohol.”
For those who have studied mass shootings in America over the course of the last several decades, a pattern is emerging. Anti-depression and anti-anxiety medicines such as the ones within Paddock’s system are in a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRI’s for short. These drugs have been associated with nearly all cases of mass shooting within the United States that have occurred since the tragedy at Columbine High School in 1999.