What we know about Las Vegas killer, Stephen Paddock:

Las Vegas killer Stephen Paddock was a “wealthy” 64-year-old who liked playing video poker in Nevada’s ubiquitous casinos, according to his brother. His family and police grapple with a mass murder that came apparently out of the blue.

Eric Paddock last communicated with his older brother Stephen more than two weeks before his sibling unleashed a barrage of automatic weapons fire that killed more than 50 festival-goers in Las Vegas.

The younger Paddock and their elderly mother both live near Orlando, Florida, where they were without power for several days after Hurricane Irma lashed the Florida Peninsula last month.

“He texted me and said, ‘How’s Mom?’” Eric told reporters Monday outside his house.

Paddock said that his 64-year-old brother “absolutely” had no mental problems or political motives that the family was aware of.

“We’re trying to understand what’s happened,” Eric said. “We’re still just completely befuddled, dumbstruck.”

Las Vegas police said Stephen Paddock died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot late Sunday when officers stormed his 32nd-floor hotel room, from where he fired unrelentingly on people attending an open-air country music festival.

Stephen had “nothing to do with any political organization, religious organization, no white supremacists, nothing – as far as I know,” Eric said.

“He doesn’t even have parking tickets. He has no criminal record. He has no record of any affiliations. He has nothing that I know of.”

In Las Vegas, an FBI official said there was “to this point no connection with an international terrorist group.”

MIRACLE #1: Jenna @jlrushto was tragically shot in the back and the bullet exited through her chest. She has a fractured scapula, broken ribs, and two chest tubes as she had some significant damage to her lung. But thank the Lord that the bullet missed Jenna’s heart, spine, and aorta!!! . MIRACLE #2: When the shooting started, her friend Ryan @ryan_sylvestre without hesitation, threw his arms around Jenna and her sister Nina, in an attempt to shield them from gunfire. After realizing Jenna was shot, he led them out of the venue area, stopped an ambulance, and helped keep them stay calm all night at the hospital. . MIRACLE 3: They were able to remove ALL the tubes out of her lungs and received a GREAT REPORT from the doctors. When asking the doctors what type of therapy or surgery needs to be done for follow up, the doctors expressed that she is A LIVING MIRACLE and doesn’t need anything!!! Thank you to everyone for your prayers. To be honest, I really dislike social media at times. But to see that so many people would rally around my friend in unified prayer, has truly shown all of us a MODERN DAY MIRACLE!!! . P.S. The President and First Lady stopped by the hospital room today. Please save your political thoughts. It was dope THE President of the USA came by and was so kind to everyone. ((Yes, I would have posted if Hillary or Bernie came by to see Jenna as well, but they haven’t come by yet.)) God bless us all!

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The Islamic State movement had issued a claim of responsibility – without offering evidence – with the unverified assertion that Paddock was a recent convert to Islam.

Eric told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper that he helped Stephen move in 2015 from Florida to Nevada.

Stephen Paddock, 64, lived in Mesquite, Nevada, about 140 kilometres north-east of Las Vegas, near the Arizona state line.

Police swarmed the house in a retirement community within hours of the shooting.

It is in a “very quiet neighbourhood, low-crime area,” Quinn Averett of the Mesquite Police Department told reporters.

“It’s a newer home – it’s a new subdivision,” he said. “It’s a nice, clean home, nothing out of the ordinary.”

The search initially produced some weapons, Averett said. Police identified Marilou Danley, 62, as a “person of interest” in the case, later saying that she appeared to not have been involved. Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo said she was located “out of the country.”

Records showed the older Paddock brother owned a second property that was also being searched in northern Nevada.

Australian media reports described Danley as Paddock’s girlfriend, saying that she holds an Australian passport and lived in Queensland before moving to the United States about 20 years ago.

Mesquite police “have not had any contacts” with Paddock or Danley, Averett said. Eric Paddock said his 89-year-old mother was aware of his brother’s alleged crime.

“We all found out when our phones started ringing with the cops at 1 o’clock in the morning,” he said.

Stephen Paddock was “a wealthy guy” who liked playing video poker in Nevada’s ubiquitous casinos. “He went on cruises,” Eric said. “He sent his mother cookies – huge, crazy boxes of cookies.”

[The above information has been supplied by DPA]

Who is Yasir Qadhi?

Yasir Qadhi is an American Muslim scholar and writer of Pakistani descent. Since 2001, he has served as Dean of Academic Affairs at the Al-Maghrib Institute, an international Islamic educational institution with a center in Houston, Texas.

Yasir Qadhi has responded to the aftermath and consequences of the massacre, in a Facebook post entitled, “Do you know what #whiteprivilege is?”.

We have summarised the Facebook post in 5 pertinent points:

1. White privilege is to murder over 50 people and injure 450, only to have authorities claim, within minutes and without any verification, that you are not a terrorist.

2. White privilege is commit the largest mass murder and shooting in recent American history, and be described as a ‘retired grandfather’.

3. White privilege is to inflict pain and suffering on others, and not have to worry that a single person of your race, or religion, or your women and children, face any backlash for your crime.

4. White privilege is to kill (or rape, or loot, or plunder, or colonize…) and get away with it without bringing up irrelevant issues like religion, Scripture, culture, theology or ideology. As of this writing, we still have no idea of the religion and beliefs of the killer.

5. White privilege is to consider any such incident to be a freak accident, and let life continue without changing any policies, or calling for national dialogues about laws on immigration, tolerance of others, gun ownership, cultural differences (such as dress codes), and the list goes on and on.

Now do you know what white privilege is?

Qadhi later posted this:

“My last post, on #whiteprivilege, was shared by more people than almost any post on this page, and reached over 15 million people (and still rising). While the majority liked it, I received thousands of comments, emails and angry messages from people who were furious that I had, from their perspective, highlighted racial issues or secondary matters, and sidelined the gravity of the crime and the tragic loss of innocent life.

A sample of some of the comments: “You should be ashamed of yourself for talking about race,” “Stop politicizing this tragedy,” “How dare you discuss the shooter while the victims are still grieving,” and a few thousand other such comments.

I understand many of these comments are sincere, and coming from genuinely good people who feel that my remarks came off as insensitive.

Without attempting to sound sarcastic or harsh, allow me to ask: if the shooter had been a Muslim, do you think any of you, who are expressing so much anger, would have any ANY problem politicizing this issue? Those of you who are angry at me for mentioning his race, would you have not mentioned the race, or religion, or culture, or legal status, of an immigrant Muslim shooter?

Because of the shooter’s race, many of you can express outrage when his race, or religion, or legal status, is pointed out. Yet, had he not been of that race, then his race, and religion, and background, would have been the ONLY matters that you, and all news agencies, would have pointed out.

And that, dear readers, was the point of the post. #WhitePrivilege is not at all meant as an insult to people of any race. It’s meant to make us understand that there are two standards by which news is conveyed, and discussions take place.

And once again, my utmost sympathies to the families of those lost or hurt in that tragedy.”

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