Las Vegas shooting suspect Stephen Paddock has lots of ties to Florida, including several relatives that live in the Orlando area.
His brother, Eric Paddock, lives in east Orlando and spent much of the day speaking with media outside of his Waterford Lakes home. His family said they are devastated by what happened.
He said Stephen was a multi-millionaire, retired from a long career in real-estate.
“If you came and told me, space aliens -- OK, that’s almost logical. But telling me that my brother did this is just not logical," he told WPTV and several other reporters on Monday afternoon.
The family is still speechless over the shooting, in which police believe Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas Sunday night, killing nearly 60 people and wounding over 500.
“My brother just killed 50 plus people. How does that effect me? I’ve got this headache right now, strangely enough. Our family is huddling together right now trying to make sense of this," said Eric. “We wanna know. I’d like to know what in the world happened. It’s just like an asteroid fell out of the sky.”
Eric said the shooting suspect liked to gamble, one of the reasons he moved from Brevard County to Las Vegas two years ago.
"He was a guy who played video poker. Now he played at a higher level than you people do but
he had a lot more money than you people had. He was a wealthy guy and he liked to play video poker. He liked to go on cruises," he said.
His family helped him to move from Florida to Las Vegas in 2015 and had visited him a few times since then.
“If I could’ve done anything, I would’ve done something," he said. "I mean, I'm the one who helped him move his house. You don't think I would've helped him if we thought there was something broken in his head or he was going to hurt people?"
The Paddock family said last heard from Stephen during Hurricane Irma, when he called to check on his 90-year old mother.
“The last time she talked to him, no indication of anything,” said Eric. "Wanted to make sure my mom was okay after the hurricane. We didn’t have power for five days. I mean, there’s nothing.”
Stephen's niece — Nicole Paddock — also lives in the Orlando area. She turned down WPTV's request to interview but did post this statement to Facebook :
First off I want to express my deepest sympathies to everyone affected by this massacre, I am as shocked and appalled as anyone about this senseless act of violence.
It has been especially disheartening to find out that the perpetrator is a relative. Stephen Paddock was my uncle, but I did not know very much about him. Sometimes I would see him in Las Vegas when I was there visiting other family, but these encounters were casual and infrequent. It has been well over a year since I have had any contact with him. I cannot speak to what possibly motivates someone to do something like this nor what his specific motivations may have been. He never came across as religious or political. My family and I are still in shock by this news and my heart goes out to all of those who lost or had loved ones injured in this tragedy. I am at a loss for words.
Eric said the family believes Stephen had no criminal record, and had no political or religious affiliations.
“We’re just people who for some reason grew up in the same family, as this guy who somehow broke and did this. I’m not asking for pity for him. He’s dead," he said. “This was not the brother I knew who did this and I’m not trying excuse what he did. The body of Stephen Paddock did this horrible thing."
Eric made comments about gun control and said he didn't know why his brother had so many guns when he was found in the hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
"Find out where he got the machine gun from. He had, yes he had a couple of guns. I mean it's legal to own a couple of guns in the United States. He did not own machines guns that I knew of in any way, shape or form. He didn't own them when I moved him from Melbourne (Fla.)," he told reporters Monday.
Ironically, Eric Paddock says he donated blood during the Pulse nightclub shooting last year, which was previously the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The family has made statements to the FBI, as the shooting investigation continues in Las Vegas.