The Las Vegas Strip is a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard immediately south of the city of Las Vegas in Clark County, Nevada. The Strip is known for its concentration of casinos and resort hotels, including the 43-story Mandalay Bay southwest of its intersection with Mandalay Bay Road, in the unincorporated town of Paradise.
Las Vegas Village, a 15-acre (6.1-hectare) lot used for outdoor performances, is located diagonally across the intersection to the northeast. From 2014 onward, the venue hosted the annual Route 91 Harvest country music festival. The 2017 festival ran from September 29 to October 1, with over 22,000 attendees on the final day.[a]
Stephen Paddock was a 64-year-old former auditor and real estate businessman who had been living 80 miles (130 km) northeast of Las Vegas in a in Mesquite, Nevada. Paddock was twice divorced, had a long-term girlfriend, and had no known children. He was a son of Benjamin Paddock, a bank robber who was on the FBI's most-wanted list between 1969 and 1977. Paddock's only recorded interactions with law enforcement were traffic citations.
Paddock was a high-stakes gambler who placed bets at a high enough level to earn valuable comps—free benefits such as rooms and meals. He was a familiar figure to casino hosts in Las Vegas, but was not well known among other high-stakes gamblers because he mostly played video poker. He reportedly kept to himself and was a heavy drinker. Paddock had lost a significant amount of his wealth over the previous two years, but had paid off all gambling debts before the shooting.
Paddock may have considered attacking other events. He had researched large-scale venues in cities such as Boston since at least May 2017, and had reserved a room overlooking the August 2017 Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, but did not use it. According to his girlfriend, she and Paddock were at the Mandalay Bay during an earlier stay a month before the attack when he repeatedly cased out Las Vegas Village from different windows in their room. From September 17, Paddock stayed at The Ogden in Downtown Las Vegas, which overlooked the open-air Life Is Beautiful festival that ran from September 22 to September 24. His internet search terms from mid-September included "swat weapons", "ballistics chart 308", "SWAT Las Vegas", and "do police use explosives".