A video making the rounds on sites like Reddit and 4chan is beginning to question some of the key details surrounding the shooting in Las Vegas last night. Despite the law enforcement agencies on the scene reaffirming that they have not found a political motive for the largest mass shooting in American history, a number of internet sleuths have taken it upon themselves to look into the situation on their own–and their efforts might have already paid off. If this was the only video in question, this story would end here, but its not. A second video has surfaced and some people think that the man is named.
In the video in question, a clearly exhausted narrator explains that he is suspicious of one man in an anti-Trump protest that took place in Reno, Nevada in August. The narrator is careful to say that he has no evidence that the man present is in fact the shooter, but the resemblance is uncanny and if he was present at that protest it would imply that an attack on a country concert might have been politically motivated after all.
Sheriff Lombardo was pretty clear that he isn’t treating this as a politically motivated terror attack, but these details call that decision into question. And there’s more, too:
- A video from an account called “Indivisible Kara” seems to include the man in question being approached by two female protesters. Viewers of the video claim to hear the protesters acknowledge the man as “Steve.”
— IndivisibleKara (@IndivisibleKara) August 23, 2017
Personally, I can’t hear them say “Steve,” but a number of replies to the video do seem to hear it:
— Jay AquaLamb (@vsvs_a) October 2, 2017
- The Sacramento Bee’s coverage included this interesting statement from defense contractor Lockheed Martin:
He had a pilots license, and had previously worked for global defense and aeronautics company Lockheed Martin in the 1980s.
“Stephen Paddock worked for a predecessor company of Lockheed Martin from 1985 until 1988,” the company said in a statement. “We’re cooperating with authorities to answer questions they may have about Mr. Paddock and his time with the company.”
- The Miami Herald reports that Paddock indeed lived in Melbourne, Florida for a number of years. Melbourne is home to the Florida Institute of Technology (a close partner with NASA) and a short drive away from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. This has sent a number of internet investigators down a NASA rabbit hole speculating that the shooter was employed by the space agency but that’s starting to look less likely. Despite a 1993 report from NASA listing a “Steven Paddock” as a member of a team investigating a potential mission, it’s pretty certain that it refers to another man.
It’s clear that people are going to continue to look for answers — that’s only natural in this situation. Who doesn’t want to make sense of a tragedy? But there’s always a risk of a witch-hunt taking things from a path of catharsis to one of additional trauma and that’s why it’s important for people to calmly and rationally deal with the information that crosses their monitors before clicking the share button.
But even while people need to remain cautious, they have to continue searching for the truth. There’s definitely a lot left to be unraveled here and many people are questioning the facts as they are currently known. The skeptics and concerned aren’t just found within the ranks of the fringe or extreme sections of the political spectrum, either. Even neocon shills from the National Review are wondering why the details of this shooting are so strange.
One of the strangest details certainly concerns the woman that was dating the shooter, Marilou Danley. It remains to be explained why the shooter was using her credit cards while she was conveniently outside the United States and able to maintain a semblance of plausible deniability.
The truth should be exha