Gun share prices soar across America after Vegas massacre as Winchester ammo firm rises to all-time high

SHARES in gun makers sky rocketed in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting yesterday.

Stephen Paddock killed 59 people and wounded more than 500 in the worst mass shooting in US history in Sin City.

The 64-year-old maniac opened fire on a crowd at a country music concert from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort Casino.

Following the massacre stocks in firearms firms have soared as traders bet on a pick up in gun sales over the coming weeks.

Historically gun sales have risen after mass shootings as American's fear the government will increase gun controls.

Stocks in the Sturm Ruger firearms company closed up nearly 3.5 per cent yesterday with American Outdoor Brands, formerly Smith and Wesson, rose by 3.2 per cent.

Ammo firms also saw a spike with the firm Olin, which owns the Winchester brand of ammunition, rising six per cent to an all-time high.

The gains in the gun stocks apparently came as traders bet on a pickup in arms sales ahead of potentially tighter regulations as a result of the killings.

They may also be banking on sales increasing as Americans look to more heavily arm themselves for protection in the wake of the shooting.

After the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting and the San Bernardino slayings the US saw "a two- to three-month surge in firearms sales," according to Rommel Dionisio, managing director at Aegis Capital.

He added that the two ISIS-linked attacks "certainly triggered something in the American consciousness about personal safety."

Dionisio continued that although a national change in gun ownership laws appears unlikely, "certainly on a state-by-state basis you can see states pass tighter gun control laws," CNBC reports.

Cops will be probing whether the seemingly mild mannered ex-accountant’s gambling addiction drove him to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

 Stephen Paddock has been named as the shooter responsible for the mass killing in Las Vegas
 Paddock, right, pictured with his brother Eric, left, in 2002

The multi-millionaire property developer owned two planes, regularly spoke to his family and lived a comfortable life in sleepy Mesquite, rural Nevada.

But he also had a dark side – an obsession with gambling that saw him blow tens of thousands of dollars in Vegas casinos before he killed 59 and wounded more than 500 others.

His brother, Eric, revealed the mass murderer was a “big fish” in the Vegas casinos.
“It's like a job for him. It's a job where you make money,” Eric said.

“He was at the hotel for four months one time. It was like a second home. He’s known. He's a top player. He's the small end of the big fish.”

In the days before the slaughter, Paddock had sometimes gambled more than £22,000 ($30,000) in the Vegas casinos, NBC reported.

 Paddock is pictured here in his high school yearbook photo in 1971
 The killer was also on the tennis team at his school
 The Mandalay Bay can be seen behind a police cordon the day after the attack
 Sobbing witnesses comfort each other the day after the massacre
 Concert-goers hug each other near the scene of the mass shooting

On Sunday night, Paddock fired hundreds of rounds of ammo into country music festival crowds from a Las Vegas hotel balcony.

Cops are still "working to process the crime scene from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and also investigate the motives of the shooter".

"Detectives are combing through evidence to uncover the shooter's motives and any other pertinent information that will help shed light on the Sunday night massacre."

Cops yesterday admitted they were not yet sure of the Vegas gunman’s motives, with Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo telling reporters: "We have no idea what his belief system was – I can't get into the mind of a psychopath."

But while the shooter himself had no criminal background, the same reportedly cannot be said for all his family.

Paddock’s father was Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, a serial bank robber.

The bandit is understood to have wound up on the FBI’s Most Wanted list in 1969 when he escaped from prison in Texas while serving a 20-year sentence.

 The shooter was the son of serial bank robber Benjamin Hoskins Paddock
 Paddock's father was on the FBI's Most Wanted list in 1969
 A bloody wheelbarrow used to ferry injured people to safety is seen in the street
 Blood-stained clothing lies where it was left on the road during the massacre
 The blood of one of the victims is splattered on the ground next to a shoe

Paddock’s brother Eric also said he was baffled, insisting his sibling had no religious or political affiliations and was just a regular guy who liked to gamble.

Some have pointed to his "high stakes poker playing" for six-figure sums as a potential trigger.

Detectives revealed Stephen carried out tens of thousands of dollars' worth of transactions in the hours leading up to the attack – although they would not say whether they were wins or losses.

"I have absolutely no information he lost a bunch of money", Eric told reporters. "The casino would know that."

It comes after horrifying video showed blood-soaked concert-goers running in terror from the Route 91 country music festival after hundreds of rounds were fired from a nearby Mandalay Bay Resort Casino balcony.

Pictures show two smashed in windows at the luxury resort from where the shooter is believed to have let off a hail of deadly gunfire.

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