Stephen Paddock seemed “happy” and “upbeat” while purchasing one of the 47 weapons in his deadly arsenal — shaking hands with the gun-store manager who sold it to him and telling the man to “have a great day” — less than a week before his Las Vegas massacre, a report says.
“It was a normal day,” recalled Guns & Guitars general manager Christopher Sullivan.
“He came in and filled out his paperwork, went across the street, did some shopping at Walmart, came back, shook my hand, said ‘have a great day’ and out the door he went,” Sullivan told the Desert Valley Times.
Paddock, 64, had come into the Mesquite, Nevada, store last Thursday to buy a bolt action rifle — just days before he carried out the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
“He never would’ve given an inclination about what was going on in his mind,” Sullivan said. “It’s something I’ve run through my head a million times trying to figure out if I’ve missed something.”
Paddock, an avid gun owner, was known to come into the firearms store on a regular basis — typically to have his rifles cleaned, according to Sullivan.
So it wasn’t alarming that he was looking to add another to his already massive weapons cache.
“He was a very active shooter, he shot a lot,” Sullivan said. “He owned a lot of guns, a lot of AR-15 style rifles. We did a lot of gun cleaning for him. I’ve cleaned pretty much every gun he owns…Unfortunately, a couple of those guns were used in that hotel room.”
Sullivan told the Times that Paddock seemed like his usual self when he came in, adding that he never once detected any aggression, anger or irritation from him.
“He was upbeat, happy, normal guy — shake hands, have a good day,” Sullivan explained. “It just wasn’t there, man. At some point, he snapped. What made him snap? I don’t know.”
Speaking to CBS News earlier in the day Wednesday, Sullivan described how he didn’t feel guilty about selling Paddock the guns — but rather sick to his stomach.
“It made me physically ill to think that we had interacted with him and he had committed such a tragedy,” the manager said.
He told the Times that Paddock had passed every background check that was run on him and all the guns he bought from them were purchased legally.
“That’s what gets me the worst, wondering if I missed something,” Sullivan said. “So I’ve literally replayed it in my mind thousands of times and we did everything the right way, but there wasn’t anything we could’ve done about it…For us to know we’ve been touched by him in our lives and as a community is tragic. It truly is. Could we have done anything differently? I don’t think we could have. Nobody in town knew who he was or what he was capable of, and neither did we.”