WXXI AM News

Rochester native was a neighbor of suspected Las Vegas shooter

Oct 3, 2017

A Rochester native who moved to Mesquite, Nevada in 2010 lives about a half mile away from the home of Stephen Paddock, the man who police say carried out the most deadly mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

"As soon as we saw his picture, we knew right away who it was,” said John Lipani. “The term I've used is he has walked among us."

An upscale community about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Mesquite is a retirement community known for its sunny weather and golf courses. "You move here for a lifestyle and to basically get away from a lot of different things,” Lipani said. “So, to have this happen and to have this person live here, it's very, very upsetting."

Lipani didn’t know Stephen Paddock personally, nor did any of his friends. No one has any ideas about what would compel the 64-year old retiree to open fire on concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday. 

"The only place where I could say I did bump into him is at the golf club I belong to,” Lipani said. “It features Karaoke on Friday nights and sometimes we would stop in. I guess he was kind of a regular there, and we do remember seeing him."

He said Paddock was very “nondescript”. “He would get up and sing in every once and awhile and his girlfriend or fiancé would get up and sing. We didn’t partake in any of it so I didn’t get to know him and I don’t think anybody did. He was a kind of loner from what I remember.”

His typically quiet community is now overrun with police and reporters and streets are blocked off, Lipani said.  The life of Stephen Paddock is the subject of a widespread investigation as police try to understand what motivated him to kill 59 people and hurt more than 500 others.