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Las Vegas gunman's gambling habit

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Las Vegas gunman's gambling habit

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By Pete Williams, Tracy Connor and Kalhan Rosenblatt, NBC News

The suspected gunman behind the Las Vegas massacre made several large gambling transactions in recent weeks, according to law enforcement officials.

The transactions by Stephen Paddock, who lived in Mesquite, Nevada, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, were in the tens of thousands in Las Vegas, the officials said.

It was not immediately clear if those transactions were losses or wins.

Paddock’s brothers were stunned to learn Monday that their sibling was the suspected perpetrator of the largest mass shooting in modern American history.

Eric Paddock of Orlando, Florida, said he had “no idea” why his 64-year-old brother committed the shooting.

“Mars just fell into the earth,” he told NBC News. “We’re completely dumbfounded.”

Eric Paddock said his brother was retired and was “just a guy” who went to the hotels, gambled, and went to shows.

Stephen Paddock’s brother Bruce Paddock, who lives in California, said his family grew up in Sun Valley, California.

Bruce, who said he hadn’t talked to Stephen in approximately 10 years, said his brother made money through apartment buildings, which he owned and managed with his mother, who lives in Florida.

“I don’t know how he could stoop to this low point, hurting someone else,” Bruce said.

He added that his brother was a laid-back, “never-in-a-hurry” type of guy. Bruce said his brother was a law-abiding citizen who never did anything violent prior to the shooting.

The shooting is not believed to be connected to international terrorism, NBC News has learned.

The suspect was a licensed pilot, who owned two planes. He also had a hunting license from Alaska.

It is believed he lived in a retirement community in Mesquite.

At least 50 people were killed when Paddock opened fire into a crowd of approximately 22,000 at an outdoor country music festival from the 32nd floor of Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Sunday night, police said.

Police said 406 people had been transported to hospitals.

Police responded to reports of the shooting just after 10 p.m. (1 a.m. ET) in the Mandalay Bay Resort, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said. Lombardo said Paddock shot and killed himself before police could reach him.

It is still not known what kind of weapon Paddock used, but officials said more than 10 rifles were recovered from his hotel room.

Officials were searching for Marilou Danley, whom they identified as a companion of the suspect, Lombardo said.

Just before 7 a.m. ET, police tweeted that they had “located the female person of interest.” Lombardo said Danley was located out of the country and was not believed to be involved in the shooting. He added that Paddock was utilizing some of her identification.

Authorities described having found several weapons in Paddock’s hotel room after the shooting.