Las Vegas Sun

March 21, 2019

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Car dealer says shooter called life ‘miserable’

Stephen Paddock

Courtesy of Eric Paddock / AP

This undated photo provided by Eric Paddock shows his brother, Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock. On Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival killing dozens and wounding hundreds.

Scott Armstrong, a Reno car dealer, said Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock confided in him about relationship troubles when the would-be gunman stopped in looking to buy a car about two months ago.

"Somehow or another we ended up talking about bad relationships, and he confided that he was depressed and his life was miserable," Armstrong said. "It just struck me as really odd that somebody would say that."

Paddock, unshaven and dressed casually but not disheveled, didn't elaborate on his relationship troubles, and Armstrong didn't pry. He didn't smile, and he "wasn't very pleasant to talk to," he said.

"I could tell he was really down or something," Armstrong said. "I just told him, I said, 'Hey I've been in some bad relationships myself. It'll get better. Tomorrow will be a better day than today.' "

Armstrong said he's talked with FBI agents about his recollection.

Others who have interacted with Paddock have described him as a quiet and confident man who did not engage in deep conversations. Armstrong said he's baffled by why he was so open with a stranger, but "my job is to put people with ease and try to help them buy a car."

How is he so certain Paddock is the downtrodden man who visited him?

"When's the last time somebody told you their life was miserable? It sticks with you," he said