Las Vegas Shooter Was Overheard Abusing His Girlfriend at Starbucks Before the Attacks
Half a week after the Las Vegas shooting, which left 500 injured and 59 dead. Gunman Stephen Paddock has yet to cleanly fit into the portrait of mass shooters before him. According to his brother, He was a multimillionaire, an ex-accountant with a comfortable lifestyle who enjoyed cruises and gambling. Wut. In many ways, he did not seem like the typical mass shooter. Except the fact that Paddock was white, male, and he fulfilled the most important criteria of all...
Turns out Paddock was a domestic abuser...
In an interview with the LA Times, Starbucks employee Esperanza Mendoza remembers Paddock berating his girlfriend Marilou Danley whenever they were in line. “It happened a lot,” Mendoza stated. “He would glare down at her and say — with a mean attitude — ‘You don’t need my casino card for this. I’m paying for your drink, just like I’m paying for you.’” According to Mendoza, Marilou was much smaller than Paddock. She came only to his elbow. Yet the much larger man berated her every chance he got, which was a huge warning sign…
Put downs are a classic sign of domestic violence, especially when done in public.
Humiliation, especially public humiliation is one of the key signs of domestic violence. So is an abuser controlling how and when a partner uses money. The abuser’s motive is to control his or her partner’s behavior. Paddock always succeeded in this. Mendoza noted that Danley “would softly say, ‘OK’ and step back behind him.” Not a good sign.
In fact, most mass shooters are domestic abusers.
A report by Everytown For Gun Safety found that “in 57 percent of mass shootings (61 of 107 incidents), the shooter killed a current or former spouse or intimate partner or another family member. In 18 percent of the mass shootings, the perpetrator had been previously charged with domestic violence.” These are worrying statistics, and they have been reiterated and verified over and over and over and over again. Domestic violence is one of the key indicators of a propensity towards violence in general. Just goes to show, if you can abuse the person closest to you, you can do so much worse to others.
So what is being done with this knowledge?
To be brief – nothing. Max De Haldevang said it best in his excellent article for Quartz. “After a mass shooting, the link between domestic violence and gun violence usually gets overlooked: First there’s a heated debate on gun control. It’s big and angry and goes nowhere. After that, details arise about the killer’s past history of abuse, and there are one or two laments about the link between domestic violence and mass-murder. And these will be largely ignored.” Which is a big shame, because this will just continue.