This is a developing story
Despite widespread reports that the shooter in a horrific Las Vegas massacre that has left up to 58 people dead “had a hunting license from Alaska,” authorities here say they can find no record of such a license.
Ken Marsh, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said this morning that state records show 64-year-old Stephen Paddock from “Mesquite, Texas, not Nevada by the way,” twice purchasing temporary sportfishing licences, but there are no records of a hunting license or of tags required for hunting big game.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Paddock lived in Mequite, Texas perodically from 1998 to 2010. Alaska records show Paddock’s last license purchase here in 2010.
Nonresidents are required to purchase a tag in addition to a hunting license if they want to hunt caribou, moose, bears or other Alaska big game. On average, fewer than 15,000 nonresidents per year purchase such tags, according to state records.
Sportfishing, on the other hand, is widely popular and a big tourism business in the 49th state. More than 300,000 licenses were sold to nonresident anglers in 2016, according to state records. Sportfishing license sales to nonresidents regularly out number by 100,000 or so the sales to residents.
Marsh said state records show Paddock purchased the first of two, three-day, nonresident licenses on July 13, 2009. That license was purchased from Deep Blue Charters, a fishing business in remote Gustavus on the edge of the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.
Marsh said the second license was purchased on May 31, 2010. That license was purchased at the Salmon Falls Resort in Ketchikan.
Both are high-end fishing lodges in the state’s Panhandle. They market to upper middle-class Americans.
“Purpose-built by and for passionate sports fishermen who value first-class fishing experiences paired with personalized services and amenities, all-inclusive Salmon Falls Fishing Resort reinvents the Ketchikan fishing getaway. Guests enjoy exceptional cuisine and handcrafted cocktails,” says Salmon Falls.
Marsh said the search of state records has found no indication Paddock has been fishing in Alaska since 2010 or that he ever went hunting here.
Authorities in Nevada are saying there are no indications of any connection between Paddock and terror organizations, and they are still trying to sort out what might have triggered his shooting spree.
“Paddock had a pilot’s license since at least 2004 and two registered aircraft,” Newsweek reported. “He has also held hunting and fishing licenses. He acted as manager of an apartment complex in Las Vegas, and was an editor for defense and aerospace company Lockheed Martin.”
Among Paddock’s victims were several Alaskans. Adrian Murfitt and Dorene Anderson were among those reported to have been killed when Paddock opened fire on people attending a country music festival.
Murfitt, 35, worked for an Anchorage contracting company and commercially fished out of Chignik in the summer. KTVA.com described Anderson as a stay-at-home mom.
Just before Murfitt’s death he posted photographs on his Facebook page of himself and friends enjoying themselves at the Route 91 Harvest festival, a three-day celebration of country music in Las Vegas.
Rob McIntosh, the retired North Pole High School girls basketball coach, was hit by three bullets but survived, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.