LAS VEGAS – Stephen Paddock, the gunman who killed 59 people and wounded more than 500 others in Las Vegas last weekend, was prescribed an anti-anxiety medicine in June that can make users behave aggressively, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Wednesday.
“Records from the Nevada Prescription Monitoring Program obtained on Tuesday show Paddock was prescribed 50 10-milligram diazepam tablets by Henderson physician Dr. Steven Winkler on June 21,” the newspaper said.
Paddock obtained the medicine, which is sold under the brand name Valium, at a Walgreens pharmacy in Reno, Nevada, on the same day it was prescribed by Winkler.
Abuse of diazepam, according to information posted on the drugabuse.com website, can lead to psychotic episodes.
“If somebody has an underlying aggression problem and you sedate them with that drug, they can become aggressive,” Dr. Mel Pohl, chief medical officer of the Las Vegas Recovery Center, told the Review-Journal. “It can disinhibit an underlying emotional state. It is much like what happens when you give alcohol to some people, they become aggressive instead of going to sleep.”
Paddock, a 64-year-old Nevada resident, opened fire with automatic weapons on concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Sunday night.
Paddock killed himself as special response team officers broke into the hotel room and no motive for the attack on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival has been found, police said.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited Las Vegas, where they met with first responders, doctors and other hospital workers, and victims of the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
“I have to tell you it makes you very proud to be an American when you see the job that they’ve done,” Trump, surrounded by doctors, said at the hospital.
The Trumps visited victims being treated at University Medical Center.
“We met patients that were absolutely, terribly wounded,” Trump said after his visit to the hospital.
The president said he told the victims that “we’re there for you” and invited some of them to visit the White House.
“And believe me, I’ll be there for them,” Trump said.