Salesman at Shop That Sold Gun to Vegas Shooting Suspect: 'He Was Just Like a Normal Person'

Oct 02, 2017

An employee at a Utah gun shop that claims to have sold a firearm to the shooter in the Las Vegas massacre that left 58 dead and over 500 wounded said he did not get any "bad vibes" from Stephen Paddock when they interacted.

Loren Michel, a salesman at Dixie Gun Worx in St. George, Utah, about 45 miles from where Paddock lived in Mesquite, Nevada told TIME on Monday that Paddock had visited the store twice before he purchased a shotgun in February 2017.

"There was nothing that really stood out with him," says Michel. "He was just like a normal person that comes into a gun shop that's looking to buy. He was saying that he wanted something for home defense."

Michel says on two separate occasions Paddock visited Dixie Gun Worx, which his owned by his son, Chris, where he "he looked around, we talked, showed him what we had."

On the third visit in February, Paddock purchased a firearm. Michel offered no specifics about the weapon other than to say it was a shotgun. In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, Chris Michel said he was overcome with "shock, horror, and grief" for the victims when he learned of the Las Vegas shooting on Monday morning. “Then I recognized him, and my gut dropped out from underneath me," he said.

Paddock is believed to fired upon a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Sunday night from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, according to authorities.

Loren Michel told TIME that his son ran a background check on Paddock via the Bureau of Investigation and he does not recall any issues. "He passed the criminal background check with no problem at all," Michel says. "It went right through."

Chris told ABC4 Utah that he tries to get to know their customers and collect information on them out of precaution, but said Paddock did not set off any "alarms." When talking to TIME, Loren said the same. " I didn't get no bad vibes off of him, you know?"

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