On Sunday, October 1, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history took place. While the Route 91 Harvest Festival was taking place, a gunman opened fire down on the crowd of over 20,000 people.
64-year-old Stephen Paddock shot down at the concert goers from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel. He killed at least 58 people and injured at least 500 more.
When the SWAT team busted into Paddock's hotel room, he had shot and killed himself. Because no evidence points to another person involved in the attack, police are calling this a "lone wolf" incident.
Having thought to have acted on his own, and with no notes left indicating reasoning, detectives can only speculate about his motives. Police do believe that this was a planned attack, as there was a high level of preparation involved.
Police have discovered that Paddock was in possession of at least 43 weapons, spread out between the hotel room, his car, and his home in Mesquite, Nevada.
Now, new reports are suggesting that there is more to the story. News broke on Wednesday that Paddock had been previously prescribed anti-anxiety medication.
According to The Hill, Paddock was prescribed 50 10-milligram tablets of diazepam. This medicine is reported to amplify aggressive behavior.
Diazepam is a strong sedative-hypnotic that falls within the drug class called benzodiazepine. This drug class is alleged to have dangerous side-effects. Paddock was prescribed this medicine by Dr. Steven Winkler on June 21, and was instructed to take one pill per day.
The chief medical officer at the Las Vegas Recovery Center, Dr. Mel Pohl, said that people with underlying anger issues may experience more aggressive behavior when on this medication. This finding was confirmed by several medical studies.
Dr. Mel Pohl said, "If somebody has an underlying aggression problem and you sedate them with that drug, they can become aggressive. 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.”
According to drugs.com, diazepam can cause hallucinations, "unusual risk-taking behavior," "no fear of danger," hostility, and aggression.
Dr. Michael First of Columbia University said that even if the drug did not cause Paddock's behavior to change, the reason that he was prescribed the medicine in the first place may give an indication as to why he committed the attack.
We will continue to provide updates on this story as they are provided.
Please continue praying for all of the victims of this horrific tragedy. For more on this story, read what Franklin Graham had to say after Hillary Clinton's reaction to the Las Vegas shooting.