Stephen Paddock, who killed at least 59 people and wounded hundreds more in Las Vegas on Sunday with high-powered rifles, was prescribed an anti-anxiety drug in June that can lead to aggressive behavior, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Paddock also transferred $100,000 to the Philippines in the days before the shooting, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. Investigators are still trying to trace that money and are looking into at least a dozen reports that said Paddock gambled more than $10,000 per day.
Paddock purchased the drug — its brand name is Valium — without insurance at a Walgreens store in Reno. It is a sedative-hypnotic drug that can trigger aggressive behavior. Chronic use or abuse of sedatives such as diazepam can also trigger psychotic experiences, according to drugabuse.com. “If somebody has an underlying aggression problem and you sedate them with that drug, they can become aggressive,” said Dr. Mel Pohl of the Las Vegas Recovery Center. “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.”