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Autopsy finds gunman who killed 58 people in Las Vegas was using anti-anxiety drug

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The Las Vegas gunman who killed 58 people and himself in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history was found to have had anti-anxiety medication in his system, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, citing a newly obtained autopsy report.

The autopsy also confirmed that the gunman, Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old retired real estate investor and high-stakes gambler, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, the newspaper said.

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The Clark County Coroner’s Office declined to immediately respond to a request from Reuters seeking a copy of the report, which the Review-Journal said it obtained after a judge ordered the medical examiner to release it last week to news organizations.

Paddock strafed a crowd of outdoor concertgoers with rapid-fire gunshots from his 32nd-floor suite at the Mandalay Bay hotel the night of Oct. 1 before police stormed his room to find him dead amid a large cache of high-powered weapons and ammunition.

Authorities said in the immediate aftermath of the rampage that the gunman had fatally shot himself but left no suicide note. No motive for the massacre, which also left several hundred people injured, has ever been established.

There was nothing in the Review-Journal’s story on Friday to suggest that the autopsy records shed any additional light on what may have driven Paddock to carry out the bloodiest U.S. shooting spree on record.

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It said that the Clark County coroner, John Fudenberg, had found anti-anxiety medication in Paddock’s system, but the Review-Journal did not make clear whether further details of that finding were disclosed in the new autopsy report.

The newspaper reported several days after the killings that a local doctor had prescribed Paddock the drug diazepam, known by the brand name Valium, which is used for treating anxiety and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

The Review-Journal also has reported that Fudenberg sent a sample of Paddock’s brain tissue to Stanford University School of Medicine in October for a neuropathological examination to look for signs of possible disorders that might have explained Paddock’s violent behavior.

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(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)


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Furious Biden goes scorched earth on ‘serial abuser’ Trump over smears in epic rant

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On Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa, former Vice President Joe Biden furiously laid into President Donald Trump amid reports he tried to strong-arm the Ukrainian government into digging up dirt on him and his son.

"Here's what I know, I know Trump deserves to be investigated," said Biden. "He is violating every basic norm of a president. You should be asking him the question, why is he on the phone with a foreign leader trying to intimidate a foreign leader, if that's what happened? That appears to have happened. You should be looking at Trump. Trump's doing this because he knows I'll beat him like a drum and he's using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me."

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Trump is ‘a profoundly lawless individual’: Presidential biographer tells Democrats to wake up and go after president

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy" Saturday, in the wake of the Ukraine scandal, presidential biographer Bloomberg Opinion executive editor Tim O'Brien laid out how President Donald Trump's presidency has become a pure exercise in criminality — and how House Democrats need to treat this as the threat that it is.

"The Democrats are looking at this as a chess board," said O'Brien. "Republicans see it as a knife fight. They're not even trying to play chess. They've been playing politics at the electoral level and in the Congress by simply trying to rip the spine out of anybody who opposes them. The Democrats are trying to figure out what's the right thing. I honor that, but as long as they sit back and are more concerned about appearances or not upsetting the table, Republicans are going to run circles around them, both electorally and when it comes to Donald Trump."

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Trump took out DNI head Dan Coats to install a new acting director in charge of whistleblowers: CIA veteran

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Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy," a longtime veteran CIA official said the whistleblower, who ran to the inspector general with a complaint about Donald Trump asking Ukraine's president for dirt on Joe Biden, should expect the president and his aides to come after them.

Speaking with host Joy Reid, Jonna Mendez said she saw the first warnings signs that something was up in the U.S. intelligence community when the president forced DNI head Dan Coats and his top deputy out.

"Through the lens of someone who spent 27 years at the CIA, the thing that caught my eye instantly was Dan Coats' resignation follow by Sue Gordon," Mendez explained. "The fact that Dan Coats went into a meeting and said 'Sue, you've got to resign' and that she did, truncating a career that clearly hadn't reached its zenith."

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