In a petition filed on Friday, family members of John Phippen, one of the 58 people who died after Stephen Paddock opened fire on concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, are requesting that the local court appoint a special administrator to seize control of the gunman’s assets while investigations into the shooter’s motives are conducted.
As reported by CNN, Phippen’s family submitted the petition to the District Court in Clark County, Nevada, with the intention of ensuring that Paddock’s estate would remain under government control, making it available to settle lawsuits that may be filed by shooting victims in the future.
Paddock, a retired accountant and frequent gambler, owned a home located in Mesquite, Nevada, and a sales agent said that Paddock paid for the property in cash, an amount totaling $369,022. Additionally, his brother has stated that Paddock was a successful real estate investor who had multiple properties to his name including other houses and apartment buildings.
California attorney Richard A. Patterson, who is representing Phippen’s son Travis, asserted that the district court “will notify [Paddock’s] family members” and said, “We’ll see where this goes.”
Discussing the filing, Patterson said, “We want [Paddock’s estate] administered by the court. I don’t think we are at the bottom of [Paddock’s] assets.”
Patterson added, “We want someone to oversee the assets, so it stays the way it is.”
Phippen, a 56-year-old from Santa Clarita, California, was at the country music festival at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino with his son Travis when Paddock began shooting at the concertgoers. According to Leah Nagiyvanyi, a neighbor, after gunfire rang out, Travis, a medic, stopped to assist someone else in the crowd. Phippen stayed with Travis, shielding a woman nearby, and was shot and killed.
Investigations into the Las Vegas shooting are ongoing. At this time, Paddock’s motives are unknown. He has no known associations with ISIS or other terrorist organizations, and authorities are still trying to ascertain whether someone else may have been aware of Paddock’s plan, though they are confident that no one was with Paddock at the time of the shooting.
Local police also do not know what Paddock intended to do with the 50 pounds of explosives that were discovered in his vehicle.