Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock left behind 50 or so firearms in the wake of the mass shooting that killed nearly five dozen people in October 2017, but what happened to those guns? If an anonymous donor—identified as a "San Francisco software executive" by the New York Times—has his way, the weapons and accessories will be obliterated. Toward that end, the businessman has offered $62,500 (the estimated value of the cache), which will be given to the deceased victims' families only if the guns are destroyed. He tells the Times he wanted to help the families avoid a hard choice: whether to trash the guns or sell them for money. "It seemed like a horrific situation for the families to deal with," he notes. "I wanted to alleviate some of the pain or at least not allow it to get worse." He adds, "I think the families would feel better if the weapons are gone" and not able to go back into circulation.
Alice Denton, who was appointed as the special administrator for Paddock's estate, notes to CNN that the situation she finds herself navigating is a rare one. "Very seldom do you find a mass murderer having assets," she says. The sister of one of the Las Vegas victims says that while it was never about the money for her and her family, they appreciate the donor's offer. "If this man is willing to pay to destroy something associated with evil, that is a gift to not only us, but to [all] the families and survivors," she says. Other families, however, want the guns kept around as evidence in case of future lawsuits against the gun manufacturers; the donor agrees some of the guns should be preserved, just not able to end up "back on the streets," he tells the Times. Denton, who notes the guns are currently under FBI lock and key in Vegas, says that a probate court hearing on the matter will likely take place in March. (Read more Las Vegas shooting stories.)