A man falsely accused of being the Las Vegas shooter responsible for killing 59 people and injuring over 500 spoke out Tuesday.
False information flooded online in the hours after Sunday night’s mass shooting, with users posting photos and information about people with the same name as the shooter. A Canadian man, Stephen Paddock, had just set up an Instagram account and was wrongly identified as the shooter by a 4chan user. He told a local New Brunswick outlet he woke up Monday morning and was shocked to find so many people had shared his photo and commented on his account.
“I was taken back,” Paddock said in an interview with The Daily Gleaner, New York Post reports. “People I don’t even know are sharing my picture.”
One instagram user commented, “This isn't him guys. Chill, this guy is from Canada... leave the poor Canadian guy alone lol.” Others were still leaving angry comments and asking questions about the attack, with one user saying “This very well could be the shooter.”
Over 1,000 people commented on his instagram account, with most of the comments being negative and angry toward Paddock. There were, however, some positive messages, he said.
“The people that took the time to find me on Facebook were the…people that were wishing me well,” Paddock said. “I would say about 20 percent of the people were compassionate and knew right away…There’s hope for humanity.”
The real Las Vegas shooter is 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Nevada. The shooter opened fire on a festival crowd from his two-room suite in Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where he’d stashed 23 guns.
Little is known at this time about what motivated Paddock to carry out what may be the most deadly mass shooting in United States history.
[Photo:Drew Angerer/Getty Images and Instagram]