From there, it was only an hour's drive to Las Vegas, where he embarked on the worst mass shooting in recent US history before killing himself on Sunday.
His brother, Eric Paddock, said he was a peaceful man who moved back to the red desert hills of Nevada partly because gambling is legal in the state and he loathed Central Florida's humidity.
Eric added that Stephen was a multimillionaire who made much of his money investing in real estate, and that his brother was also an accountant for many years.
He was not aware of his brother having any recent financial difficulties.
"He was a wealthy guy and he liked to play video poker and he liked to go on cruises," Paddock said from his doorstep in Orlando, Florida. "He's never drawn his gun, it makes no sense." His brother had a couple of handguns he kept in a safe, perhaps a long rifle, "but no automatic weapons."
The two were last in touch last month, texting about power outages after Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida.
"He had nothing to do with any political organization and religious organizations" as far as he was aware, Eric Paddock said.
Their father was Patrick Benjamin Paddock, a violent bank robber who was on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Most Wanted list in the 1960s. The shooter himself had no criminal record beyond a traffic violation, police in Las Vegas said.
"We didn't know him," Eric Paddock said of their father.
In recent weeks, Paddock made gambling transactions worth tens of thousands of dollars, though it was unclear whether they were wins or losses, NBC News reported, citing unnamed law enforcement officials.
'Nothing out of the ordinary'Public records point to an itinerant existence across the American West and Southeast: A few years in California, a few years in other parts of Nevada.
Paddock had a hunting license in Texas, where he lived for a while. He got his pilot license, and had at least one single-engine aircraft registered in his name.
In early 2015, he bought a modest two-story home in a new housing development for retirees on the dusty edge of Mesquite, a small desert town popular with golfers and gamblers that straddles Nevada's border with Arizona.
"It's a nice, clean home and nothing out of the ordinary," Quinn Averett, a Mesquite police department spokesman, told reporters on Monday. Some guns and ammunition were found inside, though nothing remarkable in a region where gun ownership is high.
Roughly an hour's drive southwest is Las Vegas, where Paddock checked into a 32nd-floor room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino last Thursday with at least 10 rifles for a shooting spree that would kill least 58 people and hurt more 515, after he opened fire on the crowd attending a nearby country music festival.
FBI refutes ISIS responsibility claim
The Islamic State terror group initially claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that Paddock had converted to Islam months before the shooting.The organization did not name the suspected shooter, but said he had "executed the operation in response to calls to target countries of the coalition" batting the extremist group in Iraq and Syria.
Paddock's family, however, said that he had no political or religious affiliations, and the FBI later issued a response saying that Paddock was not an ISIS operative and had no connection with international militant groups.
Before moving to Mesquite, Nevada, he lived in another town called Mesquite in Texas, where he worked as the manager of an apartment complex called Central Park.