Paul was a tent-maker. But he was also a student of Gamaliel, one of the premier Rabbi’s of the time. If I recall, he was Gamaliel’s top student (or one of the top ones).
Paul didn’t just “take part” in St. Stephen’s death. When Acts tells us that the Jews “laid their cloaks at the feet of one named Saul” (paraphrasing), this indicates that Saul was the leader of those performing the stoning.
This event triggered Saul’s rise among the Jews to put down this uprising called “Christianity” by any means possible.
Ironically, this led to the spread of the Gospel. We read that Stephen was one of seven Greek Jews (Deacons) that were in Jerusalem to help spread the food and the Gospel throughout the Greek community. But the remaining 6 Greeks fled Jerusalem after Stephens death, only to spread the Gospel throughout Judea and Samaria.
The more people try to thwart God’s Will, the more they help to further His Will!!!
God works in mysterious ways!!!