Gunman's Girlfriend Says She Knew Nothing of His Plans - NECN
Las Vegas Massacre

Las Vegas Massacre

Coverage of the Las Vegas concert attack, the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history

Gunman's Girlfriend Says She Knew Nothing of His Plans

Marilou Danley, 62, who had been called a "person of interest" by investigators, said she loved Paddock as a "kind, caring, quiet man"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Through an attorney, Marilou Danley, the girlfriend of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, said she did not know that Paddock would commit the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history. Ted Chen reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017)

    The girlfriend of the Las Vegas gunman said Wednesday she had no idea of the massacre he was plotting when he sent her on a trip abroad to see her family.

    Marilou Danley issued the statement after returning from her native Philippines and being questioned for much of the day by FBI agents. She was out of the country for more than two weeks.

    She said she was initially pleased when Stephen Paddock wired her money in the Philippines to buy a house for her family, but she later feared it was a way to break up with her.

    "It never occurred to me in any whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone," Danley said in a statement read by her attorney Matthew Lombard outside FBI headquarters in Los Angeles.

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    Marilou Danley, the girlfriend of the Las Vegas gunman and a person of interest in the investigation, arrived back in the U.S. at the Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday night, Oct. 3, 2017. Adrian Arambulo reports for the NBC4 News at 11.

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017)

    She also said: "He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen."

    Danley, 62, who had been called a "person of interest" by investigators, said she loved Paddock as a "kind, caring, quiet man" and hoped they would have a future together. She said she was devastated by the carnage and she would cooperate with authorities as they struggle to get inside Paddock's mind.

    Paddock unleashed gunfire on attendees of the Route 91 Harvest Festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Fifty-eight people were killed and at least 489 were wounded in the attack. Paddock killed himself before police reached his hotel room.

    Investigators are busy reconstructing Paddock's life, behavior and the people he encountered in the weeks leading up to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said. That includes examining his computer and cellphone.

    But as of Wednesday, investigators were unable to explain what led Paddock to rain heavy fire down on a country music festival.

    "This individual and this attack didn't leave the sort of immediately accessible thumbprints that you find on some mass casualty attacks," McCabe said.

    NBC News reports that investigators hope Danley, who lived with Paddock, can shed light on the following:


    • Whether Paddock, as some news organizations have reported, made a "dry run" the previous weekend when he rented rooms in a high-rise Las Vegas condo building overlooking the venue of another outdoor concert called the "Life is Beautiful" festival.
    • The suspect's mass purchases of high-powered weapons in Utah, Nevada, Texas and California.
    • His finances and whether he was having money troubles.
    • His travels, especially the cruises he took. NBC News reported earlier that Princess Cruises and Holland America Line have already been contacted by law enforcement and are cooperating.
    • His gambling. Paddock was a high roller who gambled with at least $160,000 in recent weeks at several Las Vegas casinos.


    Paddock had 1,600 rounds of ammunition and several containers of an explosive commonly used in target shooting that totaled 50 pounds in his car, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said. But the sheriff said he didn't know what, if anything, Paddock planned with the explosives.

    The shooter also sprayed 200 rounds of gunfire into the hallway when a security guard approached his hotel room, Lombardo said. The security guard was hit in the leg. Lombardo said Paddock planned to survive and escape from the hotel, but he didn't say how.

    The 64-year-old high-stakes gambler and real estate investor specifically requested an upper-floor room with a view of the music festival, according to a person who has seen hotel records turned over to investigators.

    Paddock wasn't able to move into the room until Saturday, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly and disclosed the information to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

    The room, which goes for $590, was given to Paddock free because he was a good customer who wagered tens of thousands of dollars each time he visited the casino, the person said.

    It was just another indication of how methodically he planned the attack. Authorities have said he brought 23 weapons in 10 suitcases into the room and set up cameras inside and out to watch for police closing in on him.

    His game of choice was video poker, a relatively solitary pursuit with no dealer and no humans to play against. And while neighbors described Paddock as friendly, he wasn't close to them.

    "He was a private guy. That's why you can't find out anything about him," his brother, Eric Paddock, said from his home in Florida. As for what triggered the massacre, the brother said: "Something happened that drove him into the pit of hell."

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    Las Vegas is a city in grief following Sunday's massacre that left 59 dead, including the gunman, and more than 500 injured, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The gunman has been identified as Stephen Paddock, a 64 year old real estate investor with no criminal history. 

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017)

    Occasionally, Paddock shared news of his gambling winnings, his brother said, recalling a photo text message he received showing a $40,000 payout.

    It was in a casino where Paddock met his girlfriend, who was a high-limit hostess for Club Paradise at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Eric Paddock told The Washington Post.

    Danley's sisters in Australia said in a TV interview that they believe Paddock sent her away so she wouldn't interfere with his murderous plans.

    Paddock wired $100,000 to the Philippines days before the shooting, a U.S. official not authorized to speak publicly because of the continuing investigation said on condition of anonymity. Investigators are trying to trace that money.

    Also, casino regulators are looking closely at Paddock's gambling habits and checking their records to see whether he had any disputes with casinos or fellow patrons. In addition, investigators are examining a dozen financial reports filed in recent weeks when he bought more than $10,000 in casino chips.

    Paddock had no known criminal history. Public records contained no indication of any financial problems, and his brother described him as a wealthy real estate investor.

    "I believe, based on what I have been told, the issue was not that he was under financial stress," said Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, the ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee.

    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump met privately with victims at a Las Vegas hospital Wednesday and then with police officers and dispatchers, praising them and the doctors who treated the wounded.

    "Our souls are stricken with grief for every American who lost a husband or a wife, a mother or a father, a son or a daughter," he said. "We know that your sorrow feels endless. We stand together to help you carry your pain."

    ___

    Melley reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writers Jim Gomez and Teresa Cerojano in Manila, Philippines; Michael Balsamo, Brian Skoloff, Regina Garcia Cano and Sally Ho in Las Vegas; Andrew Dalton in Los Angeles; and Eric Tucker, Sadie Gurman and Tami Abdollah in Washington contributed to this report.