Las Vegas shooter’s girlfriend: ‘Never occurred to me’ he planned violence

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LAS VEGAS — Marilou Danley said she was worried her boyfriend, Stephen Paddock, was trying to break up with her when he bought her a cheap ticket to the Philippines about two weeks ago, then wired her money so she could buy her and her family a house there.

But Danley, in a statement read by her attorney, said she didn’t know Paddock had planned to carry out a mass shooting.

In her first public remarks since Paddock killed 58 people and wounded close to 500 others in Las Vegas on Sunday night, Danley said Paddock — a man she described as “kind” — never gave her any clues or any warning “that something horrible like this was going to happen.”

Before Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Thursday, authorities said had secured a rental at The Ogden, a condominium complex, through a private owner on Airbnb, around the time of the Life is Beautiful concert, which took place Sept. 22-25.

“It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone,” Danley said in the statement.

Danley, who lived with Paddock in Mesquite, Nevada, and was out of the country during the shooting, returned to the United States on Tuesday night from the Philippines and spoke to the FBI and the Las Vegas police, her attorney Matt Lombard confirmed.

“I will cooperate fully with their investigation,” she said in the statement. “Anything I can do to help ease suffering and help in any way, I will do.”

Danley said she was “devastated by the deaths.”

Almost three days after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, investigators appear no closer to answering the question: Why?

Danley’s statement sheds little light on what led the 64-year-old retired accountant to fire from his 32nd-floor hotel room window into a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers in the heart of Las Vegas.

Why did he continue firing with an arsenal of weapons for nine to 11 minutes? Paddock’s motive and aims still remain a mystery to investigators.

FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe said Wednesday that the lack of a clear motive was a “surprise” in this mass shooting.

“This one is somewhat different than many of the ones we’ve dealt with in the past because we don’t have any immediately accessible thumbprints that would indicate the shooter’s ideology or motivation, or really what compelled him to get there,” McCabe said.

Police believe Paddock acted alone when he sprayed gunfire on the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest music festival.

McCabe said the FBI was going through Paddock’s communications, financial records, associates and video surveillance — anything to try to piece together the puzzle of his motive.

“We will look at every one of those lanes, pull every possible thread,” he said.

Authorities are hoping to find answers from their interview with Danley on Wednesday.

In an interview with Seven Network Australia, Danley’s sisters said that Danley did not know about the shooting and was “sent away” before the attack.

Danley entered the Philippines on Sept. 15 and again on Sept. 25, traveling on her Australian passport, said Maria Antoinette Mangrobang, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines.

Danley’s sisters, who were not identified by name and whose faces were blurred, added that Danley would willingly cooperate with investigators.

“Of all the people that they have interviewed … no one can put the puzzles together — no one — except Marilou because Steve is not here to talk anymore,” Danley’s sister said. “Only Marilou can maybe help to solve this investigation and what and why he’s done this.”

Paddock had wired $100,000 to the Philippines, a law enforcement source said, but officials haven’t been able to say exactly when the money transfer took place or who was the recipient. The FBI is working with Philippine authorities to determine details.

Danley did not say Wednesday how much money Paddock wired her.

President Donald Trump, who visited Las Vegas victims, first responders and heroes on Wednesday, offered his own analysis of the shooter’s motives.

“He’s a sick, demented man,” Trump said. “The wires are screwed up.”

Paddock’s violent transformation has mystified everyone — his brother, investigators and the families he victimized included.

Paddock, who was twice divorced, liked to gamble, and at one time had jobs at the U.S. Post Office and the IRS, had no significant criminal history and was previously unknown to police.

President Trump said America was a “nation in mourning,” and praised the work of first responders, hospital staff, local leaders and the people of Las Vegas.

“Words cannot describe the bravery that the whole world witnessed on Sunday night,” he said. “Americans defied death and hatred with love and with courage.”

“When … the worst of humanity strikes, and strike it did, the best of humanity responds,” Trump said. “Parents and spouses used their own bodies as shields to protect their loved ones. Americans dashed into a hail of bullets to rescue total strangers.”

Separately, a GoFundMe for the victims of Las Vegas has raised almost $9 million as of Wednesday afternoon.

The evidence laid out by investigators so far shows Paddock meticulously planned the shooting.

He purchased 33 firearms, mostly rifles, between October 2016 and September 2017, according to an ATF spokesman.

The gunman checked into the room days in advance, stocked a cache of weapons there, and set up cameras inside his hotel suite and in the hallway.

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