Vegas Gunman Wired $100,000 to Girlfriend Before Massacre
Stephen Paddock wired $100,000 to his girlfriend in the Philippines one week before going on a crazed rampage in Las Vegas and killing 59 people.
The motives for the transaction are unclear, NBC reported.
Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley was due to arrive in the Philippines on Oct. 1. She left the United States for Hong Kong on Sept. 25.
Danley, 62, is a Philipinnes native and investigators say she likely traveled there to visit family.
According to the Brisbane Courier Mail, Danley is an Australian citizen. She lived on the Gold Coast for 20 years before moving to the United States.
Danley’s neighbors said she described herself as a gambler. Investigators found her slot-machine card in the hotel room from which Paddock fired on concert goers. Danley’s LinkedIn profile says that she is a “high-limit hostess” at a Vegas casino. Paddock was using Danley’s slot-machine card which investigators used to find her name.
Police first considered Danley a person of interest, but she was later cleared of suspicion.
According to the Las Vegas Sheriff’s Department, Danley was in Tokyo on Monday and was expected to return to the U.S. for questioning.
Law enforcement officials puzzled on Tuesday over what motivated Paddock, a retiree with no criminal record, to assemble an arsenal in a high-rise Las Vegas hotel and rain gunfire onto an outdoor concert.
Paddock ended Sunday night’s shooting spree, the deadliest in modern U.S. history, by killing himself. He left an arsenal of 42 guns but no clear clues as to why he staged the attack on a crowd of 20,000 from a 32nd-floor window of the Mandalay Bay hotel. More than 500 people were injured, some were trampled.
Federal, state, and local investigators have found no evidence that Paddock, 64, had even incidental contacts with foreign or domestic extremist groups, and reviews of his history show no underlying pattern of lawbreaking or hate speech, a senior U.S. homeland security official said on Tuesday.
“We cannot even rule out mental illness or some form of brain damage, although there’s no evidence of that, either,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the probe.
President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday that Paddock had been “a sick man, a demented man.” He declined to answer a question about whether he considered the attack an act of domestic terrorism.
U.S. officials discounted a claim of responsibility by ISIS and said they believed Paddock acted alone.
Although police said they had no other suspects, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said investigators wanted to talk with Paddock’s girlfriend and live-in companion, Marilou Danley, who he said was traveling abroad in Tokyo.
The closest Paddock ever appeared to have come to a brush with the law was a traffic infraction, authorities said.
Las Vegas Police said they would next provide an update on the investigation at 1 p.m. PT (1900 GMT).
Paddock seemed atypical of the troubled, angry, young men who experts said have come to embody the mass-shooter profile in the United States.
Public records on Paddock point to an itinerant existence across the West and Southeast parts of America, including stints as an apartment manager and an aerospace industry worker. He appeared to be settling in to a quiet life when he bought a home in a Nevada retirement community a few years ago.
His brother, Eric, described Stephen Paddock as financially well-off and an enthusiast of video poker games and cruises.
“It just makes less sense the more we use any kind of reason to figure it out,” Eric Paddock said in a text message on Tuesday. He added that he had not yet talked to Danley.
“Mary Lou is absolutely the closest person to Steve,” he wrote. “We are going to let her contact us if and when she decides she wants to.”
Police said 23 guns were found in Paddock’s suite at the Mandalay Bay hotel.
A search of his car turned up a supply of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be formed into explosives. Ammonium nitrate was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of a federal office building that killed 168 people, Lombardo said.
Police found another 19 firearms, explosives, and thousands of rounds of ammunition at Paddock’s home in Mesquite, 82 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
They obtained a warrant to search a second house connected to Paddock in Reno, Nevada.
Chris Sullivan, the owner of Mesquite’s Guns & Guitars shop, issued a statement confirming that Paddock was a customer who cleared background checks and said his business was cooperating with investigators.
Lombardo said investigators knew a gun dealer had come forward to say that he had sold weapons to the suspect, but it was not clear if he was referring to Sullivan. He said police were aware of other people engaged in those transactions, including at least one in Arizona.
Reuters contributed to this report.