In the wake of the horrific Las Vegas mass shooting, investigators have been looking for anything to point towards a motive for Stephen Paddock‘s killing spree. After open firing on a country music festival from a room at the Mandalay Bay hotel, Paddock killed 59 concertgoers and injured 525 more. Paddock had acquired an arsenal of 23 firearms (including AR-15-style and AK-47-style rifles), racked up large gambling debts, and sent $100,000 dollars to his girlfriend in the Philippines in the days before his act of terror.
Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, returned from the Philippines on Wednesday after visiting family, and the FBI is hoping that she has some answers. In a statement made through her attorney, Danley expressed disbelief that her boyfriend was capable of such a shocking act of violence.
“I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man. 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. I am devastated by the deaths and injuries that have occurred and my prayers go out to the victims and their families and all those who have been hurt by these awful events.”
According to the report from the Washington Post, Paddock had purchased a ticket to the Philippines for Danley, explaining that he wanted her to visit her family. Additionally, the $100k that he wired to her was intended to help purchase a home for Danley and her family. These actions did not raise any red flags for Danley.
“I was grateful, but honestly, I was worried, that first, the unexpected trip home, and then the money, was a way of breaking up with me. It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone.”
Danley has agreed to cooperate with the authorities in the investigation, and police have labeled her as a “person of interest.” The Washington Post reports that the basis of their investigation is twofold: “Did she have any idea what motivated him, and did she have any knowledge of what was about to take place and not alert authorities?”
(Via the Washington Post)