Las Vegas gunman’s girlfriend returns to US for questioning

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Las Vegas gunman’s girlfriend returns to US for questioning
Las Vegas gunman’s girlfriend returns to US for questioning

LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Las Vegas gunman’s girlfriend, back in the United States after a weekslong trip abroad, will be at the center of the investigation into the shooting deaths of 59 people as authorities try to determine why a man with no known record of violence or crime would open fire on a concert crowd from a high-rise hotel.

Stephen Paddock’s girlfriend Marilou Danley, 62, who was in the Philippines at the time of the shooting, was met by FBI agents at the airport in Los Angeles late Tuesday night, according to a law enforcement official.

The official wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, who has called Danley a “person of interest” in the attack, said that “we anticipate some information from her shortly,” and said he is “absolutely” confident authorities will find out what set off Paddock, a 64-year-old high-stakes gambler and retired accountant who killed himself before police stormed his 32nd-floor room.

Danley first arrived in the Philippines on Sept. 15, according to immigration documents there. She departed on Sept. 22 then returned three days later on a flight from Hong Kong. She was traveling on an Australian passport.

Philippines immigration bureau spokeswoman Antonette Mangrobang said authorities there had been working with U.S. officials.

“From the very beginning, we have been providing them necessary information that would aid their investigation,” Mangrobang said.

Danley’s Australia-based sisters say they believe Paddock sent her away so she wouldn’t interfere with his plans.

Australia’s Channel 7 TV network interviewed the sisters with their faces obscured and their names withheld. They said they believe their sister couldn’t have known about his ideas.

The woman said Danley is “a good person” who would’ve stopped Paddock had she been there.

One of the sisters, who live near Brisbane, Queensland, said they believed Marilou knew Paddock had guns, but not as many as he had.

“She probably was even (more) shocked than us because she is more closer to him than us,” her sister said.

Paddock traveled at least twice to the Philippines, where his girlfriend was born, according to a Filipino official who was not authorized to discuss the trips publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said Paddock visited the Philippines in 2013 and 2014, around his birthday, staying for five to six days on both occasions. There were no immediate details available about those trips, according to the official.

Paddock transferred $100,000 to the Philippines in the days before the shooting, a U.S. official briefed by law enforcement but not authorized to speak publicly because of the continuing investigation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Investigators are still trying to trace that money and also looking into a least a dozen financial reports over the past several weeks that said Paddock gambled more than $10,000 per day, the official said.

As for what may have set Paddock off, retired FBI profiler Jim Clemente speculated that there was “some sort of major trigger in his life – a great loss, a breakup, or maybe he just found out he has a terminal disease.”

Clemente said a “psychological autopsy” may be necessary to try to establish the motive. If the suicide didn’t destroy Paddock’s brain, experts may even find a neurological disorder or malformation, he said.

He said there could be a genetic component to the slaughter: Paddock’s father was a bank robber who was on the FBI’s most-wanted list in the 1960s and was diagnosed a psychopath.

“The genetics load the gun, personality and psychology aim it, and experiences pull the trigger, typically,” Clemente said.

Paddock had a business degree from Cal State Northridge. In the 1970s and ’80s, he worked as a mail carrier and an IRS agent and held down a job in an auditing division of the Defense Department, according to the government. He later worked for a defense contractor.

He had no known criminal record, and public records showed no signs of financial troubles.

Nevada’s Gaming Control Board said it will pass along records compiled on Paddock and his girlfriend to investigators.

His brother, Eric Paddock, said he was at a loss to explain the massacre.

“No affiliation, no religion, no politics. He never cared about any of that stuff,” he said outside his Florida home.

Eric Paddock said his brother did show a confrontational side at times: He apparently hated cigarette smoke so much that he carried around a cigar and blew smoke in people’s faces when they lit up around him.

Lombardo said the investigation is proceeding cautiously in case criminal charges are warranted against someone else.

“This investigation is not ended with the demise of Mr. Paddock,” the sheriff said. “Did this person get radicalized unbeknownst to us? And we want to identify that source.”

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump is set to arrive in Las Vegas to meet with public officials, first responders and some of the 527 people injured in the attack. At least 45 patients at two hospitals remained in critical condition.

All but three of the dead had been identified by Tuesday afternoon, Lombardo said.

Some investigators turned their focus Tuesday from the shooter’s perch to the festival grounds where his victims fell.

A dozen investigators, most in FBI jackets and all wearing blue booties to avoid contaminating the scene, documented evidence at the site where gunfire rained down and country music gave way to screams of pain and terror.

“Shoes, baby strollers, chairs, sunglasses, purses. The whole field was just littered with things,” said Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt after touring the site Monday. “There were bloodstains everywhere.”

While Paddock’s motive has proved elusive, investigators have found no shortage of evidence of how Paddock carried out the elaborate attack.

He planned the massacre so meticulously that he even set up cameras inside the peephole of his high-rise hotel room and on a service cart outside his door, apparently to spot anyone coming for him, authorities said.

Investigators also found a computer and 23 guns with him at the hotel, along with 12 “bump stock” devices that can enable a rifle to fire continuously, like an automatic weapon, authorities said. Nineteen more guns were found at Paddock’s Mesquite home and seven at his Reno house.

Two Las Vegas hotels temporarily stepped up screening of bags in response to the attack.

Visitors at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore had bags checked by security employees with metal detectors upon entry beginning early Monday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

A hotel spokesman said they’ve since returned to the practice of only scanning bags and guests when they “believe the need arises.”

Authorities released police body camera video that showed the chaos of the attack as officers tried to figure out the location of the shooter and shuttle people to safety. Amid sirens and volleys of gunfire, people yelled “they’re shooting right at us” while officers shouted “go that way!”

Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said the shooting spanned between nine and 11 minutes.

The cameras Paddock set up at the Mandalay Bay hotel casino were part of his extensive preparations that included stockpiling nearly two dozen guns in his room before opening fire on the concert below. McMahill said the cameras included one in the peephole and two in the hallway.

“I anticipate he was looking for anybody coming to take him into custody,” Lombardo said.

During the Sunday night rampage, a hotel security guard who approached the room was shot through the door and wounded in the leg.

“The fact that he had the type of weaponry and amount of weaponry in that room, it was preplanned extensively,” the sheriff said, “and I’m pretty sure he evaluated everything that he did and his actions, which is troublesome.”

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Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines; Brian Skoloff, Regina Garcia Cano and Sally Ho in Las Vegas; Brian Melley and Andrew Dalton in Los Angeles; and Sadie Gurman and Tami Abdollah in Washington contributed to this report.

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For complete coverage of the Las Vegas shooting, click here: -https://apnews.com/tag/LasVegasmassshooting.

This undated photo provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Marilou Danley. Danley, 62, returned to the United States from the Philippines on Tuesday night, Oct. 3, 2017, and was met at Los Angeles International Airport by FBI agents, according to a law enforcement official. Authorities are trying to determine why Stephen Paddock, Danley’s boyfriend, killed dozens of people in Las Vegas Oct. 1, in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP, File)
Philippine Bureau of Immigration spokesperson Attorney Ma. Antonette Mangrobang shows the travel records of Marilou Danley in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. Records showed Danley left the Philippines on Oct. 3. Danley was the girlfriend of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
This undated photo provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Marilou Danley. Girlfriend of the active shooter in the Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, incident, Danley, 62, returned to the United States from the Philippines on Tuesday night and was met at Los Angeles International Airport by FBI agents, according to a law enforcement official. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP)
FILE – In this Monday, Oct. 2, 2017 file photo, drapes billow out of broken windows at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, following a mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas. From two broken-out windows of the resort, Stephen Craig Paddock had an unobstructed view to rain automatic gunfire on the crowd, with few places for them to hide. Sunday night’s bloodbath left dozens of people dead and hundreds wounded. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
FILE – In this Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 file photo, medics treat the wounded as Las Vegas police respond during an active shooter situation on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. The deadly shooting from a high-rise hotel by Stephen Craig Paddock that killed dozens of people in a packed concert below has forced other cities to examine their tactics for dealing with this kind of nightmare scenario. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, File)
FILE – In this Dec. 31, 2015 file photo, a New York police officer uses binoculars while keeping watch from a rooftop along Times Square during New Year’s Eve celebrations in New York. A Las Vegas shooting from a high-rise hotel that killed dozens of people in a packed concert below on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, has forced other cities to examine their tactics for dealing with this kind of nightmare scenario. In New York, which hosts Times Square New Year’s Eve and other events surrounded by high-rises, police say they use rooftop snipers to scan for threats, and make security sweeps of nearby hotels. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
FILE – In this Sept. 27, 2014 file photo, a sniper team stands watch during a visit by the prime minister of India to the National September 11 Memorial, in New York. A Las Vegas shooting from a high-rise hotel that killed dozens of people in a packed concert below on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, has forced other cities to examine their tactics for dealing with this kind of nightmare scenario. In New York, which hosts Times Square New Year’s Eve and other events surrounded by high-rises, police say they use rooftop snipers to scan for threats, and make security sweeps of nearby hotels. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)
FILE – In this Sept. 11, 2011 file photo, Secret Service snipers keep watch from the roof of the Sept. 11 Memorial Museum during the ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. A Las Vegas shooting from a high-rise hotel that killed dozens of people in a packed concert below on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, has forced other cities to examine their tactics for dealing with this kind of nightmare scenario. In New York, which hosts Times Square New Year’s Eve and other events surrounded by high-rises, police say they use rooftop snipers to scan for threats, and make security sweeps of nearby hotels. (AP Photo/Timothy A. Clary, Pool, File)
A girl places candles at a memorial for victims of the mass shooting Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, with dozens killed and hundreds injured, some by gunfire, some during the chaotic escape. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
A woman places a candle at a memorial for victims of the mass shooting Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, with dozens killed and hundreds injured, some by gunfire, some during the chaotic escape. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
People pause at a memorial set up for victims of a mass shooting in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. Authorities are trying to determine why Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old high-stakes gambler and retired accountant, killed dozens of people at a country music festival Sunday in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People take photos of the fountain at the Bellagio hotel in front of a memorial for victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, with dozens killed and hundreds injured, some by gunfire, some during the chaotic escape. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
People pause at a memorial set up for victims of a mass shooting in Las Vegas, on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, with dozens of people killed and hundreds injured, some by gunfire, some during the chaotic escape. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
A single rose is left at the door of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino in Las Vegas, on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, with dozens of people killed and hundreds injured, some by gunfire, some during the chaotic escape. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People pause at a memorial set up for victims of a mass shooting in Las Vegas, on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, with dozens of people killed and hundreds injured, some by gunfire, some during the chaotic escape. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People take photos of the fountain at the Bellagio hotel in front of a memorial for victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, with dozens killed and hundreds injured, some by gunfire, some during the chaotic escape. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
People pause at a memorial set up for victims of a mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nev., on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, with dozens of people killed and hundreds injured, some by gunfire, some during the chaotic escape. (AP Photo/John Locher)
FBI agents walk on the roof of boxes inside the concert grounds where a mass shooting occurred in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. Authorities are trying to determine why Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old high-stakes gambler and retired accountant, killed dozens of people at Route 91 Harvest, a country music festival, Sunday in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Mike Kordich, a firefighter from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., answers questions from his hospital bed at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. Kordich was giving a severely injured person CPR when he was hit by a bullet after a gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)
An investigator works in the room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino where a gunman opened fire from on a music festival Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. The gunman killed dozens and injuring hundreds at the festival. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Debris litters a festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay resort and casino Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. Authorities said Stephen Craig Paddock broke windows on the casino and began firing with a cache of weapons, killing dozens and injuring hundreds at a music festival at the grounds. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Kris Delarosby, right, and Colleen Anderson, left, hold Charleen Jochim, center, as they walk towards a hospital in search of information on a missing friend, Steven Berger of Minnesota, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. The parents of Berger, who had been missing after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, say they have been notified on Tuesday afternoon that he was killed in the attack. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
This undated photo provided by Eric Paddock shows his brother, Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock. On Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival killing dozens and wounding hundreds. (Courtesy of Eric Paddock via AP)
The Mandalay Bay resort and casino, right, overlooks an outdoor festival grounds across the street, left, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. Authorities said Stephen Craig Paddock broke the windows on the casino and began firing with a cache of weapons, killing dozens and injuring hundreds at a music festival at the grounds. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Mandalay Bay resort and casino towers over the festival area.
The festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay resort and casino, where a mass shooting occurred, is seen at nighttime Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. Authorities said Stephen Craig Paddock broke windows at the resort and began firing with a cache of weapons Sunday, killing dozens and injuring hundreds at a music festival. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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