Girlfriend of Las Vegas Gunman Back in U.S.
The girlfriend of the gunman who carried out Sunday’s massacre in Las Vegas is back on U.S. soil, a law-enforcement official confirmed, opening up a new avenue for investigators searching for a motive in one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.
Marilou Danley left the Philippines on Tuesday night local time and headed for Los Angeles, said Maria Antonette Mangrobang, spokeswoman for the Philippine Bureau of Immigration. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents met Ms. Danley when she landed in L.A., the law-enforcement official said.
Police have said they don’t believe Ms. Danley was involved in the shooting, and she was out of the country when it happened. But she could potentially help authorities gain insight into the elusive motive behind Stephen Paddock’s Sunday-night rampage, which left 58 people dead after he fired bullets from a hotel room onto a crowd at a country-music festival across the street. More than 500 people were injured in the shooting and the chaos that followed.
She’s “a person of interest,” said Joseph Lombardo, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department sheriff, during a press conference Tuesday.
Paddock, a 64-year-old retiree and avid gambler, killed himself before a SWAT team breached his 32nd-floor hotel suite and firing perch at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, police said.
While the search for Paddock’s motive continues, a picture of how he carried out the attack is steadily emerging. Authorities believe he brought 24 firearms to his hotel suite, where he broke two windows and fired intermittently for nine to 11 minutes onto the crowded festival. He also rigged three cameras, including one inside the peephole of the hotel-room door, so he could monitor the hallway outside his room, police said.
On Tuesday night, authorities said they have recovered a total of 47 firearms linked to Paddock, including those in the hotel room and others found in his two Nevada homes. Authorities have released changing figures on the weapons count during their investigation.
Authorities said they also found a large stockpile of ammunition and an explosive that detonates when shot by bullets in one of Paddock’s homes. Ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be used to make explosives, was found in his car.
Paddock had wired tens of thousands of dollars to the Philippines in recent weeks, a federal law-enforcement official said.
Ms. Danley arrived in Manila from Tokyo on Sept. 15 before departing from Manila for Hong Kong on Sept. 22, according to Ms. Mangrobang. Ms. Danley then returned to Manila from Hong Kong on Sept. 25, Ms. Mangrobang said.
Ms. Danley worked from 2010 to 2013 as a casino hostess catering to higher-spending players at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nev., according to her LinkedIn page. Monarch Casino & Resort Inc., which owns Atlantis, said she left the company several years ago. The company said it is cooperating with law enforcement.
In a tearful interview on an Australian television station, two women described as Ms. Danley’s sisters said they believe Paddock sent her away so that she wouldn’t interfere with his plans. The women—they chose to remain anonymous, according to Seven News—said Paddock acted alone and that their sister would be shocked by what happened.
“She was sent away,” one sister said. “She was away so that she will be not there to interfere with what he’s planning.”
One sister described Ms. Danley as “a good person and gentle soul,” and also a mother, grandmother, sister and friend. One sister also said that Ms. Danley could potentially help the investigation because Paddock is no longer alive to talk.