‘I loved him’: Las Vegas gunman’s girlfriend Marilou Danley says she had no clue he was planning attack
‘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’
The girlfriend of the Las Vegas attacker said on Wednesday she had no clue her partner was planning the carnage that left nearly 60 people dead.
“I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man,” Marilou Danley said in a statement read by her lawyer Matthew Lombard.
“I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him.
“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.”
Danley added that two weeks ago, Paddock had told her he found a cheap plane ticket for her to visit family in the Philippines.
“Like all Filipinos abroad, I was excited to go home and see family and friends,” that statement said. “While there, he wired me money, which he said was for me to buy a house for me and my family.”
She said she became concerned at that point, thinking he wanted to break up with her.
“It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone.”
Danley said she was devastated by Sunday night’s attack on concertgoers - the worst mass shooting in modern US history - and her prayers went out to all the victims.
“I am a mother and grandmother and my heart breaks for all who have lost loved ones,” she said.
Danley, who said she had voluntarily flown back to Los Angeles on Wednesday, added that she was cooperating fully with the FBI in their investigation.
Watch: girlfriend of Las Vegas gunman returns to US
A law enforcement official says the girlfriend of the Las Vegas gunman has arrived in the US from the Philippines and been met by FBI agents at the airport.
The official said Marilou Danley arrived at Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday night.
The official wasn’t authorised to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Clark County Sheriff has said Danley, 62, is considered a “person of interest” after her boyfriend, Stephen Paddock, opened fire from his hotel room, killing 58 people at a musical performance.
Philippines-born Australian Danley has been in the Philippines since September, sources in Manila said.
“Her trip back to the US was coordinated with FBI authorities,” a Philippines police official said. Danley had left Manila unescorted but was to be met by the FBI on her arrival in the US, the official said.
He said she was returning to clear her name of any involvement in the worst mass shooting in modern US history.
Given how little has emerged in Paddock’s past that could foreshadow the attack, the “best lead is through this girlfriend,” said Republican Senator Dean Heller of Nevada.
“They don’t know a lot about who the girlfriend is and why she left the country a week prior to the shooting,” said Heller, who has been briefed by authorities. “She is someone they need to have this discussion with to better understand the shooting and what his thought process was.”
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said on Wednesday morning that he is surprised they have not found evidence pointing to the gunman’s motive yet.
“There’s all kinds of things that surprise us in each one of these events,” McCabe told CNBC.
“This individual and this attack didn’t leave the sort of immediately accessible thumbprints that you find on some mass casualty attack. We look for actual indicators of affiliation, of motive, of intent, and so far we’re not there. We don’t have those sort of indicators.”
McCabe said agents have been reconstructing “the life, the behaviour, the pattern of activity of this individual and anyone and everyone who may have crossed his path in the days and the weeks leading up to this horrific event.”
Watch: Las Vegas gunman profile
Authorities in Manila, citing the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, said Paddock had transferred US$100,000 to Danley in the Philippines.
“Danley arrived in the Philippines last month, and then there was a wire transfer to her account for $100,000 from Stephen,” Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigation spokesman Nick Suarez said.
“The FBI has coordinated with the Philippine office of the Interpol to look for her.”
Paddock, who killed himself moments before police stormed a hotel suite he had transformed into a sniper’s nest on Sunday night, left no clear clues about why he staged his attack on an outdoor concert below the high-rise building. More than 500 people were wounded.
Law enforcement authorities are hoping to obtain some answers from Danley, who has been identified as Paddock’s live-in companion.
The Philippine police official said authorities in Manila were told that Paddock used identification belonging to Danley, who has an Australian passport, when checking in to the Las Vegas hotel.
Danley is an Australian citizen who moved to the United States 20 years ago to work on the casino strip, the Australian government confirmed Tuesday.
“There are reports her ID was used for booking the hotel or some such detail,” Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.
“Australia will support the US authorities in their investigation in whatever way we can, but we have not had contact with Marilou Danley directly.”
Additional reporting by Associated Press and The Washington Post