Girlfriend of Las Vegas suspect returns to U.S.; Trump to visit ‘heroes’

A makeshift memorial for the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas appears on the northwest corner of Sahara and Las Vegas Blvds. on Tuesday. Fifty-nine people were killed and hundreds injured late Sunday at an outdoor country music festival nearby. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

Oct. 4 (UPI) — The girlfriend of the accused Las Vegas shooter has returned to the United States and was met by federal agents at the airport, as investigators try to get closer to a motive for the deadly attack that killed nearly 60 people.

Marilou Danley, described by police as suspect Stephen Paddock’s girlfriend who lived with him in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nev., about 80 miles from Las Vegas, returned from the Philippines late Tuesday. She was met by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on arrival in Los Angeles and will be interviewed by Las Vegas police on Wednesday.

Police previously said Danley, 62, a casino worker and Australian citizen, is not suspected in the shooting plot. Authorities believe, however, that she might have information that will aid in the investigation.

Nick Suarez, spokesman for the Philippines’ National Bureau of investigation, said Paddock wired $100,000 to Danley while she was in the Philippines.

Her sisters in Australia said in a television interview that they believed Paddock sent Danley out of the country so she would not affect his plans.

“She was sent away. She was away so that she will be not there to interfere with what he’s planning. She didn’t even know that she was going to the Philippines until Steve said ‘Marilou, I found you a cheap ticket to the Philippines,'” they told Australia’s Channel 7 News, The Telegraph reported on Wednesday.

Paddock was prescribed an anti-anxiety drug in June, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. He purchased 50 10-milligram tablets of diazepam, known as Valium, at a Reno pharmacy on the day it was prescribed.The medication is a sedatuive-hypnotic drug in the class of benzodizepines, which studies say can trigger aggressive behavior.

Paddock also had an assortment of cameras in his room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, from which police say he fired at attendees of a concert across the street for between nine and 11 minutes Sunday night.

The shooting was “obviously premeditated,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.

Undersheriff Kevin McMahill later said another camera was located within the hotel room’s door peephole, giving Paddock the ability to see much of the hallway outside his 32nd floor room. Police said Tuesday that 23 firearms were found in Paddock’s hotel room.

Jill Snyder, agent of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said Tuesday that Paddock kept 47 weapons, not 49 as originally reported, in his Mesquite home and his Las Vegas hotel room. Some recovered from the hotel room she said, were equipped with a legal device known as a “bump stock,” which increases a weapon’s rate of fire. She cited the ongoing investigation in declining to answer questions.

Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg said the death toll of 59 was revised to 58, not including Paddock, who police said killed himself as officers closed in on him. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is continuing to confirm identities of those who died in the shooting barrage. One person who was injured in the shooting died Tuesday at Las Vegas’ Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, officials said.

Lombardo said the injury count, originally placed at 527, would likely decline due to counting errors.

The sheriff added that officers “saved hundreds of lives” by engaging the gunman in his hotel room instead of awaiting a SWAT team. McMahill later said that the first police officers to arrive at Paddock’s hotel room waited until firing stopped. The SWAT team then entered the room, where Paddock was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The first body camera footage of police responding to the shooting was released on Tuesday, showing police crouching behind a wall directing concertgoers as they ran for cover. The officers were near a police car on Las Vegas Boulevard, the road between the hotel and the concert site, where one officer was shot, McMahill said.

Police at the scene wore 67 body cameras, he added.

President Donald Trump is expected to visit Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s a very sad thing,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House early Wednesday. “We’re going to pay our respects. The police who have done, really, a fantastic job in a very short time, and yeah, they’re learning a lot more. And that’ll be announced at the appropriate time. It’s a very, very sad day for me, personally.”

The president and first lady Melania Trump are scheduled to visit a Las Vegas hospital to see patients and medical professionals before going to an undisclosed location to meet with what the White House schedule identified as “civilian heroes” and first responders.


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