Girlfriend of Las Vegas Gunman Breaks Silence Following Shooting: 'It Never Occurred to Me He Was Planning Violence'
"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," Marilou Danley said
The girlfriend of gunman Stephen Paddock claims she had no warning about his planned shooting spree at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday.
Marilou Danley said– via her lawyer – Wednesday that the man who fatally killed 58 people, was not the man she knew.
“I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man. I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him,” the 62-year-old said in a statement read by her lawyer, who described her as “a mother and a grandmother.”
“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’s statement continued.
Danley also confirmed reports that Paddock sent her to the Philippines while he carried out the massacre.
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“A little more than two weeks ago, Stephen told me he found a cheap ticket for me to the Philippines and that he wanted me to take a trip home to see my family,” she said. “Like all Filipinos abroad, I was excited to go home and see family and friends. While there he wired me money, which he said was for me to buy a house for me and my family. 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.”
Paddock reportedly wired Danley $100,000. Danley returned late Tuesday evening to Los Angeles, where FBI agents interviewed her on Wednesday.
“It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone,” she said. “I have not made a statement until now because I have been cooperating with the authorities and I voluntarily flew back to America because I know the FBI and Las Vegas Police Department wanted to talk to me and I wanted to talk to them. I will cooperate fully with their investigation. Anything I can do to help these suffering and help in any way, I will do. Please respect my privacy and my family’s privacy.”
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The extent of Danley’s knowledge about or connection — if any — to the mass shooting remains unclear.
Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo has described the Philippines-born Australian citizen a “person of interest.”
Officials said Paddock fired down onto a crowd of more than 22,000 people just after 10 p.m. on Sunday from his 32nd-floor hotel room at the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. According to police, the gunfire continued off and on for about nine to 11 minutes.
In that time he killed 58 people and injured more than 500.
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Authorities believe Paddock was using Danley’s identification at the hotel.
Paddock was found dead in his room of a self-inflicted gunshot wound before midnight, as law enforcement closed in.
Police searched a home in Mesquite, Nevada, about 85 miles from Las Vegas. It’s believed Paddock lived there with Danley. A Mesquite police spokesman previously told PEOPLE that neither Paddock nor Danley had prior run-ins with police.
How to Help
Friends and family are asked to report missing people believed to be connected to the shooting using the hotline 1-800-536-9488.
Anyone with photo or video evidence of the shooting is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.