Vegas Gunman Sent Girlfriend Away So She Wouldn't Interfere with Mass Shooting, Her Sisters Claim

Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock sent his girlfriend away to the Philippines days before his attack so she wouldn't interfere, her sisters claimed

The gunman who opened fire on a crowd of thousands in Las Vegas on Sunday night sent his girlfriend to the Philippines days before his attack so that she wouldn’t interfere, her sisters claimed in a new interview.

Marilou Danley, 62, reportedly arrived back in the U.S. late Tuesday — two days after police say her boyfriend, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, gunned down 58 people and injured more than 500 others at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival.

Las Vegas authorities described Danley, reportedly an Australian citizen who has lived in the U.S. for years, as a “person of interest” in the investigation, but they have not been more specific.

She was met Tuesday night by federal agents at her plane in Los Angeles, the New York Times reports. Video obtained by NBC News appears to show her being escorted through the airport in a wheelchair.

Danley was not arrested after landing and has not been charged in connection with the shooting, according to the Times, which reports that she had been in the Philippines since Sept. 25.

She could not immediately be reached for comment by PEOPLE.

The extent of Danley’s knowledge about or connection — if any — to Sunday’s mass shooting remains unclear. Her sisters said they believe Paddock sent her on the trip to the Philippines two weeks ago so she wouldn’t try to disrupt the attack.

“I know that she doesn’t know anything as well, like us,” one of the sisters, who both asked to remain anonymous, told 7 News in Australia. “She was sent away. She was away so that she will not be there to interfere with what he’s planning.”

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Police want to track down Marilou Danley
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Before the shooting, Paddock wired $127,000 to the Philippines, though the recipient of those funds remains unclear, according to 7 News.

“He sent her away so that he can plan what he is planning without interruptions,” one of Danley’s sisters told the outlet. “In that sense, I thank him for sparing my sister’s life. But that won’t be to compensate the [58] people’s lives.”

“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,’ ” the sister said.

Police say 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 casino. According to authorities, the gunfire continued off and on for about nine to 11 minutes.

Paddock was found dead in his room of a self-inflicted gunshot wound before midnight, as law enforcement closed in.

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“Marilou Danley is my sister. She’s a good person and gentle soul. A mother, a grandmother, a sister, a friend,” one of her sisters told 7 News.

The other sister said Danley “probably was even [more] shocked than us because she is more closer to him [Paddock] than us.”

“No one can put the puzzles together, no one except Marilou, because Steve is not here to talk anymore,” the sister said. “Only Marilou can maybe help.”

Paddock’s family has echoed that confusion, with his brother saying he was “dumbfounded” by the shooting.

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.

A victims’ fund has been started on GoFundMe by Steve Sisolak, the Clark County, Nevada, commission chair. Other groups providing relief include the local chapter of the American Red Cross and the National Compassion Fund.

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