Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooter’s Girlfriend Thought Trip Home Meant He Was Breaking Up With Her
After voluntarily returning to the United States on Tuesday evening (Oct. 3), Marilou Danley, the girlfriend of Stephen Paddock, the man who opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Sunday night (Oct. 1), has made her first public statement. Via a lawyer, Danley says it "never occurred" to her "in any way whatsoever" that her boyfriend was planning the shooting in Las Vegas, Nev.; rather, she thought he was breaking up with her.
In her statement, Danley confirms that, about two weeks ago, Paddock told her that he'd found a cheap ticket for her to go back to the Philippines and visit her family. "Like all Filipinos abroad," she says, "I was excited to go home and see family and friends." While she was in the Philippines, Paddock wired Danley a large sum of money -- reportedly about $100,000 -- to, he told her, buy a house for herself and her family.
"I was grateful, but honestly, I was worried that ... [he was] breaking up with me," Danley says. "It never occurred to me, in any way whatsoever, that he was planning violence against anyone."
In her statement, Danley expresses her condolences for "all those who have been hurt by these awful events." As a mother and a grandmother, she says, "my heart breaks for all who have lost loved ones."
"I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man. I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him," Danley says. "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."
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Danley notes that she waited until Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 4) to make her first statement because she was cooperating with authorities. Because Danley is an Australian citizen, and because she did not fly directly from the United States to the Philippines, she could not be deported from the Philippines back to America; additionally, unless she was charged with a crime, she could not be extradited.
"I wanted to talk to them," Danley says of why she returned to the U.S. "I will cooperate fully with their investigation. Anything that I can do to ease suffering and help in any way, I will do."
Danley, 62, was originally described as a person of interest in the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting. U.S., Philippines and Australia authorities were all involved in finding her; she is being questioned by the FBI.
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