The girlfriend of the Las Vegas shooter said on Thursday she had no idea that he was planning the attack, describing her boyfriend as a “quiet, caring man” as President Donald Trump declared the United States a nation in mourning.
In her first public comments over the shooting at a country music concert that left 58 dead and 489 wounded, Marilou Danley said she had hoped for a quiet future with Stephen Paddock.
In Las Vegas, Mr Trump visited with survivors and first responders, eulogising parents and spouses who “used their own bodies to protect their loved ones” from the onslaught that eliminated any future for many.
He toured the Las Vegas police department command center and the city’s university medical center, where he met, among others, officer Tyler Peterson who was injured while responding to the shooting.
“In the months ahead, we will all have to wrestle with the horror that unfolded this week. But we will struggle through it together,” the President said.
Air Force One touched down at McCarran International Airport as the FBI was questioning Danley for clues to what drove Paddock to mass murder.
The 62-year-old returned to the United States from her native Philippines late on Wednesday and was met by FBI agents.
In a statement read by her attorney Matthew Lombard, she said she had no hint of what was to come: “I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man.”
“I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him,” she said. “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,” she said.
Danley added that two weeks ago, Paddock had told her he found a cheap plane ticket for her to visit family in the Philippines and had wired her money to purchase a house while she was there.
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,” said Danley.
It’s party time in Vegas again
- Just days after a gunman killed 58 people at an outdoor concert, the party in Las Vegas seemed to be back on.
- Two faux showgirls in pink headdresses tried to hustle a few dollars off tourists gathered to watch. A group of men drinking beers stopped briefly to ogle the action and take pics.
- The fountains at the Bellagio casino went off like clockwork, the water swaying and pulsating in time to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”
- A small makeshift memorial was set up outside the Bellagio and at the famous roadside sign that welcomes tourists to “fabulous Las Vegas.”
- But in a place where normal is sometimes hard to define, little else seemed amiss.
- This is a city built on adult fun, where on any given day many visitors are looking for a good time.
- 43 million people visit Las Vegas every year, and there’s no shortage of things for them to do.