LAS VEGAS (AP) – The girlfriend of the Las Vegas shooter said Wednesday that she had no idea he was planning an attack on the Strip and is devastated for the victims.
A lawyer for Marilou Danley read a statement from her after she was questioned by FBI agents in Los Angeles about her boyfriend, Stephen Paddock. Danley was out of the country at the time of Sunday’s attacks and said Paddock sent her to see her family in her native Philippines.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump traveled to Las Vegas to meet with law enforcement officers and survivors of the shooting outside the Mandalay Bay hotel casino that killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others.
More about the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history:
Danley, 62, called Paddock a “kind, caring, quiet man” and said she hoped to have a future with him. She said she was initially pleased when Paddock wired her money in the Philippines to buy a house for her family, but she later worried it was a way to break up with her.
“It never occurred to me in any whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone,” she said.
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe , speaking at a cybersecurity forum Wednesday in Boston, said investigators are busy “reconstructing the life, the behavior, the pattern of activity of this individual and anyone and everyone who may have crossed his path in the days and the weeks leading up to this horrific event.”
Asked if investigators had determined why Paddock carried out the attack, he said, “We are not there yet.”
Paddock, a 64-year-old retired accountant and multimillionaire real estate investor, specifically requested an upper-floor room with a view of the music festival, according to a person who has seen hotel records turned over to investigators.
Paddock wasn’t able to move into the room until Saturday, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly and disclosed the information to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The room goes for $590 but was given to Paddock for free because he was a good customer who wagered tens of thousands of dollars during each visit, the person said.
Casino regulators are looking closely at Paddock’s gambling habits and checking their records to see whether he had any disputes with casinos or fellow patrons. In addition, investigators are examining a dozen financial reports filed in recent weeks when he bought more than $10,000 in casino chips.
President Donald Trump traveled to Las Vegas, where he met privately with shooting victims and their families and told the city that the nation stands with them to share in their grief.
Trump also told first responders that they should be proud of the way they responded to the massacre.
He said that he met “some of the most amazing people” during his visit to a hospital where victims were recovering and that he’s invited some of the survivors to the White House for a visit.
On his trip from the airport, the president’s motorcade drove past the Mandalay Bay hotel where the gunman fired down into the concert crowd. The president also drove past his own Trump hotel.
The 58 victims included a father of six, a man who died in his boyfriend’s arms and a university student who was studying health care management.
More than 500 people were injured in the attacks. About 150 are still hospitalized, with about 50 in critical condition Wednesday night, hospital officials said.
The injured ended up in 13 hospitals scattered across southern Nevada, with most of them treated and released.
POSSIBLE GUN LEGISLATION
Senior congressional Republicans said Wednesday they were open to considering legislation banning “bump stocks” like Paddock used to effectively convert semi-automatic rifles into fully automated weapons.
The comments from lawmakers including the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, marked a surprising departure from GOP lawmakers’ general antipathy to any kind of gun regulations. But they were far from a guarantee of a path forward for the new legislation by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., especially with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan making clear their priorities are elsewhere.
Other GOP legislators who seemed open to banning “bump stocks” included Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and John Thune of South Dakota.
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