LAS VEGAS (CBSNewYork/AP) — The girlfriend of the gunman who opened fire on concertgoers in Las Vegas Sunday returned to the U.S. after a trip abroad and was met by investigators seeking to question her for clues to what drove Stephen Paddock to slaughter 58 people from his high-rise hotel suite.
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, Marilou Danley, 62, was in the Philippines at the time of the shooting. A U.S. official said she flew back and landed at Los Angeles International Airport overnight, where she was met by FBI agents, CBS News’ Mola Lenghi reported.
Danley’s attorney, Matthew Lombard, read a statement she issued about Paddock.
“I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, quiet, caring man,” the statement said. “He never said anything to me or took any action I was aware of as a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen.”
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, who has called Danley a “person of interest” in the attack, said that “we anticipate some information from her shortly,” and said he is “absolutely” confident authorities will find out what set off Paddock, a 64-year-old high-stakes gambler and retired accountant who killed himself before police stormed his 32nd-floor room.
Danley went to Philippines in mid-September. Law enforcement officials tell CBS News that while Danley was there, Paddock transferred tens of thousands of dollars overseas.
Paddock’s brother thinks he sent the money to protect Danley.
“He wanted — he manipulated her to be completely as far away from this and safe when he did this,” Eric Paddock said.
Sources tell CBS News that it’s unclear whether the money went to Danley or to her family in the Philippines. They say that there have been more than 100 suspicious reports of Paddock transferring cash overseas.
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, Danley’s sisters in Australia said in a TV interview there that they believe she couldn’t have known about Paddock’s murderous plans and that he must have sent her away so she wouldn’t interfere.
The sisters, whose faces were obscured and their names withheld, said Danley is “a good person” who would’ve stopped Paddock had she been there.
“He sent her away,” one of the sisters said. “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.”
Danley reportedly thought Paddock was transferring the money so she could buy a house in the Philippines, and thought it was his way of breaking up with her.
Meanwhile, late Wednesday, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo provided an update on those killed and injured in the massacre. He said 58 people had been killed – with the count of 59 reported over the past several days including the gunman.
Meanwhile, the number of injured people has been reduced from 527 to 489, and 317 patients have been discharged, Lombardo said. At least 45 patients at two hospitals remained in critical condition, officials said earlier.
Also Wednesday, police released new body camera video showing the chaotic and confusing moments when officers arrived on the scene of Sunday’s deadly mass shooting.
The officers are heard shouting warnings to each other in the chaos that was unfolding as Paddock unleashed a hail of bullets from weapons in his 32nd floor suite at the Mandalay Bay, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
Amid sirens and volleys of gunfire, people yelled “they’re shooting right at us” while officers shouted “go that way!”
Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said the shooting spanned between nine and 11 minutes. Police say Paddock also set up surveillance cameras in the hallway outside of his hotel room.
“I anticipate he was looking for anybody coming to take him into custody,” Lombardo said.
Investigators also found a computer and 23 guns with him at the hotel, along with 12 “bump stock” devices that can enable a rifle to fire continuously, like an automatic weapon, authorities said. Nineteen more guns were found at Paddock’s Mesquite home and seven at his Reno house.
“The fact that he had that type of weaponry and amount of weaponry in that room, it was pre-planned extensively and I am pretty sure he evaluated everything that he did and his actions,” said Lombardo.
Jill Snyder, the special agent in charge at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, told “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday that Paddock purchased 33 firearms, mostly rifles, between October 2016 and Sept. 28, three days before he opened fire on a concert crowd.
Snyder said authorities wouldn’t get notified of the purchase of rifles, but would get notified if there was a multiple sale of two or more handguns in one purchase.
Christopher Sullivan is the general manager of the Mesquite, Nevada gun shop where he says Paddock bought five firearms over the last year. The last one was purchased on the very day that Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay hotel.
Sullivan said it made him “physically ill” to know that they had interacted with Paddock.
“I may have very well been the last person to shake hands with that man,” he said. “We can’t control what someone does once they leave this store. ”
Lombardo also said late Wednesday that a search of Paddock’s car parked at the Mandalay Bay turned up 10 one-pound and 20 two-pound containers of the explosive component Tannerite, and 16 pounds of ammunition.
Lombardo added that Paddock rented a room at the Ogden Hotel in downtown Las Vegas around the same time as an alternative music festival held Sept. 22-24.
When it comes to the Ogden Hotel stay, “the reasons that ran through Paddock’s mind was unknown,” Lombardo said.
He told reporters that Paddock rented a room at the Ogden through Airbnb but didn’t know why. He says investigators have recovered items and video from the hotel. The Life is Beautiful festival featured Chance the Rapper, Muse, Lorde and Blink-182.
Investigators late Wednesday said evidence also exists that Paddock had intentions to survive and escape the mass shooting rather than commit suicide, but they would not elaborate.
Information was also released Wednesday indicating that 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.
Paddock’s background appears to be closely guarded.
“What we know is Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life,” Lombardo said.
Lombardo said the investigation is proceeding cautiously in case criminal charges are warranted against someone else.
“This investigation is not ended with the demise of Mr. Paddock,” the sheriff said. “Did this person get radicalized unbeknownst to us? And we want to identify that source.”
In Washington, some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing for a ban on “bump stocks” like the one Paddock used.
“There is no reason to make a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic battlefield weapon,” said U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California).
“Bump stocks — legally converted weapons that turn semi-automatic weapons into virtually automatic weapons — that’s something that I think we’d take a look at,” said U.S. Sen John Thune (R-South Dakota).
But some lawmakers said now is not the time to discuss such issues,
“I think it’s particularly inappropriate to politicize an event like this; entirely premature to be discussing about legislative solutions, if any,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).
Bump stocks were originally intended to help people with limited hand mobility.
President Donald Trump visited Las Vegas Wednesday and met with public officials, first responders and some of the people injured in the attack.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)