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Las Vegas Shooter's Girlfriend Denies Any Knowledge Of Plans To Commit Violence

Updated at 10:21 p.m. ET Wednesday

In a statement read by her attorney, Marilou Danley acknowledged that 64-year-old Stephen Paddock purchased her a ticket to the Philippines so she could visit her family there. Danley's statement also mentioned wired funds, which were meant to help her buy a home there, which Danley took to mean Paddock was going to break up with her.

"It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone," Danley's lawyer Matthew Lombard read from her statement.

"I have not made a statement until now because I have been cooperating with the authorities and I have voluntarily flew back to America because I know that the FBI and Las Vegas Police Department wanted to talk to me and I wanted to talk to them."

As authorities began investigating the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night, Marilou Danley quickly became someone they wanted to talk to.

Stephen Paddock had been identified as the person who opened fire on the crowded country music concert. Investigators then looked into other people Paddock knew and what information anyone may have had about his plans.

Danley, referred to as Paddock's longtime girlfriend, had been out of the country for weeks and was in the Philippines at the time of the shooting. She is an Australian citizen.

The Associated Press reports:

"A law enforcement official says she arrived on a flight from Manila to Los Angeles where FBI agents were waiting for her late Tuesday night.

"The official wasn't authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity."

Investigators have been piecing together Paddock's life. He reportedly met Danley several years ago while she was working at a casino in Reno, Nev.

The Washington Post quotes Paddock's brother Eric as saying, "They were adorable — big man, tiny woman. He loved her. He doted on her."

But other descriptions of the couple are not as rosy.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

"The workers behind the counter at the Starbucks inside the Virgin River Casino in Mesquite, Nev., winced whenever Stephen Paddock and his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, lined up for their usual beverages.

"That's because Paddock had a nasty habit of berating Danley in public. 'It happened a lot,' Esperanza Mendoza, supervisor of the Starbucks, said Tuesday."

NBC News reported that Paddock wired $100,000 to the Philippines last week, but NPR has not independently verified that report. NBC says that Danley traveled to the Philippines on Sept. 25 via Hong Kong.

Separately, USA Today reports that authorities were looking into "recent transfers of large amounts of money involving the suspect and the possible relationship to gambling activities."

Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo on Tuesday confirmed that Danley had been in the Philippines and said she was currently considered "a person of interest." He said he did not know about the reported wire transfer.

President Trump flew to Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with public officials, first responders and some of the people injured in the attack.

Nearly 60 people have died in the attack, and more than 480 people were injured. Police say the shooter killed himself.

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Lauren Hodges is an associate producer for All Things Considered. She joined the show in 2018 after seven years in the NPR newsroom as a producer and editor. She doesn't mind that you used her pens, she just likes them a certain way and asks that you put them back the way you found them, thanks. Despite years working on interviews with notable politicians, public figures, and celebrities for NPR, Hodges completely lost her cool when she heard RuPaul's voice and was told to sit quietly in a corner during the rest of the interview. She promises to do better next time.
Doreen McCallister