Gunman’s secret life stymies investigation

FILE - This undated photo provided by Eric Paddock shows his brother, Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock. On Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival killing dozens and wounding hundreds. Authorities trying to piece together the final days before Stephen Paddock unleashed his arsenal of powerful firearms on country music fans on the Las Vegas Strip have at least one potential trove of information: his gambling habits. Gaming regulators say they’re sorting through documents that can include suspicious transaction or currency reports. (Courtesy of Eric Paddock via AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Investigators trying to figure out the Las Vegas gunman’s state of mind have so far been stymied by the secret life he appeared to lead before the attack.

Stephen Paddock’s live-in girlfriend described him as a “kind, caring, quiet man” with whom she hoped to spend her future. She said she had no idea he was planning a massacre on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday that left 58 people dead and nearly 500 injured.

More about the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history:

Related: Las Vegas gunman may have planned escape, sheriff says

THE INVESTIGATION

Authorities believe Paddock had an escape plan, though he fatally shot himself as police closed in on him inside his luxury suite. Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo declined to elaborate on why investigators believe he intended to survive.

Lombardo said Wednesday that Paddock had 1,600 rounds of ammunition and several containers of an explosive commonly used in target shooting that totaled 50 pounds (23 kilograms) in his car. But it wasn’t clear what, if anything, Paddock planned with the explosives, he said.

preview v023 Gunmans secret life stymies investigation
People pause at a memorial set up for victims of a mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nev., on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, with dozens of people killed and hundreds injured, some by gunfire, some during the chaotic escape. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Authorities also revealed that the weekend before the shooting, Paddock had rented a high-rise condo in a building that overlooked the Life is Beautiful alternative music festival featuring Chance the Rapper, Muse, Lorde and Blink-182. Lombardo offered no other details on what led Paddock there.

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Eric Paddock called his 64-year-old multimillionaire brother a “private guy.” As for what triggered the massacre, Eric Paddock said, “Something happened that drove him into the pit of hell.”

THE GIRLFRIEND

Marilou Danley, Paddock’s girlfriend, returned to the U.S. from the Philippines on Tuesday and was interviewed Wednesday by FBI agents in Los Angeles.

The 62-year-old said in a statement read by her lawyer that Paddock had sent her to see family in her native Philippines weeks earlier, and she was still overseas at the time of the attack. She said he wired her money so she could buy a house for her family, and she was initially pleased but later feared it was a way to break up with her.

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The pair met at a casino while she was a high-limit hostess for Club Paradise at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, his brother Eric Paddock told The Washington Post.

marilou danley Gunmans secret life stymies investigation
This undated photo provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Marilou Danley. Girlfriend of the active shooter in the Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, incident, Danley, 62, returned to the United States from the Philippines on Tuesday night and was met at Los Angeles International Airport by FBI agents, according to a law enforcement official. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP)

Danley’s sisters in Australia said in a TV interview that she was a “good person” who would have stopped Paddock had she been there and known about the plot.

THE VICTIMS

The 58 people slain in the attacks included a father of six, a man who died in his boyfriend’s arms and a university student who was studying health care management.

Nearly 500 others were injured. About 150 are still hospitalized, with about 50 in critical condition Wednesday night, hospital officials said.

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The injured ended up in 13 hospitals scattered across southern Nevada, with most of them treated and released. One of them, Braden Matejka , of British Columbia, Canada, left the hospital Wednesday for a 22-hour road trip home with his girlfriend and parents. He told The Associated Press he couldn’t fly back to Canada because he had been shot in the head.

TIGHTENED GUN LAWS?

Senior congressional Republicans said Wednesday they were open to considering legislation banning “bump stocks” like Paddock used to convert semi-automatic rifles into fully automated weapons.

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A little-known device called a “bump stock” is attached to a semi-automatic rifle at the Gun Vault store and shooting range Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in South Jordan, Utah. Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock bought 33 guns within the last year, but that didn’t raise any red flags. Neither did the mountains of ammunition he was stockpiling, or the bump stocks found in his hotel room that allow semi-automatic rifles to mimic fully automatic weapons. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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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 voiced interest in banning “bump stocks” included Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and John Thune of South Dakota.

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Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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