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Las Vegas shooter sent $100,000 Philippines while girlfriend was there: What we know now

A broken window where a gunman opened fire from an upper story of Mandalay Bay resort on a country music festival across the street on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday night, leaving at least 58 dead and more than 500 injured, shown on Oct. 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nev. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
October 04, 2017

A gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday evening, leaving at least 59 people dead, not including the gunman, and injuring more than 500 near the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino. Here is what we know:

What is the latest on the girlfriend of the shooter?

Marilou Danley, the girlfriend of Stephen Paddock, the man who massacred nearly 60 people attending a music festival in Las Vegas, has returned to the United States from the Philippiness. Danley, 62, was met at Los Angeles International Airport by FBI agents on Tuesday night after flying from Manila. Investigators named Danley as a “person of interest” in the investigation. Prior to her arrival, Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said “we anticipate some information from her shortly.”

What is the background of Marilou Danley?

Danley was born in the Philippines and moved to Queensland in eastern Australia in the early 1980s. She travels on an Australian passport, according to media reports. She is said to have left Australia for the U.S. in 1989, where she worked in casinos. In recent weeks, immigration documents in the Philippines show, Danley first arrived there on Sept. 15, departed on Sept. 22 then returned three days later on a flight from Hong Kong. Before Danley moved in with Paddock and became a “person of interest” in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, she was an outgoing person and a “great neighbor,” people who knew her said Tuesday. Danley would host parties and sleepovers for the neighborhood kids at the two-story home that she lived in with her then-husband in a newer community in northeast Sparks, Nev.

What does Danley’s family say about her?

Danley’s sisters said they believe Paddock sent her out of the country so she wouldn’t interfere with his plans, Australian media reported Wednesday. Her two sisters, who live in Australia, were interviewed by that country’s Channel 7 TV network. Their faces were obscured and their names withheld. “She was away so that she will be not there to interfere with what he’s planning,” one of the women told Channel 7. “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’.” She went on to describe her sister as “a good person and gentle soul,” and said she “seemed madly in love with Steve.”

Did Paddock send money to Danley in the Philippines?

Paddock transferred $100,000 to the Philippines in the days before the shooting. But it is unclear whether it was specifically sent to Danley. Investigators are trying to trace the money. Meanwhile, authorities also were probing reports that Paddock had recently gambled more than $10,000 per day.

How did the shooter obtain his arsenal?

Police have not detailed the type of weapons that Paddock, a 64-year-old resident of Mesquite, Nev., used in the attack. Gun owners in Nevada don’t need a permit to buy or possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun, according to the National Rifle Association. Nevadans can even purchase machine guns or silencers, banned in other states, as long as they’re within federal compliance. At least some of his arsenal was purchased legally at Guns & Guitars in Mesquite, Nev. Paddock also is believed to have purchased a number of weapons at Cabela’s in Verdi, Nev., a federal law enforcement official said.

How was the gunman able to fire so rapidly?

The pattern and inconsistent rate of gunfire signaled to experts that the weapons might have been semiautomatic, which require a separate trigger pull for each round, rather than an automatic that would continue to fire while the trigger was depressed. Sheriff Lombardo confirmed that some of the shooter’s arsenal was legally modified with technology known as a “bump-stock” that allows for rapid firing, similar to a machine gun.

Did Islamic terrorists inspire the shooter?

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack within hours. But terrorism experts pointed out flaws in the claim, saying the gunman was older and more affluent than the typical recruit, without a history of crime. Two other claims in the last year were false. One was the June attack at a Manila resort that officials said wasn’t linked to terrorism, and the other was a bomb threat in September at a Paris airport, where no bombs were found. Since 2016, the Islamic State “has been claiming terrorist attacks with no evidence that had anything to do with them tactically,” said Erin Miller, program manager at the Global Terrorism Database.

How do other countries deal with gun restrictions?

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says stricter gun laws enacted after a massacre of 35 people in Port Arthur in 1996 resulted in a dramatic decline in gun violence. The laws banned automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and featured the government buying weapons to take them out of circulation. During a three-month amnesty that ended last month, people turned over more than 26,000 unregistered, illegal or unwanted firearms without facing prosecution.

How many victims are there? Who are they?

Sheriff Lombardo said at least 59 people were killed and about 525 people had been injured. The first victim to be named was Sonny Melton, 29, a nurse from Tennessee. “He saved my life,” his wife, Heather Melton, said. Other victims include: Chris Hazecomb, 44, of Camarillo, Calif,; Adrian Murfitt, 35, a fisherman from Alaska; Quinton Robbins, 20, a University of Nevada-Las Vegas student who worked in recreation for the city of Henderson; Heather Alvarado, 35, of Cedar City, Utah, who ran an in-home day care center; Carrie Barnette, 34, of Riverside, Calif., a restaurant worker; Rachael Parker, 33, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., a civilian police employee; Sandra Casey, also of Manhattan Beach, a special-needs teacher; Lisa Romero-Muniz, 48, of Gallup, N.M., a school counselor; and Susan Smith, 53, a school office manager in Vista, Calif.

Was this an act of terrorism?

At a press conference, Aaron Rouse, chief of the FBI’s Las Vegas office, said the agency had found “no connection” between Paddock and terror organizations. Earlier, Sheriff Lombardo described Paddock as “a distraught person” intent on causing mass casualties. The Islamic State on Monday claimed responsibility, saying that the perpetrator was “a soldier” who had converted to Islam months ago. However, the group provided no evidence to support its assertion.

Where did the incident happen?

According to police, the gunman fired from a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay onto an open area across the Las Vegas Strip where the three-day Route 91 Harvest festival was taking place. Country superstar Jason Aldean, recently named 2017 Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year, was on stage playing to an estimated 22,000 people when the shooting began at 10:08 p.m. local time.

How many weapons were found?

At least 23 weapons were found in Paddock’s hotel room, Clark County Assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo said. The arsenal included semiautomatic rifles, scopes and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Authorities also searched Paddock’s home and found even more weapons — 19 firearms, explosives and unidentified electronic devices as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition.

What else do we know about Stephen Paddock?

Paddock was a retired accountant with a taste for high-stakes poker who had moved to his home in Mesquite, Nev., a city about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, in 2015. The gunman also had a long career owning and managing apartment complexes and also worked for the predecessor company of aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin from 1985 to 1988, the company said in a statement. Paddock lived in an upscale retirement community of about 1,400 homes called Sun City Mesquite by Del Webb. Residents must be at least 55, and no children are permitted to live there. His home in Mesquite is assessed at more than $353,000, according to property tax records.

How does this mass shooting compare with others in the U.S.?

With at least 59 dead, the incident is the worst mass shooting in modern American history. The prior mass shooting with the highest death toll was an attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in June 2016 in which 49 people were killed and 58 injured.

How does the U.S. compare to other countries when it comes to gun violence?

The United States is in a class of its own when it comes to gun homicides. The U.S. saw on average 8,592 gun homicides each year — 2.7 gun homicides for every 100,000 people — between 2010 and 2015, according to data from the Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based organization that tracks gun violence. That’s more than five times the rate of neighboring Canada, with 0.5 per 100,000, and more than 10 times that of the Netherlands and France, with 0.2 per 100,000 people. Germany and Spain have an even lower rate, with 0.1 per 100,000 people.

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