Shooter's Girlfriend Denies Knowledge Of Attack

Oct 5, 2017
Originally published on October 5, 2017 9:48 am
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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We now have a clearer timeline of Sunday night's shooting massacre. The details reveal the shooter's elaborate scheme. Police now say he had plans to escape from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort. What we still don't know - and what we might not ever know - is the motive behind the attack. NPR's Sarah McCammon joins us now.

Hi, Sarah.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: Hi, there.

MARTIN: Law enforcement officials in Las Vegas laid out the timeline. What does it reveal?

MCCAMMON: Well, it doesn't tell us the shooter's motive. As you say, that is the big question. But what we do know from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police is that the first shots Sunday night were fired at 10:05 p.m. Police were on the 31st floor, just below where the shooter was staying, within about seven minutes. And they were on his floor within 12 minutes. Now, by that point, the shooting had stopped, and police began assembling a plan for how to enter the room. A SWAT team was called in.

It was 75 minutes, though, before they did ultimately burst into the room. And Rachel, they also tell us what they found in his car. There were materials that could be used to make explosives. They're also looking into whether the shooter was casing another music festival. They think that's a possibility. So yesterday, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters they're just trying to get as much information about the shooter as they can.

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JOSEPH LOMBARDO: Right now, we're trying to prove his intent or understand his intent and the history associated with this and whether or not he has any accomplices.

MARTIN: So they still don't know that, if he had accomplices or not.

MCCAMMON: Right. They're looking into that, why he did it - trying to talk to anyone that might know. But they do say it's clear that the attack was carefully planned.

MARTIN: So there's been a lot of focus on his girlfriend, Marilou Danley. She was in the Philippines when the shooting happened. She returned to the U.S. and is talking to federal investigators. Do we know what she's saying? Is she shedding any light on a possible motive?

MCCAMMON: Well, of course police investigators are very interested in talking with her, you know, as a person who knew him well. So far, you know, Danley is saying through her attorney, Matthew Lombard, that she had no idea that this was coming. She described him as caring and quiet and expressed her grief. Here's what her attorney said in a statement from her.

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MATTHEW LOMBARD: I am devastated by the deaths and injuries that have occurred. And my prayers go out to the victims and their families.

MARTIN: He's reading there from a statement from Marilou Danley.

MCCAMMON: That's right. He says she is cooperating with authorities. She had been in the Philippines, but her attorney says, you know, she came back voluntarily. The FBI interviewed Danley yesterday in Los Angeles, and they say she's not in custody.

MARTIN: Do we know anything more about her relationship with the shooter? I mean, people keep saying his girlfriend. Do we know how long they've been together? What was going on at the time of the shooting?

MCCAMMON: Yeah, it's not clear how long they were together. She did say - and I guess this - again, this comes from Danley's attorney - that the shooter had bought her a plane ticket, encouraged her to go to the Philippines and visit her family there. He also wired her money there to help her family buy a house. And she says, you know, she was pleased to have this gift, this money. But she was worried that this was a sign that he was breaking up with her.

MARTIN: You are in Las Vegas, Sarah. Have you been able to have conversations with any of the victims? I mean, so many people - obviously, 58 people were killed. Hundreds, though - close to 500 people, if not more than that, were hurt. How are the survivors coping at this point?

MCCAMMON: Well, including the shooter himself, the death toll is still at 59. A lot of the injured are getting out. More than 300 have been released of the 489 injured. I can say I - you know, I just got into town yesterday. And looking around, it's very apparent that this took place. There's still yellow police line - crime scene tape for blocks and blocks along the Las Vegas Strip. There are multiple memorials, people gathering throughout the city to remember the victims.

MARTIN: NPR's Sarah McCammon reporting from Las Vegas - thanks so much, Sarah.

MCCAMMON: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.