Las Vegas shooter methodically planned to ‘thwart’ investigation, new documents say

Information on Filipina girlfriend included

Recently released court documents regarding the 2017 Las Vegas shooting provide new information on the gunman’s activities prior to carrying out what became the deadliest mass shooting in modern history.

The documents, however, do not provide a motive as to why gunman Stephen Paddock fired bullets over the 22,000 attendees of the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring over 500.

The shooting began at around 10:08 p.m. on October 1, 2017 over the country music festival which was commencing its third and last day of weekend festivities.  Country singer Jason Aldean, who was headlining the festival, was rushed offstage mid-song while many witnesses looked up expecting fireworks.

Police later identified the shooter as 64-year-old Paddock, who fired a storm of bullets from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, about a quarter-mile away from the Las Vegas Village venue.

One warrant in the over 300 pages of released warrants and affidavits described how Paddock “destroyed or tried to hide digital media devices.”

According to investigators, Paddock used anonymous communication devices such as a prepaid cell phone, and used a “level of sophistication which is commonly found in mass casualty events.”

“Paddock planned the attack meticulously and took many methodical steps to avoid detection of his plot and to thwart the eventual law enforcement that would follow,” said the FBI.

Three of the shooter’s cellphones were found in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino room, according to search warrants approved by judges after the shooting.  Two of the phones were searched by investigators, but the third was unable to be unlocked.

Email exchanges between two similarly named email addresses were also revealed in the documents as having been sent on July 6, 2017 — about two months before the shooting.

The affidavit regarding the email reads:  “…[centralpark1@live.com] sent an email to centralpark4804@gmail.com which read, ‘try an ar before u buy. we have huge selection. located in the las vegas area,’ Later the day, an email was received back from centralpark4804@gmail.com to [centralpark1@live.com] that read, ‘we have a wide variety of optics and ammunition to try.’ And lastly, [centralpark1@live.com sent an email to centralpark4804@gmail.com that read, ‘for a thrill try out bumpfire ar’s with a 100 round magazine.’ Investigators believe these communications may have been related to the eventual attack that occurred at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.”

The affidavit added that the “investigators have been unable to figure out why Stephen Paddock would be exchanging messages related to weapons that were used in the attack between two of his email accounts.”

It is possible that one of the email accounts was being controlled by someone else, said the affidavit, adding that the FBI would need to identify the person.  A search warrant would “lead investigators to determine the full scope of Stephen Paddock’s plan.”

New details on Filipina girlfriend

Marilou Danley — Paddock’s 62-year-old Filipina girlfriend who holds an Australian passport — had told investigators she had no knowledge of his plan when meeting with FBI back in October of last year.

Danley had been in the Philippines during the shooting, where Paddock sent $100,000.  Defense attorney Matthew Lombard said then that she was not expecting the money.

New court documents reveal that Danley made changes to her Facebook’s personal and privacy settings at around 12:30 a.m. — approximately two-and-a-half hours after Paddock’s first fire at 10:08 p.m.

By 2:46 a.m., Danley’s Facebook account had been deleted, according to the documents.  Paddock’s name had not been officially released to the public until around 3:30 a.m.

Danley had also told investigators that her fingerprints may be found on Paddock’s ammunition, which investigators did find.  She said that she sometimes helped Paddock load magazines, but why she was handling the weapons was not clear from the documents.

An affidavit identifies Danley as “the most likely person who aided or abetted Stephen Paddock based on her informing law enforcement that her fingerprints would likely be found on the ammunition used during the attack.”

An agent wrote in a filing that Danley — who remained “adamant” that she was unaware of Paddock’s plans — has “corroborated much what had been previously deduced by investigators.”

No “conclusive evidence” of Danley being involved in the massacre has been suggested, but she does remain the “subject of intensive review.”

Agents also said that Danley’s email could “lead investigators to determine the full scope of Stephen Paddock’s plan and Marilou Danley’s possible involvement.”

Information on Instagram accounts believed to be connected to Danley were also requested.

In October, Danley also told investigators that she was concerned over Paddock’s mental stability.  Investigations revealed that Paddock may have been treated for “unidentified medical conditions.”

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo cited a preliminary report that included details on Paddock’s “disturbing” search history which included ballistic and SWAT tactics.  Child pornography photographs were also recovered, according to the report.

In the report, Danley described Paddock acting different when they stayed at the resort early September.  She said Paddock had become “distant” and “germaphobic.”

Furthermore, Paddock’s primary doctor said he might have been bipolar but that Paddock refused to take antidepressants or talk about it. (Rae Ann Varona/AJPress)

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