Las Vegas Shooter Sent Girlfriend Marilou Danley Away to Spare Her, Sisters Say

The Las Vegas gunman bought his girlfriend a ticket to the Philippines and “sent her away” to spare her life, her distraught sisters said Wednesday.

Stephen Paddock bought Marilou Danley “a cheap ticket” to her home country two weeks before he opened fire on a country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip.

Investigators believe Danley, 62, who returned to the United States late Tuesday escorted by FBI agents, could fill in some of the blanks as to why Paddock assembled an arsenal of guns and killed 58 people before committing suicide.

Investigators believe the couple lived together in Mesquite, Nevada. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo described Danley as “a person of interest.”

In a brief statement read Wednesday by her attorney, Danley said she was “devastated by the deaths and injuries” on the Strip.

“I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man,” the lawyer, Matthew Lombard, quoted her as saying. “I loved him and hoped to have a quiet future with him.”

“He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood as a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen.”

Her sisters, who live in Australia, believe she knew nothing of Paddock’s deadly intentions.

“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,'” one of the sisters, who spoke on condition they not be identified, told NBC’s Australian partner, Channel 7.

“She was sent away,” the woman said of Danley, “so that she will not be there to interfere with what he’s planning.” She added that with her sister out of the country, Paddock could plan “without interruptions.”

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“In that sense, I thank him for sparing my sister’s life, but that won’t be [able] to compensate the 59 people’s lives,” she said.

Paddock, 64, wired $100,000 to an account in the Philippines in the week before Sunday’s shooting, senior law enforcement officials told NBC News. They haven’t said whether the money was for Danley and her family or for another purpose.

In her statement Wednesday, Danley said Paddock wired her an amount of money that she didn’t specify for her and her family “to buy a house.”

Officials have said Paddock gambled with at least $160,000 in the past several weeks at Las Vegas casinos.

Image: Marilou Danley

Marilou Danley