Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock‘s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, said in a statement that she was never aware that “something horrible like this was going to happen,” and described Paddock as a “kind, caring man.”
The attorney representing Danley, Matthew Lombard, read a statement on behalf of the woman on Wednesday. Lombard told reporters:
It’s taken us this long to make a statement because it’s important to respect the investigative process. We wanted the FBI and the Las Vegas Police Department to have the first opportunity to talk to my client, Marilou Danley, about everything that she knew about Stephen. That being said, I have a statement to read from my client Marilou Danley.
‘I am devastated by the deaths and injuries that have occurred and my prayers go out to the victims and their families, and all those who have been hurt by these awful events. I have faith in God and I will continue to pray for everyone who has been harmed or hurt. I am a mother and a grandmother and my heart breaks for all who have lost loved ones. I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring quiet man. I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him. He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen again. A little more than two weeks ago Stephen told me he found a cheap ticket for me to the Philippines and that he wanted me to take a trip home to see my family. Like all Filipinos abroad, I was excited to go home and see family and friends. While there he wired me money, which he said was for me to buy a house for me and my family. I was grateful but honestly I was worried that first the unexpected trip home and then the money was a way of breaking up with me. It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone. I have not made a statement until now because I have been cooperating with the authorities and I voluntarily flew back to America because I know that the FBI and Las Vegas Police Department wanted to talk to me and I wanted to talk with them. I will cooperate fully with their investigation. Anything I can do to help ease suffering and help in any way, I will do. Please respect my privacy and my family’s privacy. Thank you.’
Danley arrived in Los Angeles Tuesday night and met with investigators at the FBI’s headquarters in Los Angeles for several hours.
Danley, 62, was thousands of miles away in the Philippines when police first revealed her identity and said she might hold the key to why Paddock set up a sniper’s nest on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and rained death on a country music festival.
Before she met with investigators, ABC News reported she told her brother she had a “clear conscience” and wanted to clear her name.
“I called her up immediately and she said, ‘Relax, we shouldn’t worry about it. I’ll fix it. Do not panic. I have a clean conscience,'” her bother, Reynaldo Bustos, told ABC News.
Police named Danley a person of interest as they investigate the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Danley’s two sisters told Australia’s 7 News they believe Paddock surprised her with a solo ticket to the southeast Asian islands to keep her in the dark about his plan to kill.
“I know that she don’t know anything as well, like us. She was sent away. She was away so that she will be not there to interfere with what he’s planning,” one of the sisters said through tears, her face blurred to protect her identity.
The sisters said the sudden trip two weeks ago caught them all by surprise. They said Paddock also wired $127,000 to an overseas account for Danley.
“She didn’t even know that she’s going to the Philippines until Steve said, ‘Oh, Marilou, I found you a cheap ticket to the Philippines,’” the sister said.
“He sent her away so that he can plan what he’s planning without interruptions. In that sense, I thank him for sparing my sister’s life. But that won’t be to compensate the 59 people’s lives,” she said.
“No one can put the puzzles together. No one, except Marilou. Because Steve is not here to talk anymore. Only Marilou can maybe help,” the sister said.
The sisters told Channel 7 that Danley will be haunted forever by Paddock’s deadly rampage.