In an interview this week, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo suggested that the girlfriend of mass shooter Stephen Paddock might be hiding something from investigators.
Lombardo, who has been at the center of the case from the beginning, made the suggestion during an interview with local television station KLAS in what Fox News notes was his first television appearance in nearly three weeks. During the wide-ranging discussion, Lombardo made a couple of eyebrow-raising statements about Paddock's live-in girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who he made clear is still a person of interest in the case.
"We're still in the process of talking to his girlfriend, Marilou. She's still being actively interviewed; matter of fact, this week she's being interviewed again," Lombardo revealed.
Asked directly by the interviewer if he believes that Danley had "no inkling" of Paddock's intentions like she claims, Lombardo said that so far investigators generally believe her claims are "accurate," but that personally, "It's hard for me to believe."
"There is a lot of people that have hundreds and hundreds of guns, but for this individual to do it at a certain point in time and to do it all with such robust action, you would think that Ms. Danley would have some information associated with that," said Lombardo. "But currently we haven’t been able to pull that out of her, if it’s in her."
The horrific action "could have been prevented on many levels," said Lombardo, citing Danley and Paddock's brother as two people who one would think would have had a "modicum of information" at least about his "state of mind."
During the interview, Lombardo offered some thoughts on what might have triggered Paddock's actions. The sheriff revealed that Paddock had lost a significant amount of money since September 2015, citing that as a possible "determining factor" in his shooting spree. Paddock, said Lombardo, was obsessed with status and that decline in status, coupled with his mental health issues, might have caused him to snap.
The sheriff made a point of dismissing any conspiracy theories suggesting that law enforcement was hiding information from the public, insisting that they were being as transparent as they could in the process.
On October 1, Paddock, 64, opened fired on a country music festival from the 32nd floor of his hotel room at Mandalay Bay Resort And Casino in Las Vegas, firing more than a thousand rounds over several minutes before taking his own life as authorities converged on the hotel room. Paddock's shooting spree injured nearly 500 people and killed 58; it was the most deadly mass shooting in the history of the country.
Authorities quickly announced that Paddock's live-in girlfriend, Danley, was a person of interest in the case. At the time of the shooting, Danley was in her home country the Philippines, where she had been for about two weeks. Paddock had reportedly purchased a ticket for a flight there on the spur of the moment. He wired her $100,000 a week before the attack, which she says was for her to purchase a home for her and her family there. She has consistently claimed that she had no knowledge of his plans to carry out an attack. Paddock's family has likewise expressed shock and total ignorance of his murderous plan.
Partial transcript via Fox News.