Marylou Danley, a former high-limit hostess and longtime girlfriend of Mandalay Bay shooter Stephen Paddock, landed in Los Angeles late last night and is meeting with local and federal authorities today to try and provide some insight into what motivated Paddock to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, an attack that it appears was meticulously planned by Paddock.
Video footage published by NBC News shows Danley, 62, traveling through Los Angeles International Airport in a wheelchair, accompanied by three law enforcement officers.
Danley traveled to Manila from Tokyo on Sept. 15, more than two weeks before the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Reuters reported. She then flew to Hong Kong on Sept. 22 and returned in Manila on Sept. 25. She was there until she flew to LAX on Tuesday night. Mangrobang added Danley had arrived in the Philippines from Tokyo on September 15. There has been communication between authorities in the Philippines, the FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security, the spokeswoman said.
Reuters reported that US authorities were eager to question Danley about whether Paddock encouraged her to leave the United States before going on his rampage. In an interview with a local television station, Danley’s sisters, both of whom live in Australia – where Danley also has citizenship – say Paddock abruptly “sent her away.”
Paddock met Danley several years ago while she was working as a high-limit hostess for Club Paradise at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nev., his brother Eric said, according to the Washington Post.
“They were adorable — big man, tiny woman. He loved her. He doted on her,” Eric said.
According to court records, Danley may have been living with Paddock as early as August 2013, while she was still married to another man, named Geary Danley.
Danley’s sisters said Paddock bought her tickets to the Philippines and sent her on the trip so she wouldn’t interfere with his plans, adding that they are “thankful” Paddock decided to spare her life, a local news station reported.
"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 Danley's sisters told 7 News from their home in Australia's Gold Coast region.
"In that sense, I thank him for sparing my sister's life," she said, adding her sister was "really in love with Steve."
Danley was stunned when Paddock called to tell her he had found a “cheap ticket to the Philippines”, her sisters said.
The other sister said Danley, who arrived back in the US from the Philippines on Tuesday, "didn't even know that she was going to the Philippines, until Steve said, 'Marilou, I found you a cheap ticket to the Philippines.'"
She added Danley was likely "even (more) shocked than us" by his actions.
"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.
"If Marilou was there, this maybe as well didn't happen because she won't let it happen."
Danley, who was born in the Philippines, has a daughter and grandchildren who live in the Los Angeles area.
Meanwhile, as investigators interview Danley, hoping to glean some information that might provide more clues about his motives, President Donald Trump is heading to Las Vegas to meet with victims and their families.
As Bloomberg reports, the president is heading to Vegas to pay his respects with victims families and offer condolences. But there's one topic in particular that the president will seek to avoid entirely as he answers questions from reporters and victims families: gun control. Before leaving for Puerto Rico on Tuesday, Trump said gun-control measures would be discussed “as time goes by," but didn't elaborate on whether the shooting has changed his views on the second-amendment. During the campaign, Trump had promised to oppose any and all gun-control measures, even joking at a campaign rally in Alabama two weeks ago that, if Hillary Clinton had won the election, gun owners would be lining up to turn over their firearms.
While Democratic lawmakers have insisted that a bill authorizing stricter background checks and other limits on citizens' ability to purchase firearms be considered immediately, Republican lawmakers have said taking action before the investigation is finished would be "premature".
However, any suggestion by the president - who has a well-document predilication for speaking off-the-cuff, and for telling his audience what they want to hear - that he might consider supporting a gun-control bill would be anathema to his base, his supports have said.
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon told Axios that any softening of Trump’s gun-control stance would be “the end of everything.” The voters who backed him feel more strongly about the issue than any other, Bannon said.