The girlfriend of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock had her fingerprints on the ammunition he used during the October mass shooting — something she informed investigators about in advance, according to new documents.
More than 300 pages of search warrants and affidavits unsealed in the case Friday shed new light on the meticulous planning Paddock put into the October 2017 slaughter, and raise new questions about the role his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, had in the rampage.
The documents reveal that Danley told investigators they would likely find her fingerprints on Paddock’s ammo once they looked into it — which turned out to be true. She said she sometimes helped with loading the magazines for some of his weapons. It was not clear from the documents why exactly Danley was handling the weapons or if she did anything else with them.
Early on in the investigation, Danley was identified 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,” according to an affidavit — but there is no indication that she helped Paddock.
She is currently not suspected of any crimes and faces no criminal charges.
The new unsealed records show new details about the lengths Paddock went to prepare for the attack that left 58 people dead and hundreds others injured.
According to the documents, Paddock purchased most of his guns and ammo online in the 12 months leading up to the attack, and that he used anonymous communication tools and destroyed some of his digital footprints. Investigators found three cell phones in Paddock’s Mandalay Bay hotel suite. One was locked, and an FBI agent wrote that this phone was likely the one that would contain “any information related to a potential conspiracy.” Authorities previously revealed that they also found a laptop with no hard drive in the room.
The documents also include an email exchange Paddock appeared to have with himself on two accounts associated with him: CentralPark4804@gmail.com and CenterPark1@live.com.
The first message said, “Try an ar before u buy. We have a huge selection. Located in the Las Vegas area,” apparently referring to AR 15 rifles.
A second message, sent from one account to the other on the same day, said, “we have a wide variety of optics and ammunition to try.”
A third message in the exchange said, “for a thrill try out bumpfire ar’s with 100 round magazine,” seemingly referencing bump stocks, the legal accessories Paddock used to make his high-powered rifles fire automatically at a crowd of 22,000 people at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival.
The documents give no new clues about Paddock’s motives and no information suggesting he had assistance in the attack.
Last week, a lawyer representing victims in the mass shooting slammed a statement from MGM that noted numerous interactions between hotel staff Paddock as "hard to believe."
MGM Resorts told Fox News earlier this month that hotel staff at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino “had contact with [Stephen] Paddock or entered his suite more than 10 times over the course of his stay, including the three days leading up to October 1.”
MGM added that all the interactions with Paddock “were normal in nature.”
"Their little paragraph of ‘we have normal interaction’ leaves a lot out,” Michelle Simpson Tuegel, an attorney representing several victims of the massacre, told Fox News. “I would like to know what they were classifying or defining as ‘normal behavior.’ "
Tuegel said she's looking to find out “what else these employees have to say about what they saw and heard in the days leading up to the shooting, and what they may have failed to see,” whether possibly due to negligence or a lack of proper training from hotel management.
"Why didn’t someone say something when he brought all these bags [with weapons] up?” Tuegel asked, adding it's “hard to believe the amount of ammunition and weapons in the room and no one saw or picked up on anything.”