Arizona ammunition dealer Douglas Haig, 55, was charged with manufacturing illegal armor-piercing bullets on Friday after police discovered he sold 720 to Stephen Paddock, the shooter from the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre.
According to The New York Times, Haig's fingerprints were found on unused ammunition found inside Paddock's Vegas hotel room. He did not have the license required to make such bullets and thus charges were brought forward.
Haig was named a person of interest in connection with the Oct. 1 shooing, where Paddock fired over 1,100 rounds from the 32nd floor of the Mandala Bay hotel, killing 59 people while injuring 851, the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
In a news conference, Haig told reporters he was not aware of Paddock's intentions with the bullets he purchased.
"I had no contribution to what Paddock did," Haig said. "I had no way to see into his mind. The product that I sold him had absolutely nothing to do with what he did. I’m a vendor. I’m a merchant whose name was released."
Haig claimed that he and Paddock met at a gun show in Phoenix a month before the shooting. Paddock visited Haig's house and purchased the 720 rounds, which Haig put in a box that had his name and address on the side. When the investigators found the box inside Paddock's hotel room, it quickly led them to Haig.
"...to the best of his knowledge, has never sold ammunition to anybody who has ever used it for any unlawful purpose whatsoever," Haig's attorney Marc Victor said.
Haig told reporters he has sold ammunition only as a hobby for the past two decades. He has a full-time job as an aerospace engineer.
"He pulled up very well dressed, very well groomed, very polite, respectful,” Haig said when describing his interactions with Paddock. "He paid me, put it in his car, went on his way — at no time did he seem suspicious."
When Haig asked Paddock what he planned to do with the 720 rounds, which were surplus military tracer bullets, Paddock reportedly responded by saying he was planning on going to the desert to "put on a light show" with friends.
Haig also said he does not believe Paddock used any of the bullets that were sold by him, stating that the tracer bullets leave a trail of red in the sky.
"The reason he opts to speak to the press today is basically to protect his reputation," Haig's lawyer said.