Marilou Danley was named by the Las Vegas Sheriff as a person of interest in the mass shooting on the Las Vegas strip, but CNN is now reporting that Danley was out of the country when the attack occurred.
Police said in a news release that 59 people died and at least 527 people were transported to hospitals in the mass shooting, and they identified Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, as the “lone suspect” who opened fire. They now say that they do not believe Danley is connected to the shooting, CNN reported, but they had released her name and photo as a person of interest early on, describing Danley as the divorced Paddock’s roommate. According to CNN, the sheriff now says that Danley was “identified as Paddock’s companion or roommate,” adding that “she does not appear to have been involved in the shooting and was in the Philippines when the massacre took place…Paddock had been using some of her identification.”
However, police now say she is in Tokyo, and they want her to return to the United States to talk to investigators. Her family is from the Philippines. According to ABC News, sources said Paddock has sent “tens of thousands” of dollars to someone in the Philippines in recent months. Some sites referred to Danley as Paddock’s girlfriend, but this is not clear.
Danley is now back in the United States, having landed in Los Angeles on October 2. The sheriff said in a news conference that authorities still have questions they want to ask her, and they are now calling her Paddock’s girlfriend.
Police have not yet released a motive for Paddock, but they now say that the mass shooting appeared to be a lone wolf attack. Paddock (you can see his photo below) sprayed gunfire from the 32nd floor of the popular Mandalay Bay hotel at the crowd of people who had gathered to listen to Jason Aldean play at a Route 91 concert outside. Authorities say they breached the gunman’s hotel door, and he was dead inside, having apparently taken his own life.
Danley’s lawyer gave a statement from her on October 4 that said, “I am devastated by the deaths and injuries that have occurred, and my prayers go out to the victims and their families and all of 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 and hurt. I am a mother and a grandmother, and my heart breaks for all who have lost loved ones.
Authorities released Danley’s name at an early morning news conference on October 2, even before they released the name of the suspected shooter. They said they wanted to speak to the former casino hostess about the attack. Scanner traffic indicated police may have found an identification card belonging to Danley in the hotel room Paddock used to stage the horrific shooting, but this was not yet confirmed by authorities. @KTNV Beth Fisher, citing police source, “said shooter had 8 guns & 2 platforms set up to shoot from + cameras set up to see police arriving,” Twitter reports says. Later reports said he had many more weapons than that.
CBS News is reporting that this photo – which was on Danley’s Facebook page – is of Paddock.
Police said Danley, 62, lived with the shooter in Mesquite. Public records show she lived at the same address as him since January 2017. She has also lived in Sparks and Reno, Nevada, along with Canton, Ohio; Springdale, Arkansas; and Memphis, Tennessee, according to public records.
When police announced that they were seeking Marilou Danley for questioning in the attack, they also released a picture of her car. They later revealed that they had located Danley, but they did not provide details of that encounter.
The names of the victims were not yet formally released, but they included two off-duty police officers, and some families had identified loved ones as among the dead. Although some news sites gave Danley’s name as Marylou, she used Marilou Danley on Facebook and in public records. Danley had worked as a high stakes casino hostess in the past. Marilou Danley’s Facebook profile reads, “Proud mom and grandma who lives life to the fullest.” Her last public post was an update of her profile picture in August. She had posted numerous photos of herself. Friends commented on her looks, and she wrote under one, “Thanks …That was taken at Wiltshire Roof Top Restaurant in L.A.” In 2016, she wrote in the comment thread under a photo, “…Kuha Sa Jumeira Beach, Dubai.” She also wrote under that photo, “That’s a beautiful City except it’s hot. Will be back there next year to visit my niece.”
On LinkedIn, Danley described herself as “Gambling & Casinos Professional, Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, Reno, Nevada.” The page described her as a high-limit hostess at Club Paradise at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa from 2010 to 2013. No later employment is listed.
The horrific sequence of events led to a frightening and chaotic night on the Las Vegas strip as police chased reports of other shootings that proved false, and people hid in buses and anywhere they could find to take shelter. Witnesses described gunfire ringing out that sounded like machine gun fire as the gunman sprayed the crowd from his upper-level hotel window. This man said a victim died in his arms:
Videos and photos painted a graphic picture of the scene with bloodied victims lying on the ground. The family members of victims were gathered at the scene.
On her now deleted Facebook page, Danley’s posts were fairly typical, at least the public ones, describing a fun-loving life.
For example, she wrote on one comment thread on her page, “Hi! my dear friend.Thanks for the cruise info. I’m still checking a good deal. Like all the places you’re going. Would love to join you. Take care and say Hi!” Told in 2016 that she looked good at age 61 in one photo, she responded, “Awww! How sweet!!! Thanks sis!!! It’s in our genes!!! We look young & aged gracefully! Plus a trip to the gym, zumba and my daily beauty regiments!!! Love you!” One check-in revealed she had attended a concert at the Mandalay Bay a couple years ago.
She described herself as a mother and grandmother on Facebook.
“We have not located her at this time and we are interested in talking to her for followup,” Sheriff Joe Lombardo initially said at a press conference of Marilou Danley, releasing her name (they later found her, as noted). Police were also initially looking for two vehicles with Nevada plates, a Hyundai Tucson with license plate number 114B40 and a Chrysler Pacifica Touring with plate number 19D401. They are registered to the gunman. Police said Danley was Paddock’s roommate, according to the AP, but they described the mass shooting as a “lone wolf” attack.
It’s not clear what Paddock’s motive was for the mass shooting.
See videos and photos from the shooting here. Be aware that some are very graphic: