By KEN RITTER, Associated Press
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A hairstylist said in documents released by police Wednesday that a client named Paddock spoke in the months before the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history that a Las Vegas Strip concert venue was susceptible to attack.
The Police Department released about 2,100 pages of police reports, witness statements and dispatch records after losing court battles to keep them secret. Witness names were blacked out so their claims could not be verified.
The documents did not immediately yield new clues about the key unanswered question more than seven months after the attack: a motive.
Authorities have not determined what led Stephen Paddock to open fire Oct. 1 from his high-rise hotel room onto an outdoor concert below, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more. Police and the FBI said they believe he acted alone and the attack had no link to international terrorism.
The hairstylist told investigators on Oct. 10 that the comments from the client in late June or July were strange and reported them to police. But the witness says later in the interview that they were not sure about calling officers. Police say in the interview that there’s no record of a call.
The stylist said the client mentioned he could not believe an outdoor arena was built because a shooter could fire into the crowd from the casino across the way. The stylist reported feeling uneasy.
A woman later arrived, and the stylist believed it was Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley.
“I asked her, ‘Do you know what he’s been saying to me?'” the stylist told police. “She’s like, ‘Oh, what, about somebody shooting into a crowd and, you know, wanting to hurt a lot of people?'”
The stylist told police that the client said, “I wonder what she’s worried about? She’ll be out of the country.”
Danley was in the Philippines at the time of the shooting. Sheriff Joe Lombardo, elected head of the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, said earlier this year that he did not expect criminal charges against her. She had been called the only person of interest in the case.
The documents also detailed tales of horror and heroism.
A music festival worker who hid under the stage while gunfire rained into an open-air concert venue jammed with 22,000 people told police 10 days after the shooting that he still couldn’t sleep.
“I’m paranoid. I hear gunshots all day,” said the man, whose name was blacked out. “I cry all day. I’m nervous to go outside.”
An officer described trying to help a woman who was on her back with a gunshot to her right eye while a man held her head, asking for help.
Another volley of gunfire began, the officer said, “and I heard impacts hitting in front of me. At this point, everyone started screaming and I told everyone to move.”
Authorities say Paddock, 64, a retired accountant, real estate investor and high-stakes gambler, amassed nearly two dozen assault-style rifles, then broke windows in his 32nd-floor suite of the Mandalay Bay resort and fired for about 10 minutes.
The documents include police accounts of forming teams to rescue people trapped by gunfire or deploying into the festival grounds and to other casinos in response to reports of multiple active shooters.
A list of dispatch calls gives a minute-by-minute account of witnesses’ initial reports, with 911 calls beginning at 10:08 p.m. One operator reports being told that people were being trampled and that as many as 20 people had been shot.
Lombardo has said police compiled thousands of documents and amassed hundreds of hours of video, including witness cellphone recordings and footage from officers’ body-worn cameras.
The department has been releasing the information in waves after a court order in a lawsuit by The Associated Press and other media organizations. Police have not provided all the materials they collected.
Some 1,200 pages of similar police reports and witness statements released last week unveiled accounts from two people who said a person they believed to be the gunman ranted in the days prior the attack about the U.S. government and gun control.
Footage from two officers’ body cameras released May 2 showed police blasting through the door of the Mandalay Bay hotel suite where Paddock is seen dead amid a cache of assault-style weapons.
Contributing to this report were Associated Press journalists Michelle L. Price in Las Vegas; Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada; Courtney Bonnell in Phoenix; Brian Eason in Denver; Amanda Lee Myers in Los Angeles; Martha Bellisle in Seattle; Lindsay Whitehurst in Salt Lake City; Terry Tang, Jacques Billeaud and Anita Snow in Phoenix; Mary Hudetz in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Becky Bohrer in Juneau, Alaska; Felicia Fonseca in Flagstaff, Arizona.