The investigation into the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday has uncovered some suspicious financial transactions, including a wire transfer the gunman made to the Philippines a week before the massacre, which killed 59 people and injured over 500 more.
NBC News reports that Stephen Paddock wired $100,000 to the Philippines, reportedly the native country of his live-in girlfriend Marilou Danley. After Paddock opened fire on a crowd of thousands attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival Sunday night, investigators tracked down Danley in the Philippines. She is expected to return to the United States on Wednesday.
It is not yet known exactly who was the recipient of the six-figure sum, or what the purpose of the transfer was.
Paddock and Danley reportedly began dating just this spring, and lived together in Mesquite, Nevada, which is about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Police reportedly believed initially that Danley was with the gunman in Vegas on the day of the shooting but later found that she had travelled to Hong Kong on September 25.
After interviewing her, authorities have tentatively concluded that Danley was not involved in the massacre, the deadliest ever mass shooting in the United States.
“We have had conversations with her and we believed her, at this time, not to be involved. But obviously that investigation will continue,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told NBC News.
“She was not with [Paddock] when he checked in. We have discovered he was utilizing some of her identification.”
Paddock, who police found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, was an avid, high-stakes gambler.
ABC News reports that law enforcement has fielded over 200 reports of Paddock’s financial behavior in the last three years alone. The majority of these reports, however, were filed by casinos as part of regulation that requires gambling facilities to report transactions of $10,000 or more to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
But some of the reports were classified as “suspicious activity,” according to ABC News. Authorities have not released any details about those transactions.
Paddock’s brother Eric told the Associated Press that Stephen had recently won $40,000 on a slot machine. He told the news outlet that his brother was a multimillionaire and said he was not aware of any gambling debts.
“He was a guy who had money,” Eric Paddock told The Associated Press. “He went on cruises and gambled.”
Citing law enforcement officials, NBC News reports that Paddock gambled with at least $160,000 the week before the mass shooting.
“Bottom line, this man was a gambler, but I do not believe there is sufficient evidence to show that he was under stress financially from gambling at the time this incident occurred,” Senator Claire McCaskill of the Homeland Security Committee told ABC News.
Authorities are continuing an active investigation into the suspected shooter’s background and possible motive for the attack.
[Feature photo: Associated Press]