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59 dead, 2 FilAms and 500 others hurt in Las Vegas shooting

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By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA and ALFRED G. GABOT

 

MARILOU DANLEY: MARILOU DANLEY poses at the western end of the Rizal Monument at the old Luneta, now Rizal Park in Manila, Philippines. She posted this photo in her now deleted Facebook account. (Contributed photo)

 

LAS VEGAS (JGL) — A millionaire known to be a casino player but without previous criminal record on the use of guns strafed concert goers from his 32nd floor room in Mandalay Hotel here on Oct. 2, killing 59 people and injuring 527 others, including two Filipino Americans, in what could be the worst mass murder in US history .

 

Those injured were by gunfire or shrapnel, some trampled in the pandemonium that followed adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip as police scrambled to locate the assailant.

 

The gunman, Stephen Paddock, 64, later shot himself fatally before police could storm his room in the hotel casino resort. A search on his room and later in one of his homes yielded several high-powered guns and ammunition.

 

RIZAL MONUMENT: THIS IS THE FULL view of the Rizal Monument at the old Luneta, now Rizal Park, where Marilou Danley had her photo taken. (Contributed photo)

 

The FilAm who was injured was identified as Las Vegas-born Arthur "Arty" Andrade, 21, who was on a double-date with his girlfriend, his friend and the latter's girlfriend when he was shot in the stomach, his family told ABS-CBN News. The other FilAm was not immediately identified by the Philippine Consulate General's office in Los Angeles and the Department of Foreign Affairs but said he had sprained ankle and has been discharged from the hospital. 

 

Andrade underwent surgery and is confined at a local hospital, according to his family.

 

Las Vegas is home to some 120,000 Filipinos, according to the Philippine General Consulate in Los Angeles, California. 

 

In Manila, the Department of Foreign Affairs urged Filipino residents and tourists to call the consulate and give their whereabouts and contact details. 

 

COUPLE: STEPHEN CRAIG Paddock is shown in this photo. Stephen Paddock went on a shooting spree Sunday (Oct. 1st) night from his Mandalay Bay hotel casino on the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, killing 59 people and injuring 527. (Facebook photo)

 

"Sa dami ng Pilipino doon, we have 131,000 Filipinos in southern Nevada alone. Most of these kababayans based in the Las Vegas area, napakahirap i-trace kung isa-isahin," DFA spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar told Manila reporters.

 

Initially, Paddock's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, a Filipino Australian, was listed as a person of interest in the incident but was later cleared as she was vacationing in Hong Kong and the Philippines with friends days before the incident. The Bureau of Immigration in Manila disclosed that Danley arrived in Manila on Sept. 23.

Danley, 62, whose maiden name is Bustos, voluntarily returned to Las Vegas to help police authorities in the investigation as she claimed innocence and advance knowledge of the plans of Paddock. She was met by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (BFI) agents at the Los Angeles International Airport.

"I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man," Marilou Danley said in a statement read by her attorney Matthew Lombard. "I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him," she said.

 

"He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen," she added.

 

BROTHERS: STEPHEN CRAIG Paddock (right) is shown with his brother, Erick Paddock. Stephen Paddock went on a shooting spree Sunday (Oct. 1st) night from his Mandalay Bay hotel casino on the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, killing 59 people and injuring 527. (Courtesy of Eric Paddock)

 

Danley added that two weeks ago, Paddock had told her he found a cheap plane ticket for her to visit family in the Philippines.

 

"Like all Filipinos abroad, I was excited to go home and see family and friends," that statement said. "While there, he wired me money ($100,000), which he said was for me to buy a house for me and my family."

 

She said she became concerned at that point, thinking he wanted to break up with her.

 

"It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone."

Danley said she was devastated by Sunday night's attack on concertgoers -- the worst mass shooting in modern US history -- and her prayers went out to all the victims.

 

"I am a mother and grandmother and my heart breaks for all who have lost loved ones," she said.

 

Danley's profile in LinkedIn describes her as “Gambling & Casinos Professional” and resides in Reno, Nevada. Public records show that she is 62 years old (born, Dec. 12, 1954), four feet, 11 inches tall and weighed 111 pounds.

 

Paddock open fired from his 32nd floor large suite of Mandalay Bay hotel casino at about 10:08 p.m. overlooking a crowd of more than 22,000 concertgoers. The victims were across the street attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert when bullets rang out. 

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department SWAT responded to the call, breached the hotel room and found the gunman dead.

 

Although early press reports indicated that Ms. Danley is now off the hook because she was outside the United States when the mass shooting happened, LVMPD Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told a news conference, “We are still continuing to ask her several questions. She is out of the country. She is in Tokyo (Japan), not in the Philippines.”

 

 

Police said Paddock had no criminal record. The gunman killed himself before police entered the hotel room from where he was firing, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.

 

"We have no idea what his belief system was," Lombardo said. "I can't get into the mind of a psychopath."

 

Federal officials said there was no evidence to link Paddock to militant organizations.

"We have determined to this point no connection with an international terrorist group," Aaron Rouse, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) field office in Las  Vegas, told reporters.

 

The Clark County Fire Department estimated that approximately 406 people were transported to area hospitals and 50 were dead following Sunday evening’s shooting.

 

Among the dead were a nurse and a Las Vegas police officer who was off-duty at the time. His name was withheld pending notification of next of kin. There were also two on-duty officers injured, one of whom was upgraded recently from critical to stable condition. The other sustained non-life threatening wounds.

 

This is still an active investigation, Sheriff Lombardo said. The Federal Bureau of Investigations is asking for anyone with videos or photos concerning the shooting to call 1-800-CALLFBI or (800) 225-5324.

 

LVMPD and Clark County Coroner’s Office have set up a hotline for family or friends to report a missing loved one connected to this incident.

 

The hotline is only to take reports on missing people. The number is (866) 535-

5654.

 

LVMPD also opened up a family reunification center at its headquarters at 400 S. Martin L. King Blvd. in Building B. The identification process of all of the injured and the deceased will take time, so authorities are asking the public for patience.

 

Paddock, 64, lived in Mesquite, Nevada retirement community, where amenities include golf and tennis. He was a multimillionaire real-estate investor and liked to travel to Las Vegas to play high-states video poker.

 

Investigators are still puzzled why Paddock would bring with him 17 guns inside his hotel room and spray bullets upon an outdoor country music festival below.

 

His brother, Erick Paddock, told reporters, “I can’t even make something up. There’s just nothing.”

 

Country music star Jason Aldean was performing for more than 22,000 fans on the Route 91 Harvest Festival when Paddock launched the attack.

 

Sheriff Lombardo ruled out connection to international terrorism although Islamic State group had claimed responsibility. 

Paddock was a “lone wolf” assassin. He said three scenes are still being processed: the 32nd floor room in Mandalay Bay where the shooting emanated; Paddock’s house in Mesquite; and another house in north Nevada.

 

In Mesquite, police found more than 18 firearms, explosives and electronic devices. 

Lombardo said there were 16 firearms in the room where Paddock killed himself, some with scopes and some that appeared to have been modified to convert them to fully automatic weapons.

 

Lombardo said the gunman apparently used a "device similar to a hammer" to smash the windows from which he fired.

 

Police found at least 18 additional firearms, some explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition at Paddock's home in Mesquite, about 90 miles (145 km) northeast of Las Vegas, along with "some electronic devices that we are evaluating at this time," Lombardo told reporters.

 

Meanwhile, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) issued the following statement after the shooting at the Route 91 Music Festival in Las Vegas:

 

“In the strongest terms, NaFFAA condemns the senseless attack that took over 50 lives and injured over 500 more in Las Vegas this weekend,” said Brendan Flores, NaFFAA National Chairman. 


“My hometown of Clark County is home to over 145,000 Filipino Americans, and is a vibrant and diverse community. I have faith that they will come together to overcome this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the innocent lives lost and wounded in the shooting. As I said in response to the Charlottesville attacks, we must join together in the spirit of community to act as lights in the face of darkness.”

 

Amie Belmonte, NaFFAA’s Desert Mountain Region Chair (NV, AZ, UT), added: “As we struggle to make sense of the devastating attack on innocent lives that occurred in our beloved Las Vegas community, one thing is crystal clear: We are eternally grateful for the first responders, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, and all other selfless individuals who risked their lives to come to the aid of victims on the ground. It is their stark bravery that offers a glimmering light of hope in the shadow of this cowardly act of hate.

 

As NaFFAA’s Desert Mountain Region Chair, we offer our prayers and sympathies to the victims, pledge our support to anyone from our community affected by the attacks, and encourage those who are able to donate blood to do so. In situations like this, such donations can mean the difference between life or death for those recovering from the attack.” (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. '; document.write(''); document.write(addy_text37121); document.write('<\/a>'); //-->\n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

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