Arizona man says he sold ammunition to Las Vegas shooter

This October 2017 file photo released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Force Investigation Team Report shows the kitchenette in the hotel room of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock's 32nd floor room of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, an image released as part of a preliminary report by Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, in Las Vegas. The name of a man identified in court documents as a person of interest in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history was publicly revealed because of a court error, Las Vegas, Nevada | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via The Associated Press, St. George News

LAS VEGAS (AP) — An Arizona man named in court documents as a “person of interest” during the investigation of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history said Tuesday he had met the shooter one time and sold ammunition to him.

Read more: Police release 81-page report detailing Las Vegas shooting massacre

In this Oct. 2, 2017, file photo, investigators load bodies from the scene of a mass shooting at a music festival near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. Two Nevada judges in Las Vegas have ordered the release of search warrant records and autopsy reports related to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, with some information redacted, Las Vegas, Nevada | Associated Press photo by Chris Carlson, St. George News

Douglas Haig told The Associated Press that he had been contacted earlier by investigators in the case.

Speaking at his suburban home in Mesa, Haig said he planned to hold a news conference later this week to answer questions about his name surfacing in the investigation.

“I am the guy who sold ammunition to Stephen Paddock,” Haig said without disclosing any details. Police say Paddock was the gunman and killed himself as officers converged on him.

A law enforcement official told the AP in October that Paddock bought 1,000 rounds of tracer ammunition from a private seller he met at a Phoenix gun show. The official spoke anonymously because they weren’t authorized to disclose case information. It was not immediately clear if that person was Haig.

Records show Haig owns Specialized Military Ammunition LLC. The company’s website says it sold tracer and incendiary ammunition but is now “closed indefinitely.”

In this October 2017 file photo, photos and notes adorn a wall at the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden in Las Vegas. The garden was built as a memorial for the victims of the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas. Two Nevada judges in Las Vegas have ordered the release of search warrant records and autopsy reports related to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, with some information redacted, Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 16, 2017 | Associated Press photo by John Locher, St. George News

Haig’s name emerged by mistake Tuesday when court documents were released nearly four months after the shooting.

The documents did not disclose why authorities considered Haig a person of interest.

Police officials did not respond to telephone, text and email messages about Haig from AP. FBI and U.S. attorney’s office spokeswomen in Las Vegas declined to comment.

The documents show that early in the investigation, police believed Paddock must have had help.

“Given the magnitude of the incident, it is reasonable to believe multiple suspects and months of planning were involved in this premeditated massacre,” said one search warrant request submitted to a judge nine days after the shooting stopped.

This October 2017 file photo released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Force Investigation Team Report showing the interior of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock’s 32nd floor room of the Mandalay Bay hotel Two Nevada judges in Las Vegas have ordered the release of search warrant records and autopsy reports related to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, with some information redacted, Las Vegas, Nevada | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via The Associated Press, St. George News

However, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo released a preliminary report on Jan. 19 saying police and the FBI believe Paddock acted alone before he killed himself as police closed in.

It did not answer the key question: What made Paddock stockpile a cache of assault-style weapons and fire for about 10 minutes out the windows of Mandalay Bay hotel-casino into a crowd of 22,000 people.

Haig’s name was blacked out in the more than 270 pages of search warrant records released by a Nevada judge to The Associated Press but remained on one page of documents provided to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The newspaper published the name online. Clark County District Court Judge Elissa Cadish later ordered the full document not be published without redactions, but she acknowledged she couldn’t order the newspaper to retract the name.

Authorities previously said an unnamed person could face unspecified federal charges in shooting that also injured more than 800 other people.

The warrants show that investigators found 23 rifles and a handgun in Paddock’s 32nd-floor hotel suite and an adjoining room. Police also found five suitcases, five rifle cases, binoculars, a spotter scope, portable solar generator and 1,050 empty bullet casings.

In this Oct. 1, 2017, file photo, police officers tell people to take cover near the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, after Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival killing dozens and wounding hundreds. The name of a man identified in court documents as a person of interest in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history was publicly revealed because of a court error. Clark County District Court Judge Elissa Cadish said Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, that her staff failed to black out the name in nearly 300 pages of documents released to news organizations including The Associated Press and Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas, Nevada |
Associated Press photo by John Locher, St. George News

Police reported finding just $273 in cash in the room of the 64-year-old retired accountant who amassed a millionaire’s fortune, owned homes in Reno and Mesquite, Nevada, and earned casino perks wagering thousands of dollars on high-stakes video poker.

Authorities previously characterized Paddock as a gambler on a losing streak who was obsessed with cleanliness, may have been bipolar and was having difficulties with his live-in girlfriend.

The name of Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, was not redacted from documents released Tuesday in response to a public records lawsuit filed by media companies including AP and the Review-Journal.

Danley was in the Philippines at the time of the attack and is cooperating with investigators.

She was initially considered a person of interest, but authorities later said she is not likely to face criminal charges.

Separately, Clark County District Court Judge Timothy Williams ruled Tuesday that the coroner in Las Vegas should release autopsy records of Paddock and the people killed by gunfire, with victims’ names blacked out. Those documents were not immediately made public.

County Coroner John Fudenberg later released a statement later promising victims’ autopsy reports “as soon as possible.” But Paddock’s autopsy report was not final and would not be released until it is, the coroner said.

Fudenberg maintains the records are confidential and restricts release to families and to police investigating deaths. The coroner and county attorneys didn’t immediately say whether they would appeal Williams’ ruling to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Margaret McLetchie, an attorney representing AP and the Review-Journal in the autopsies case, noted in court that Nevada state public records law does not directly address autopsies and that a deceased person has no legal right to privacy.

In Nevada, records are public unless the law says otherwise, she said.

Written by KEN RITTER and ANITA SNOW, Associated Press. Associated Press writers Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles; Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada; Alina Hartounian in Phoenix and researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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