Dirco committee sends condolences to families of Las Vegas victims

Chairperson Siphosezwe Masango has described Monday’s terror attack in which more than 50 people were killed as senseless.

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on 1 October 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN – Parliament’s International Relations Committee has sent its condolences to families of those who died in the deadly Las Vegas mass shooting.

Chairperson Siphosezwe Masango has described Monday’s terror attack in which more than 50 people were killed as senseless.

A 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on thousands of people attending a country concert this week, killing at least 59 people.

More than 500 others were injured.

Committee chair Siphosezwe Masango has called the attack senseless, saying more emphasis needs to be placed on human values of tolerance.

Paddock, who killed himself moments before police stormed the hotel suite he had transformed into a sniper’s nest on Sunday night, left no clear clues as to why he staged his attack on an outdoor concert below the high-rise building.

But law enforcement authorities were hoping to obtain some answers from a woman identified as Paddock’s live-in companion, Marilou Danley, who Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said was a “person of interest” in the investigation.

Lombardo, who said on Monday Danley was believed to be in Tokyo, told reporters on Tuesday she had been located in the Philippines and the Federal Bureau of Investigation was in the process of trying to bring her back to the United States.

“We are in conversations with her,” he told an afternoon news briefing. He reiterated police had no other suspects in the shooting itself.

Danley, an Australian citizen reported to have been born in the Philippines, had been sharing Paddock’s condo at a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, about 145 km northeast of Las Vegas, according to police and public records.

Investigators were examining a $100,000 wire transfer Paddock, 64, sent to an account in the Philippines that “appears to have been intended” for Danley, a senior US homeland security official told Reuters on Tuesday.

The official, who has been briefed regularly on the probe but spoke on condition of anonymity, said the working assumption of investigators was that the money was intended as a form of life insurance payment for Danley.

The official said US authorities were eager to question Danley, who described herself on social media websites as a “casino professional,” mother and grandmother, about whether Paddock encouraged her to leave the United States before he went on his rampage.

_Additional reporting by Reuters. _

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)