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Arizona man says he sold ammunition to Las Vegas shooter

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AP Las Vegas
An Arizona man named in court documents as a "person of interest" during the investigation of the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history said he had met the shooter one time and sold ammunition to him.

Douglas Haig told The Associated Press yesterday 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 authorised to disclose case information. It was not immediately clear if that person was Haig.

Records show Haig owns Specialised Military Ammunition LLC. The company's website says it sold tracer and incendiary ammunition but is now "closed indefinitely."

Haig's name emerged by mistake yesterday 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 US 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.

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.

Police reported finding just USD 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.

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First Published: Jan 31 2018 | 2:10 PM IST

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