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Douglas Haig, the man police identified as a person of interest in October's deadly Las Vegas mass shooting, has broken his silence, distancing himself from notions that he had a personal relationship with shooter Stephen Paddock.
Paddock took the lives of 58 concertgoers and injured hundreds more during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival Oct. 1 before shooting himself dead in a suite inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
What did he say?
During a Friday news conference, Haig, an ammunition dealer, admitted to selling Paddock 72o rounds of ammunition after a brief September meeting at a Phoenix gun show but denied that he was involved in the shooting.
Haig explained that, after meeting Paddock at the gun show, Paddock visited Haig's home to purchase 720 rounds of tracer ammunition.
A box bearing Haig's name and address, which Paddock used to tote the ammunition, led investigators to the ammunition dealer.
Haig, 55, told reporters that, in the days after a Nevada court publicly released search warrant documents, he received death threats when it was revealed that police named him as a person of interest.
"I hope today ends [the threats], when people realize that I wasn't in collusion with Paddock, that I was not in any way, shape or form associated with the horrible crime that he committed," Haig told reporters.
Haig also said that, in addition to being an aerospace engineer, he sold ammunition for 20 years.
What did contribute to the shooter?
"I had no contribution to what Paddock did," Haig told reporters. "I had no way to see into his mind. The product that I sold him had absolutely nothing to do with what he did. I’m a vendor, I’m a merchant whose name was released."
He added that investigators contacted him hours after the shooting, and he spoke to them without any hesitation. Investigators questioned Haig on three subsequent occasions.
Haig described Paddock as "well-dressed, very well-groomed, very polite, respectful" and noted that there was nothing out of the ordinary about their transaction. He said that Paddock told him that he planned to put on a desert light show for friends with the tracer ammunition, which leaves a trail of light in its wake when used.
"He paid me, put it in his car, went on his way — at no time did he seem suspicious," Haig explained.
A lawyer for Haig said that his client opted to speak publicly "to protect his reputation."
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