Douglas Haig, an Arizona man named as a person of interest in the horrific Las Vegas mass shooting earlier this week, has reportedly been charged in connection with the October 1 attack that left 58 people dead and hundreds more wounded. Haig, a former ammunition dealer, had previously admitted to selling over 700 tracer rounds to Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock just weeks before the deadly mass shooting, but claimed not to know Paddock personally, nor have any knowledge of what he was planning. Douglas Haig further claimed that none of the ammo he'd sold to Paddock was found in the Mandalay Bay hotel suite from where he rained down bullets on terrified Route 91 Harvest Festival concert goers.
However, as Crime Online reports, charging documents indicate that fingerprints identified as belonging to Douglas Haig were found on some of the rounds recovered from the Paddock's hotel room. The rounds in question were not the tracer rounds that Haig admitted to selling to the Las Vegas shooter, but rather unfired armor-piercing bullets. Douglas Haig has since been charged with the illegal manufacture and sale of those armor-piercing bullets, as authorities claim that Haig lacked the required credentials to produce the rounds.
As the New York Times reports, the federal charges came the same day as Douglas Haig held a press conference in which he proclaimed to be innocent of any connection to the Las Vegas shooting.According to 55-year-old Haig, his life has been turned upside down since his name was erroneously released as a person of interest in a slew of documents related to the Las Vegas shooting unsealed earlier this week. He even claims that he's received death threats since his alleged connection to the deadly mass shooting was revealed.
During his press conference, Douglas Haig claimed to have met Stephen Paddock only briefly at a Phoenix gun show last fall, just weeks prior to the October 1 shooting. After that meeting, Paddock reportedly visited Haig's home where he purchased 720 rounds of tracer ammo. The bullets, which produce a visible trail of light when fired, were packaged in a box that displayed Haig's name and address. According to Haig, that was his only transaction with Stephen Paddock. The box including Douglas Haig's name and address was later found in Paddock's hotel room, causing investigators to seek him out.During his Friday press conference, Douglas Haig claimed that "at no time did I see anything suspicious or odd" when interacting with Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock. However, charging documents indicate that over the course of being interviewed by investigators, Haig claimed that Paddock "took the time to go back to his car to get gloves, which he put on prior to taking the box from Haig."
Haig was reportedly first contacted by federal agents just hours after Stephen Paddock's devastating Las Vegas attack, and claimed to be "shocked and sickened" by what he learned. Despite being charged with illegally manufacturing and selling armor-piercing bullets on Friday, and despite his fingerprints having been found on unfired armor-piercing rounds discovered in Paddock's hotel room, Haig insists that he has nothing to do with the Las Vegas shooter's actions, reports New York Daily News.
"I had no contribution to what Paddock did. 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, a merchant whose name was released."Douglas Haig further insists that Paddock claimed to want the tracer ammo for the mundane purpose of putting on "a light show" in the desert.
"He said that he was going to go out and shoot it at night with friends."According to Haig, who is an aerospace engineer by trade, he only sold ammunition as a hobby and has discontinued the practice in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting. However, he was clear that he doesn't feel any personal responsibility for what his products may have been used for once sales transactions were complete.
"I don't feel personally responsibility, but at the same time, I can't look into everybody's mind. I can't look into their heart."Douglas Haig claimed that his tracer bullets were not used in the Las Vegas shooting, noting that if they had been, they would have left red streaks in the air. The armor-piercing rounds allegedly produced by Haig and found in Paddock's hotel room had not been fired. CNN reports that Douglas Haig was arrested and made his first court appearance on Friday before being released on his own recognizance. His next court appearance is scheduled for February 15.