On October 1, 2017, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock shot more than 1,100 bullets into a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Nevada. Fifty-eight people were murdered and 851 were injured. Based on the timeline reported by Business Insider, about an hour after Paddock shot the last round into the crowd, police responding to the scene found him dead in his hotel room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. To this day his motive remains unknown.
Now an Arizona man, Douglas Haig, who sold ammunition to Paddock before the Las Vegas shooting has been charged with manufacturing ammunition without a license. However, it’s important to note the indictment makes no mention of his transactions with Paddock. It states that Haig made ammunition without a license between July, 2016, until October, 2017.
Haig told authorities he reloads ammunition, but he doesn’t sell cartridges directly to consumers. He also said none of the ammunition recovered in the Las Vegas shooting would have any tool marks matching his reloading equipment.
The Las Vegas Sun reports that Haig’s fingerprints were found on unfired armor-piercing cartridges inside the hotel room Paddock was staying in when the shooting took place.
Haig claims he made the bullets, but absolutely did not sell them. He also maintains that he legally sold Paddock about 720 tracer rounds before the shooting. Tracer rounds are not illegal, but they have a pyrotechnic charge that illuminates the path of fired bullets. This allows shooters to see if their aim is correct. Haig also told police that he didn’t notice anything odd about Paddock’s behavior when he sold him the tracer rounds, but that Paddock did go to his car to get some gloves to put on before getting a box to put the tracer ammunition in.
The manufacture and sale of armor-piercing ammunition is illegal, except in certain circumstances. Federal law states it can be allowed for ammunition that’s intended to be used by certain government agencies. Generally, a federal firearms license is required for anyone involved in making armor-piercing ammunition, but individuals who are granted permission from the government wouldn’t need such a license if they aren’t considered to be in the business of selling ammunition. But the indictment filed against Haig in Arizona states he didn’t have a license or government permission.
An attorney from Phoenix named Marc Victor, who is representing Haig, said they will fight the indictment. He hasn’t entered a plea yet, but he is scheduled for his first court appearance in the Nevada case on September 5.