An Arizona aerospace engineer whose side business connected him to the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting in Las Vegas at the annual Route 91 Harvest music festival has been federally charged in the matter.
Douglas Haig, 55, is facing a single count of conspiracy to manufacture and sell armor-piercing bullets to mass murderer Stephen Paddock. Paddock took his life after killing 58 and injuring another 422 concertgoers with several semi-automatic rifles.
Flanked by his attorney, Haig delivered a statement at a Friday news conference, appearing in court later in the day.
“I hope that when today ends, people realize I wasn’t in collusion with Paddock. That I was not in any way, shape or form associated with the horrible crime he committed. I had no contribution to what Paddock did; I had no way to see into his (Paddock’s) mind.”
Haig, who formerly operated an online ammunition business from his home, added there was nothing unusual about the kind of ammunition Paddock purchased. Haig had sold tracer and incendiary ammunition to gun owners for 25 years prior to closing his business.
According to a complaint filed in a Phoenix federal court, Haig did not have a license to manufacture this type of ammunition.
During the course of their probe, investigators were drawn to Haig after discovering an Amazon box in Paddock’s hotel room at the Mandalay Bay hotel. According to police, the box containing 720 rounds of armor-piercing munitions had Haig’s address and the ammunition had Haig’s fingerprints.
Questioned the day following the massacre, Haig admitted to federal agents he had sold the munitions to Paddock. Haig also told investigators he and Paddock had met previously at an August 2017 gun show, but Haig did not have the type of munitions Paddock was seeking to purchase.
Haig later told investigators Paddock contacted him days after meeting him and Haig arranged to meet Paddock at his Arizona home to sell Paddock the munitions he was looking to buy.
According to Haig, Paddock told him at the time of the sale that “he was going to go out to the desert to put on a light show, either with or for his friends.”
Haig faces up to five years behind bars and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
[Arizona Republic] [CNN] [AP via Yahoo] [Photo courtesy Ross Leviton/Las Vegas Review-Journal]