Bryan County weapons manufacturer Daniel Defense has confirmed that it laid off a number of employees recently and that at least one of its products was spotted in images released by Las Vegas law enforcement in the wake of the Oct. 1 mass shooting there.
Layne Newman, public relations specialist with the Black Creek-based firearms company, said photos of Stephen Paddock’s Mandalay Bay hotel room after the shooting show at least one Daniel Defense weapon. Paddock used multiple weapons to fire on concert-goers from the room, killing 59 and injuring more than 520.
It is unclear whether or not the Daniel Defense weapon was fired during the attack.
Newman said the company is still trying to determine how Paddock came to own the weapon. She said Daniel Defense does very little direct sales to customers, working instead through distributors. Officials said Paddock purchased a large number of weapons before the attack in Utah, Nevada and Texas.
Information about the layoffs was first reported by Recoil, an online and print publication devoted to firearms. That story can be found at: http://www.recoilweb.com/daniel-defense-lays-off-large-percentage-of-its-workforce-130055.html.
Newman said she could confirm the layoffs occurred, but that the company was still putting together a statement on the matter. She said employees were let go at both the company’s Bryan County offices and its Ridgeland, S.C., facility.
Daniel Defense moved from Garden City to Black Creek in 2008. Last year it announced a $29.5 million expansion in Black Creek that it said would create 75 new jobs.
See Thursday’s Bryan County News for more information on this developing story.