Las Vegas Sheriff Lombardo says, 'no conspiracy' - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Las Vegas Sheriff Lombardo says, ‘no conspiracy’

One day after MGM Resorts International released a statement refuting the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s latest timeline in the shooting, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo took no questions at Friday’s press conference.

Lombardo updated the injured to 546. He said 501 victims have been discharged from local hospitals and the dead remain at 58. Seventeen separate medical facilities handled the injured. Forty-five are still hospitalized and remain in critical condition.

The fuel tanks at McCarron International Airport, which is across from the Mandalay Bay, were fired upon with intent and there is low probability that the aviation fuel could have been ignited by gunfire, he said

“To provide clarification on certain items. The dynamics of this investigation is far-reaching, it’s wide, it’s huge, and you can’t expect exact answer,” he said. There was no integrity question associated with that as I have experienced through the cyberspace, questioning my integrity.”

Lombardo said changing the check-in dates from September 25 to the 28 was not breaking news and “we were aware of discrepancies early in the investigation.” He said Paddock did occupy the room on the 25th and the name on the registration was added to include Marylou Danley, Paddock’s girlfriend.   Lombardo did not elaborate on that.

An autopsy was performed and in early evaluations no abnormalities were initially observed in reference to Paddock’s brain, he said.

Excerpts from Lombardo press conference: Circumstances associated with timeline are inaccurate

“Unfortunately, a great deal of my investigator’s time has been preoccupied on that timeline. In the public space the word incompetence has been brought forward. I am absolutely offended with that characterization. This is a dynamic event. Information was obtained from via security logs, [Security] Officer Campos himself, body-worn cameras, lock interrogations, my LVMPD dispatch and interviews.”

Lombardo continued, “I still stand by the time of 2159, 9:59 p.m. It is important that you continue to listen to me. 9:59pm is important, it wasn’t inaccurate when I provided it to you. The circumstances associated with it is inaccurate. Okay, I am very well aware of the MGM statement provided yesterday. I agree with their statement, I am not in conflict with that statement, but here’s what I will tell you.”

“We were provided the timeline of 2159 as a human entry into the security log. Through investigation we have determined that Mr. Campos had encountered the barricaded door adjacent to the suspects door at approximately 2159. In his attempt to gain entry to the 32nd floor required him to ascend to another level and eventually make access to the 32nd floor. He went to the doorway that he was dispatched to originally to address the open doorway. He mitigated that situation and subsequently received fire from the suspect.”

“When you culminate that timeline associated from the initial 2159 to the 2205 [10:05pm] timeline that we still standby as the initial volley of fire, Mr. Campos received his wounds in close proximity to 2205. He attempted to relay that information via his radio and it was confirmed because he also relayed that information via his cellphone. So, the timeline associated with both of these sources have been confirmed.”

“2205, the number that was provided earlier reference to much of fire, um, upon our community, we still stand by that time and that was done by the combination of different sources that I have listed earlier. 2217 [10:17pm], twelve minutes, that is when our officers first arrived on the 32nd floor, twelve minutes. Upon our arrival on the 32nd floor the firing has ceased. We didn’t believe we had a continually active shooter. At that point we conducted evacuations of the rooms adjacent to the suspects room and you know the rest.”

No conspiracy

“So, there is no conspiracy between the FBI, between the LVMPD and the MGM. Nobody is attempting to hide anything reference this investigation. The dynamics of this investigation require us to go through voluminous amounts of information in order to draw an accurate picture. My attempt, like I stated earlier is to give you information as I know it, unverified, to calm the public, not to establish a legal case. Everybody understand that! [ Responding to a question] No questions sir!”

No other individuals intending to cause harm

“Now we’re going to get into the future of this investigation. I don’t want to put a percentage of responsibility associated with this investigation because it would not make any sense, but I’m here to tell you we stand hand-in-hand with the FBI in the continuance of this investigation, in the beginning throes of it, and in the continuance of it. Our portion at LVMPD has become contracted, my concern was the initial safety of the community, whether we had other bad actors out there that we had to address and I feel confident there are no other individuals, um, intending to cause harm, associated with the One October Event [it was a massacre, not an event].”

“Now it’s becoming protracted and that’s where the FBI has their experience. We care establishing the timeline of the suspect’s life, his motivation and everybody else also associated with him throughout time. It requires us to rely on the FBI’s resources for that success. Nobody’s acquiescing in my department to this, I am not acquiescing and nor is the FBI coming in with a hammer and attempting to take over. This will continue to be a joint operation. With that I want to give the opportunity for Aaron Rouse [FBI] to give some statements.

Excerpts from FBI Special Agent Aaron Rouse who says no nexus to terrorism to date

FBI Special Agent Aaron Rouse, said they established  a “24-hour, seven-day-a-week command post with agents, analysts, task force officers and many support personnel.

“We have deployed over 200 employees from across the FBI to Las Vegas, including many with specialized positions,”he said. “Globally we have hundreds of agents covering every facet of this investigation. Nothing will be overlooked. We have made significant progress to date.”

“We have found no signs of ideology or affiliation to any groups. Hundreds of interviews have been conducted so far. Close to 2,000 leads have been covered so far. Extensive review of digital media on a multitude of devices is ongoing. Over a thousand pieces of evidence have been collected and are reviewed by the FBI laboratory. Hours and hours of video from hotels continues to be reviewed. FBI victim specialists from across the country are assisting victims and families of victims. More than 1800 victim questionnaires have been completed and the return of personal property continues.”

We continue to ask you if you have factual information in furtherance of this investigation please call us. If you know something, say something. The number is 1-800-CALL-FBI. The FBI nor our partner, we don’t rush to conclusions. We ask for your patience and will not comment on specifics of this investigation while it is in process. This is in keeping with a long-standing FBI tradition. As I said in the beginning, this is our city, it is your city. Las Vegas is a resilient city, a microcosm of a resilient nation. While we grieve as a community, we will use that energy to learn as much as we can about this terrible crime. I thank you, so we can prevent another one from happening.”

Excerpt of Sheriff Lombardo talking about his officers

“Thank you, Aaron. So, before we close out today I want to provide you another written narrative I want to read verbatim. In support, in other words, bring a better light to what’s occurred and the carnage associated with our community. There are some bright spots and I don’t want anybody to take offense, when I completed my comments today. There are a thousand heroes out there. I’m going to bring it home to my department and I think it’s important for you to hear it. So, the first narrative.”

“In the immediate aftermath of the shooting Sgt. Garret Evans arrived at Reno and Haven and saw the need for a medical triage area. For hours, Sgt. Evans and other LVMPD officers along with off-duty nurses, paramedics and firefighters triaged at least fifty gunshot victims. They ran out of tourniquets and began using anything they could find to stop the bleeding, to including their own hobble devices [placed on ankles of subjects to limit their stride] they use during the normal course of their duties.”

“These officers quickly took care of the wounded and the dying while they waited for medical transport, at times placing the critical victims on the back of trucks so they can get them to the hospital quickly. Not all the victims made it out as the night wore on. These same officers were assigned to guard those deceased victims, not allowing any of them to be left alone. So, the Undersheriff and myself, Kevin McCahill, took it upon ourselves to go out and visit some of my officers yesterday to discuss their mental state, to thank them and check their overall condition.”

“These particular officers sustained some substantial wounds, some of you have heard in the public forum already and some of you haven’t, but there are a couple of key individuals I want you to write about.”

“One of them is Brady Cook. Brady sustained four separate gunshot wounds. When I say separate, that’s entries and exits, that’s not exactly four separate bullets. The important piece on Brady is, the suspect was firing upon the crowd as our officers started to arrive in vehicles, which Brady was occupying one. It is readily apparent to me that he had adjusted his fire and directed it toward the police vehicles. So, the response to those individuals, I believe, saved lives. No matter what his personal vendetta was against the police or not, maybe he was preventing the wolf from getting to his door sooner than later, but he chose to fire upon the police vehicles.”

“Brady sustained a substantial wound to his shoulder, through his bicep, into his chest and out his back, and the reason I bring this one up, he asked me if he can go back to work today.”

“Samuel Whitworth, excuse me for all my emotion. Samuel was laying on his couch with a very intensive wound to his leg. During the melee, in an attempt to evacuate victims, he sustained a broken leg, but he remained on scene and provided security for the medical personnel.”

“So, at this point I am going to thank the community, I’m going to thank you for letting me be your sheriff and Vegas Strong.”  

We still need answers

It is very convenient for MGM Resorts International that now we are told that Campos was shot at about the same time the gunman opened fire. At the time of this story, no information has been released on when or if the Mandalay Bay called 911. There is no reason why MGM Resorts International shouldn’t release all information in their possession. It is still unclear what entry is in the security log at 2159. Why was Paddock’s girlfriends name added to the registration? Releasing unverified information to the public raises more questions.


About the author

Doug Poppa

Doug Poppa is a US Army Military Police Veteran, former law enforcement officer, criminal investigator and private sector security and investigations management professional with 40 years of experience. In 1986 Mr. Poppa was awarded “Criminal Investigator of the Year” by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. He was also re-assigned to the Northern Virginia Regional Narcotics Enforcement Task Force for 18 months. In 1991 and again in 1992 Mr. Poppa’s testimony under oath in court led to the discovery that exculpatory evidence was withheld from the defense by the prosecutor and sheriff’s office officials during the 1988 trial of a man accused of attempted murder of his wife that led to his conviction. As a result of his testimony the man was ordered released from prison, given a new trial in 1992 and found not guilty. Mr. Poppa became the subject of local and national news media attention as a result of his testimony which led to the demise of his 12-year police career. After losing his job, at the request of the FBI, Mr. Poppa infiltrated in an undercover capacity a group of men who were plotting the kidnapping of a Dupont Chemical fortune heir and his wife in 1992. His stories have been featured on Inside Edition, A Current Affair, and CBS News’ Street Stories with Ed Bradley. Contact the author.
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