Lombardo’s comments question the veracity of his departments final investigative report on October 1 massacre - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Lombardo’s comments question the veracity of his departments final investigative report on October 1 massacre

LAS VEGAS — At a luncheon event Thursday at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo who runs the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, made comments that now question the veracity of the LVMPD’s final criminal investigative report on the October 1, 2017 massacre.

While speaking to an audience of gaming and security professionals at the Aria, Lombardo referred to gunman Stephen Paddock as a “terrorist.”No one knows what a terrorist looks like,” Lombardo told the crowd. “Stephen Paddock didn’t look like a terrorist,” he said.

Commenting on the over 20 pieces of luggage that Paddock brought into the Mandalay Bay Hotel and that the police contend contained the 23 firearms, magazines and ammunition that Paddock used to carry out his attack, Lombardo said that when hotel staff inquired of Paddock about the excessive luggage, that Paddock told them the bags were for a family reunion.

In August when the LVMPD released its 187-page final criminal investigative report on October 1, 2017, Las Vegas massacre, we learned that the report would not be able to address the “why,” what caused Paddock to commit the worst mass shooting in modern American history, in short, motive unknown.

The police state in that final investigative report that no one, other than Paddock took part in or assisted him in the commission of the crime. Reports from national news outlets that ISIS claimed responsibility for the shooting, the police state that none of that information was accurate. Reports of multiple shooters in different locations, no evidence exists to substantiate any of those reports, the police say. No evidence was found that Paddock was radicalized, supported or followed any hate group or foreign terrorist organization.

The police tell us they don’t know what Paddock’s motive for the massacre was.

Why does Sheriff Joe Lombardo refer to Paddock as a terrorist when that is contrary to his own department’s findings as stated in the police report, does he know something that the public doesn’t know?

Is there something that the police held back in their final criminal investigative report for reasons unknown to the public?

These are questions that I don’t like to raise, but they are questions that must now be raised because of Lombardo’s comments.

So, after his department’s final report was released on August 3, we now learn from Lombardo that Mandalay Bay staff were suspicious of the amount of luggage that Paddock had, that they even inquired of him why he had all this luggage.

I read that final police report at least fifty times if not more.

Not once, not ever, is it mentioned in that police report that any staff member from the Mandalay Bay Hotel was suspicious about Paddock’s excessive luggage and questioned him about it.

The police report states they interviewed the following Mandalay Bay employees who would have had contact at some time with Paddock during his stay and would have known about the luggage:

  • Shane Calloway (Valet Attendant)
  • Daniel Cruz (Valet Attendant)
  • Suzanne Curry (Room Service Attendant)
  • Myrna Gamboa (Guest Room Attendant)
  • John Holdridge (Guest Room Attendant)
  • Antonio Hernandez (Guest Room Food Server)
  • Gerard Killeen (Bellman)
  • Jorge Morales (Bellman)
  • Phillip Torrez (Baggage Handler)

Shane Calloway (Valet Attendant) told police that nothing stood out in reference to Paddock’s behavior and did not remember seeing him with any bags. The only thing Calloway thought was strange was the fact Paddock checked his vehicle in under Danley’s name.

Daniel Cruz (Valet Attendant) did not mention anything to the police about Paddock’s luggage.

Suzanne Curry (Room Service Attendant) told police while she was inside the room, she did not notice anything out of the ordinary or suspicious. She also did not notice any other people inside the room or signs that another person was in the room with him.

Myrna Gamboa (Guest Room Attendant) said that while in Paddock’s room on September 25, 2017, she saw the luggage in the main suite area which consisted of approximately five bags, maybe more. The only bags she saw were neatly stacked up.

John Holdridge (Guest Room Attendant) stated that on September 29, he received a call to “freshen” Room 32-134 because the Paddock stated he smelled something. Upon going to the room, he stated there was no one inside. He did not see any luggage or clothing in the room, and the adjoining door to 32-135 was closed. He never saw or had contact with Paddock.

Antonio Hernandez (Guest Room Food Server) delivered a food order to Room 32-135 on September 27. Paddock was inside the room. He stated he did not see anything suspicious inside 32-135, including bags, computers, etc.

Gerard Killeen (Bellman) said that on September 26, at approximately 10:47 p.m. he received a run ticket to deliver luggage to Room 32-135 which he did use a luggage cart. Paddock opened the door. As he unloaded the luggage cart, Paddock helped him remove items. There was luggage on the cart as well as some non-luggage items (possibly a box). Killeen stated none of the items he moved were particularly heavy.

Jorge Morales (Bellman) said that on September 25 he escorted Paddock and his bags to Room 32-135. Paddock requested to stay with his bags and use the back elevators or service elevators. He explained it’s not uncommon for VIP guests to be escorted through the service elevators. Paddock had regular luggage bags with him and nothing was unusual. The bags were on the service cart, and Paddock rolled one bag himself. When they arrived at the room, he asked Paddock if he would like him to take his bags to the back of the room and paddock responded, “No, just leave them here” (at the front entryway of the room). When Morales removed the bags from the cart, the bags were normal weight, not lighter or heavier than usual, and paddock did not react to Morales handling the bags.

Phillip Torrez’ (Baggage Handler) told the police, that on September 26 he was working and came into contact with Paddock while helping with a luggage cart. Torrez could not remember in detail what baggage was on the cart, but he thought there were duffel bags. After loading the cart, Paddock requested to be taken to his room with his luggage. The normal protocol is a guest will be given a ticket and, upon getting to their room, the guest will call and have the luggage delivered. When Paddock requested to go with his luggage, Torrez stated he does this for guests to expedite them, and it’s not unusual. While walking to the service elevator with the luggage cart, he had a casual conversation with Paddock. Paddock stated he had family coming to town and some of the luggage belonged to them. The conversation was carefree, and Paddock was very pleasant. Upon reaching the elevator, Bellman Gerard Killeen took over.

Nothing mentioned in Torrez’ statement as documented in the police report does Torrez say he was suspicious of Paddock’s luggage, that he inquired to Paddock about his luggage, all it states is that Paddock said he has family coming to town.

None of the other employee statements indicate that they were suspicious of and/or inquisitive about Paddock’s luggage, at the very least the police don’t document it if they had mentioned it.

Even the Las Vegas Review-Journal on October 11 wrote, “but told inquisitive staffers the bags were for a family reunion, Lombardo said.

This is extremely important folks.

There is a big difference in Paddock saying he has family coming to town than being questioned by Torrez or any other Mandalay Bay employee who may have been “inquisitive” or “suspicious” about Paddock’s luggage.

Lombardo, the highest law enforcement officer in Clark County, Nevada whose department, the LVMPD, was responsible for the criminal investigation of the worst mass shooting in modern American History, stated that Mandalay Bay staffers were inquisitive of Paddock’s luggage, that they were curious enough to ask him about excessive luggage.

That is not documented anywhere in the police report and I have to ask why that is. Was it purposely omitted to protect MGM Resorts International, the owners of the Mandalay Bay Hotel?

This is it in a nutshell. If any employee of the Mandalay Bay Hotel were suspicious of Paddock’s luggage enough to inquire about it to Paddock as Lombardo said, then that my friends open the floodgates.

Why didn’t they mention that suspicious activity to a supervisor and/or hotel security?

For crying out loud, 58 people were killed and over 400 wounded by Paddock’s gunfire and this needs to be addressed.

 

 

 

 

 


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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