Police watched Paddock commit suicide and coroner makes bizarre statement - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Police watched Paddock commit suicide and coroner makes bizarre statement

LAS VEGAS — A Clark County Nevada District Court judge ordered Tuesday Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg to release the autopsy reports of Stephen Paddock and all 58 victims of the Oct. 1 Las Vegas massacre.

Fudenberg had previously released a statement that Stephen Paddock had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and that all 58 victims at the Route 91 concert venue died of gunshot wounds.

The judge’s order was simple enough; release all the autopsy reports. You can’t make it any plainer than that.

John Fudenberg

Instead, Fudenberg stated he could not release Paddock’s autopsy report because it has not been “finalized,” and would release the autopsies of the victims “as soon as possible.”

Fudenberg did not elaborate on what he meant by “finalized.”

Paddock’s body has already been cremated and his ashes were picked up by his brother, Eric Paddock, earlier this month.

So, the big question here is why hasn’t Stephen Paddock’s autopsy been “finalized,” whatever that means. How could it not be finalized if the coroner already ruled his cause of death as a suicide?

It’s statements like this that irritate me.

Why?

Because it’s only going to add to a long list of conspiracy theories that I for one don’t prescribe to.

I still believe that Stephen Paddock was the lone gunman responsible for the October 1 massacre, however that remark from the coroner bothers me. It is becoming extremely hard for me to maintain that position and retain my objectivity.

This investigation from the outset has been plagued with controversy, in large part due to Clark County Sheriff, Joe Lombardo who runs the LVMPD.

Lombardo’s lies, false, misleading, convoluted and contradictory statements just added fuel to the fire of conspiracy.

Now, it appears that Clark County Coroner, John Fudenberg is following in Lombardo’s footsteps.

What the hell is going on here?

The judge Mr. Fudenberg, ordered you to release the autopsy reports, so release them immediately, without delay. End of story.

Let’s not forget this

The SWAT Team that never showed up for the worst mass shooting in American history. First reported by the Baltimore Post-Examiner.

The homicide unit was not allowed to conduct the investigation of Paddock’s suicide, instead, it was given to the Force Investigation Team that at the time was commanded by the wife of Lombardo’s number two-man, Undersheriff Kevin McMahill. First reported by the Baltimore Post-Examiner.

The police rolled over Paddock’s body before the arrival of the crime scene investigator’s. First reported by the Baltimore Post-Examiner.

Then to add insult to injury police personnel leaked photographs of the crime scene to the press, compromising the integrity of the criminal investigation.

Then someone allowed a photographer to breach the Mandalay Bay 32nd floor hallway crime scene to take pictures of the front door suite and the interior directly in front of the door.

Those were police officers that leaked those crime scene photographs. And as first reported in the Baltimore Post-Examiner, I was told, was one of those officers was one of Lombardo’s command staff personnel.

The Baltimore Post-Examiner was the first to report that the LVMPD had to borrow three armored vehicles from a private company the night of the massacre. The LVMPD and the private company, both refused to comment on that.

What the hell.

Like I said, I don’t prescribe to conspiracy theory, but if I wanted to write a great conspiracy mystery novel, I wouldn’t have to go too far for a plot.

If you think what you heard is bad enough, keep on reading, you will be in for a real shocker, as it only gets worse.

I hate to say this but anyone that was involved in this investigation at the LVMPD is quickly losing credibility with me.

You would think that a police department would have wanted the criminal investigation of the worst mass shooting in American history to be their greatest shining moment.

Instead, it is quickly turning into a disaster.

Judge releases LVMPD search warrants

In a separate matter, also on Tuesday, another Clark County District Court judge released the LVMPD search warrant and the affidavits for probable cause for the searches.

In the Order on Petition to Unseal Search Warrant Records, District Court Judge, Elisha F. Cadish wrote:

The Nevada Supreme Court, as well as the federal courts, have recognized both a common law right and a First Amendment right to access to court records in criminal proceedings. This is recognized to be a qualified right, which has been applied to search warrant proceedings and materials after charges are brought, but not during a pre-indictment investigation. In this case, Stephen Paddock has been determined by law enforcement authorities to be the lone shooter and the only one involved in the planning of the shooting, and he shot himself in connection with the October 1 events. However, there is an ongoing investigation regarding possible charges against another individual arising out of information in connection with the October 1 shooting, but not directly related to the shooting itself.”

“Thus, the Court must be cautious not to reveal documents which would interfere with that investigation and possible charges, as well as avoid threatening the privacy interests and safety of an individual mentioned in the sealed documents. In LVMPD’s Sealed Supplemental Response, LVMPD stated it does not object to the unsealing of the search warrant affidavits and returns associated with SW 17-171. And SW 17-998. As to the remaining warrants addressed in the Petition, SW 17-984 through 17-996, LVMPD asserted they should remain under seal and, in the alternative, proposed possible redactions of those documents as it relates to the ongoing investigation of possible charges.”

“The Court finds that the vast majority of the documents Petitioners seek to unseal do not contain any information that would compromise the ongoing investigation in any way nor present any danger to a private citizen. Thus, the Court finds that redaction of a couple of phrases in each of the search warrant affidavits for SW 17-984 through 17-996, which all have the same pertinent language, will sufficiently protect the ongoing investigation while satisfying the public right to access these criminal case records. Additionally, in the course of looking into these issues, the Court discovered that there were three additional warrants related to the October 1 shooting which were not identified in prior pleadings of the parties, specifically SW 17-1047, SW 17-1048, and SW 17-1091, SW 17-1047, and 17-1048 both contain the same phrases the Court is ordering redacted from the warrants identified above. Although not mentioned in the Petition, the same public right of access would apply to these three warrants and thus, the Court is also ordering these warrants to be unsealed, other than the same redactions to SW 17-1047 and 17-1048.”

Person of interest identified

The name ‘Haig’ was referenced in one of the released documents as a person of interest.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Douglas Haig of Mesa, Arizona gave a statement that he met Stephen Paddock once and sold him some ammunition.

I said in several of my stories that I believed that the subject of the ongoing criminal investigation could be related to the child pornography found on Paddock’s computer, the firearms and or the ammunition.

Armor piercing, tracer, and incendiary ammunition were found in Paddock’s suite according to the preliminary police report.

The death of Stephen Paddock; a slightly different account

Sheriff Joe Lombardo has said numerous times that when officers breached Stephen Paddock’s room, they found Paddock dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

On Tuesday, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported that one of the released documents detailed a telephonic search warrant request from Oct. 2 at 3:02 a.m. that stated, “as SWAT officers breached room 135, they observed Stephen Paddock place a gun to his head and fire one round.”

According to the LVRJ Sheriff Joe Lombardo on Tuesday said he had not read the document and could not comment on it. Really, we are to believe that the highest law enforcement officer in the county was not aware of this.

This does not look good.

Lombardo referred requests about that document to Sgt. Jerry MacDonald, who according to the LVRJ, is expected to comment on that on Wednesday.

Sgt. Jerry MacDonald is a member of the Force Investigation Team that investigated Paddock’s death and according to the 81-page preliminary investigative report, one of the authors of that report.

Why are we first hearing about this after four months?

There is no mention of this in the preliminary report.

On page 15 of that report, it states, “The Strike Team reported Paddock was down from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.”

On page 30 of the report, it states, “Team 2 encountered Paddock lying on the floor on his back. The officers believed Paddock had a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

Did somebody make a major mistake here, because if not, it sounds like somebody committed perjury as telephonic search warrants are sworn to under oath?

This does not look good under any stretch of the imagination. I can only hope that this is just plain incompetence on someone’s part and nothing more sinister.

The LVMPD will once again be responsible, unwittingly, for perpetuating what is no doubt going to be more conspiracy theories.

The ones who suffer from all this are the families of those who were killed and the survivors of October 1 and those of us who like them, are just trying to get to the truth.

What has not been released to date

This is what I want to review.

Surveillance video of Stephen Paddock bringing in the suitcases as mentioned in the 81-page preliminary police report. Lock interrogation reports for room 32-134 and 32-135. Documentation to back-up what was written in the police preliminary report.

All evidence in the possession of MGM Resorts International, the owners of the Mandalay Bay Hotel relating to the October 1 massacre.

Never forget the 58 people who died and the 851 who were wounded and or injured in the worst mass shooting in American history that occurred on the Las Vegas Strip on the night of October 1, 2017.

The massacre was preventable, it should never have happened.


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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