Was there a second person in Stephen Paddock's Las Vegas hotel room? - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Was there a second person in Stephen Paddock’s Las Vegas hotel room?

LAS VEGAS: Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo who runs the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department left the door open as to whether a second person may have been in gunman Stephen Paddock’s room during a Wednesday  interview with Las Vegas television station, KLAS-TV.

Responding to a question of the reports that there was room service delivered to Paddock’s room for two, Lombardo said, “Uh, well there was, there was food on the tray that had the cameras on it for more than one person, but my understanding there never was a second person seen or located, um, so he liked to eat, probably.”

Probably, that is the most ridiculous investigative conclusion I have ever heard. The gunman who was responsible for the worst mass shooting in U.S. history and all the sheriff can say on that question is that Paddock probably liked to eat.

Stephen Paddock liked to eat or did he have company?

There never was a second person seen or located is not the same thing as definitely concluding the investigation proved that. How could it, there were no hotel surveillance cameras in the hallway or the stairwells.

Lombardo said that Paddock wasn’t seen in the presence of any other individual. The key word here is seen. Again, that is not conclusive.

Answering a question concerning whether MGM Resorts International gave him any contributions to his campaign when he ran for sheriff, Lombardo responded that MGM did not support him, that they supported the other guy.

What Lombardo failed to mention was that according to public records, on December 9, 2016 he received $10,000 from MGM Resorts International for his re-election campaign. Under Nevada law that is the maximum amount allowed for contributions to a political candidate.

Lombardo said that Paddock’s gambling losses may have led him to what he did. However, Lombardo contradicted himself on that statement. “Since 2015, September 2015, he’s lost a significant amount of wealth and I think that may have a determining factor on, what his, what he determined to do.”

Then later Lombardo said, “If you look at the numbers that he did gamble, he was pretty prolific, but he was going in the wrong direction, so I don’t know if that had any effect on what he decided to do.”

Lombardo struggles to tell the whole truth. (Screenshot)

Nobody can get into Paddock’s mind, nobody can at this point, he’s dead. An examination of his brain can only determine if there were some medical abnormality, everything else would be speculation.

If indeed he had some hatred of the casinos for his losses, then one would have to ask the question why he slaughtered concert goers outside of the casino and not attacked the hotel outright. That we will never know.

Over one month since the Las Vegas attack and it appears law enforcement has no motive for Paddock’s actions. We knew more about the terrorist that killed 8 people in New York City twenty-four hours after that attack, than we know about Paddock, more one month after he killed 58 people.

Lombardo said, “As far as we can tell he’s a lone actor, acting on his own, planned this meticulously, you know, with purpose but we haven’t found another actor.”   He wasn’t on our radar, he wasn’t on the federal database radar, he wasn’t on our local radar, he wasn’t even in our criminal radar. My understanding is that he had two previous traffic citations and that’s just about it.”

When law enforcement makes statements like that as far as I’m concerned, it means nothing. Plenty of active shooters and terrorists are never on anybody’s radar, and several have been on FBI radar and were even interviewed by the FBI and later committed terrorist acts in this country. So, what the hell does it matter.

Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley is going to be interviewed again according to Lombardo. “Personally, it’s hard for me to believe that an individual with 48 or 49 weapons would be amassing an armory such as that with some sort of evil intent. You would think that Miss Danley would have some information associated with that but currently we haven’t been able to pull that out of her, if it’s in her. But I have confidence in the investigators.”

I agree with that, I have always said from the start that she was holding something back. I don’t have confidence in the investigators if they are the same ones who initially interviewed Mandalay Bay Security Officer, Jesus Campos. We still don’t know why homicide detectives are not involved in the investigation. Maybe removing the Force Investigation Team, that investigates officer involved shootings, may result in some surprising results. Or are they involved because their bureau commander is the wife of the Undersheriff.

Lombardo admitted that Danley is being watched and that she is still considered a person of interest. He said that Paddock probably brought the guns into the room in a period of several days. “I would make that assessment,” Lombardo said.

According to Lombardo most of the people in the casino environment knew Paddock. “It was troublesome that he had the ability to bring those weapons into a room and that we didn’t pick up on that.” “It could have been prevented on many levels,” said Lombardo.

I wholeheartedly agree with that. Paddock should have been prevented from bringing his arsenal of death into the Mandalay Bay. Casinos were put on notice for years to take preventive measures from an active shooter and or a terrorist strike.

On January 12, 2015 I published a story on my LinkedIn page that is available for reading on the bottom of this article.  Are Las Vegas casinos vulnerable from a terrorist attack?

A more in-depth story will be published in the future at the Baltimore Post-Examiner on that topic.

Lombardo talked about the timelines again and said, “None of the times were inaccurate, it’s just the description associated with the time were inaccurate, what exactly happened associated with the times.”

You don’t calm people’s fears by giving the public inaccurate and unverified information.

I covered this extensively in other stories. The timelines were inaccurate and so were the events associated with those times. It was a public relations nightmare.

Lombardo said, “We responded very fast. Security helped us in every aspect and that we saved a lot of lives.” By the time the police got up to the 32nd floor Paddock had already stopped shooting.

Talking about the alleged suicide of Paddock, Lombardo said, “I believe the suspect knew the wolf was at the door and took his own life because of our response and his awareness of our response caused him to take his life.”

That is all assumption and speculation. Nobody saw Paddock shoot himself. We have not seen the coroner’s report, all the forensic evidence and photographs. All that needs to be independently verified.

“…. formulate a plan to breach the suspect’s room. In this case because of what the suspect did officers made the decision to breach this doorway of the hotel room in case the guy was reloading, maybe he was reloading magazines, we didn’t want to give him the opportunity to keep firing and when they made entry they found out he committed suicide.”

Sorry to be blunt here folks, but that is total B.S. Paddock stopped firing at 10:15 p.m. according to the most current version of Lombardo’s timeline. Now he is telling the public that they were worried about Paddock reloading magazines and didn’t want to give him the opportunity to keep firing. The police didn’t breach the door until 11:20 p.m. That’s a full one hour and five minutes since Paddock stopped firing. So, the police waited all that time hoping Paddock was not going to reload. Sorry sheriff that statement doesn’t hold water, it defies logic.

Originally Lombardo told the public at the press briefings that Paddock had an escape plan. During the latest interview he said, “I don’t know if it was a plan.”

“We know through his computer he did research on police tactics,” Lombardo said.

The next shooter or terrorist will not have to go through all that trouble.

They can simply listen to the LVMPD radio traffic from the night of Oct. 1 that is available through any number of websites. There one can learn all about the tactical movements of the LVMPD that were broadcasted live unencrypted all over the world, including how many SWAT teams are available in Clark County and that the LVMPD is short of armored vehicles, among other things.

On the question of multiple active shooter calls on the night of October 1, Lombardo downplayed that. “We got multiple calls people were running away from the event covered in blood, people at different locations, are making assumptions they were in a firefight there. We had to respond to these calls and make sure there wasn’t another shooter. We were able to quickly dispel those very fast.”

I will have a separate story on those incidents. Just to note those calls started coming in after Paddock stopped firing and many were specific, not assumptions.

Speaking about the SWAT officer that fired his weapon Lombardo said, “The only other gunshots in particular are ours. But it wasn’t out in the public space and I’m comfortable about talking about it. We had an accidental discharge during the second breach. One of the officers had an accidental discharge.”

It was out in the public space. The Baltimore Post-Examiner published the story, Las Vegas SWAT officer fired weapon inside gunman’s room on Oct. 6. The problem was the local and national media did a poor job of reviewing the police radio traffic from the night, if they even reviewed it at all. They missed the mark on many things. The mainstream press reported the officer fired the weapon three days ago.

Why it took the sheriff a month to finally make a comment on this is disgraceful. We still don’t know any of the specifics.

Lombardo said the public didn’t have a need to know so, he took it upon himself to conceal that from the public for some mysterious reason.

So much for transparency under the leadership of Lombardo and Undersheriff Kevin McMahill.

What else is being withheld from the public in this investigation?

Never forget the 58 people slaughtered and the over 500 injured in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history that occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 1, 2017.

It should never have happened.


LinkedIn article posted Jan. 12, 2015.

Are Las Vegas casinos vulnerable from a terrorist attack?

By Doug Poppa

Last year a pickup truck went right thru the front doors of the Stratosphere Hotel- Casino in Las Vegas. Thank God it was not a terrorist VBIED. Thirteen years since 9/11, ISIS threatening attacks in this country and Al-Queda in their latest online magazine calling for Jihadists in this country to use car bomb attacks, it was a disgrace that anyone can drive a vehicle right thru the front doors of any casino.

That should say something as to how casino owners feel about protecting their employees and guests. Casinos spend millions on advertising, marketing and renovations but how much money gets allocated to protecting their infrastructure against a possible attack?

Drive down the Las Vegas Strip and see how easy it is for a vehicle to be driven right thru the front doors of a casino. This should not be. There are measures you can take to prevent that type of attack, but then again it costs money.

In 2007 a gunman opened fire with a semiautomatic handgun from a balcony overlooking the casino floor inside the New York New York Hotel-Casino. Four people were wounded before four tourists tackled the gunman.

That same year we had a deadly car bomb explosion at the Luxor Hotel-Casino. A homemade bomb in a coffee cup was left atop the car of a restaurant employee who died in the blast.

Over the years FBI sources have said that Las Vegas is being mentioned more and more during intercepted conversations between suspected terrorists. They are concerned that Vegas is going to be one of the targets of Al-Queda if they launch an attack in the United States. The phrase “den of iniquity” refers to Vegas. Vegas is known all over the world as a symbol of American hedonism and a prime target of terrorists.

The amount of luggage that goes through most casinos in one day is cause for alarm. How easy it would be for a terrorist to leave an IED concealed in a piece of baggage and just simply walk away?

Some casinos have bomb sniffing dogs that walk throughout the property. Others do not.

Why is it that the security force in some casinos has been cut so low that it is far below the industry standard?

These vulnerabilities are going to be exploited by a terrorist cell or by a lone wolf attacker, it is just a matter of time. Are the casino owners waiting for a tragedy to occur before they take security seriously? Before they start allocating funds for anything they should look at their security force first.

The majority of security personnel in Las Vegas casinos are inexperienced, untrained, unarmed and incapable of handling an armed assault on their property. Should such an attack occur the body count would be immense by the time police responded. Every second that goes by will result in more bodies hitting the ground.

The fact is that a casino dishwasher makes more money than a casino security officer on most properties.

That says a lot about the security industry not only in Las Vegas but across this country. It is just a matter of time before we have terrorist attacks in casinos, shopping malls and other public arenas in this country.

At some point in the future the private security industry in this country will have a major overhaul. Security officers will have to have a certain level of education, attend an academy which will have the same level of training as you would get in a police academy and then a certification before you can even be working in any building protecting anything.

Of course this will only happen after we have learned the hard way as is the case throughout history.

As an Army Veteran, former law enforcement officer and former Director of Security for two properties I believe that the terrorist threat is going to be with us for decades to come.

Casino owners need to get rid of the mindset that “nothing has happened so why should we worry about it,” or “we will worry about it when something happens.”

That is what I heard time and again. But it is not the job of a security director to wait for something to happen before change occurs.

Unfortunately it comes down to money and getting funding in a non-revenue producing department like security in the casino industry is a struggle security directors have to endure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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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