Is Sheriff Joe Lombardo lying or incompetent or both? - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Is Sheriff Joe Lombardo lying or incompetent or both?

Sheriff Joe Lombardo (Screenshot KLAS TV Las Vegas)

Some politicians believe that they can get away with blowing smoke up the public’s ass and spew out lies, deceptive statements and comments that defy logic and they will go unchallenged. They truly believe that the public is for a lack of a better word, dumb.

In Las Vegas it’s no different.

For five weeks we have listened to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, the head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), come up with excuses to explain his convoluted timelines and other screw-ups in the investigation of the worst mass shooting in American history.

What is sad, besides the incompetence in this investigation, is that 58 people are dead and many more are still seriously wounded.

We have heard nothing of any substance for over two weeks from either the LVMPD or the FBI and most likely it’s because they know nothing new or they have their own agenda on why they are silent.

The national media has pretty much given up on the story, it is quickly fading into history.

The local hometown media should be ashamed.

They never asked the hard questions, challenging Lombardo and his second in command, Undersheriff Kevin McLiar, excuse me, McMahill, when they outright lied, gave false, deceptive and misleading answers and comments relating to the investigation.

The Oct. 1 massacre threw a wrench in the reputation of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas can no longer be called one of the safest tourist cities in the world.

The city should drop that absurd slogan, What goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas.

On Oct. 1 plenty of people came to Las Vegas and never went back home alive. Others will hold the emotional and physical scars for the rest of their life.

The local television news media for years has had cozy relationships with the sheriffs who run the LVMPD and so has the print media.

Every day that goes by leads me to believe that something stinks in the woodpile here.

On Nov.  2, Sheriff Lombardo sat down for an interview with local television station KLAS-TV. It was nothing but a public relations stunt, but turned into another chance for Lombardo to make himself look an incompetent dolt.

Lombardo would never want to be interviewed by any experienced investigative journalist, someone who has the knowledge and the common sense at least to challenge him on his lies and deceptive comments.

I will recap a few of Lombardo’s comments here.

“… It was hard to determine where they [shots] were coming from, uh, once it was evaluated, it was coming from the Mandalay Bay as you can imagine how hard it would be to pinpoint the room from the outside.”  

Later we would hear that police officers were with Mandalay Bay security when Security officer Jesus Campos called in over the radio and said the shots were coming from the 32nd floor, so why was it so hard. Why didn’t the police dispatcher know?

Do LVMPD helicopters have forward looking infrared radar (FLIR) that could have pinpointed the gunfire that night and or thermal imaging systems that can detect body heat? They were airborne that night.

“And so subsequently that takes time, you can imagine moving from the location of the event deciding whether you are going to help victims evacuate or you are going to decide whether you are going to take charge and put an element together and go and engage the individual.”

In an active shooter incident your primary mission is to take out the shooter, there is no time to decide. The longer he fires the more bodies are stacking up.

When the security officer was engaged by the suspect we backed off from immediate apprehension and SWAT team formed and made entry.”

When the security officer was being fired upon, there were no police up on the floor at that time. Not only is that the wrong tactical approach but the SWAT team never made entry. The entry team was two K-9 officers, a gang unit detective and another officer.

They were all interviewed by CBS’s 60 Minutes, less the one SWAT officer who breached the door with explosives. I’m sure they had the authorization to be on that show.

Where was the LVMPD SWAT Team that night, or are we missing something here. Both Lombardo and McMahill repeatedly told the press that the SWAT team made entry.

“I don’t want anybody assuming they are unsafe by you know staying at one of our hotels, we would not have um, engaged this individual in the time lapse that we did without their assistance.”

Nobody is going to assume that they are not safe in a Las Vegas hotel. Any terrorist like Stephen Paddock, can roll in an arsenal into any hotel room and commit carnage and park his vehicle on hotel property with explosive materials.

Another one of Lombardo’s lies. The police never engaged Paddock as he said. They entered the room one hour and five minutes after he had stopped firing. They stated he was dead upon entry, and a month later finally admitted a police officer accidentally discharged his weapon, but gave no details.

The LVMPD radio traffic that night indicates that the police officers had to wait for SWAT. SWAT had to make a plan we heard. Why didn’t the SWAT team make entry, why were patrol officers the entry team. Were there not enough SWAT members on site.

Of course, we heard from Undersheriff that Campos was shot at while advancing on the gunman’s room and that the gunman was isolated and contained. Not true on both accounts. The police weren’t even sure Stephen Paddock was still inside the room.

When Lombardo was being interviewed on November 2, speaking of when they decided to breach Paddock’s door, he said, “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.”

Can you believe this crap coming from the highest law enforcement officer in the county? That is a bold-faced lie.

What made it worse was that Lombardo wasn’t even challenged by the interviewer, like I said they have a cozy relationship with the sheriffs. After all, you wouldn’t want to do your job and make the sheriff look like an idiot.

You mean to tell us sheriff that you were so concerned with the public’s safety that you believed Paddock was reloading and would open fire again, yet the police waited one hour and five minutes after he had already stopped firing to enter the room.

That is beyond incompetence and makes no sense at all.

That wasn’t the only comment that Lombardo made during that interview that defies logic and again went unchallenged by the interviewer.

Lombardo said, almost contradicting his first statement, that if Paddock had started firing again the police officers would have gone into the room immediately.

Let’s analyze this for a minute.

Under Lombardo’s thinking, this from the leader of the LVMPD, he would have waited until Paddock started killing and wounding more people, then they would have gone in. How many more people would have been killed in that time, even if it was just seconds for the police to breach the door.

I can tell you that is probably not the thinking of the many Las Vegas police officers in Clark County, Nevada.

Never forget those who were killed and wounded in Las Vegas, Nevada in the worst mass shooting in American history.


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.
COMMENT POLICY
  • Barney Chooch

    The Sheriff also stated repeatedly in the early news briefings that Campos, who we now know was on the 31st floor when the security desk radioed him, was dispatched at 2159 and responded to a report of a “door alarm” and an “open door” (the Sheriffs words). He stated on the Ellen show that when ascended one flight of stairs he found the door in the stairwell on 32 to be “blocked” and was unable to open it and enter onto the 32nd floor. When he arrived on 32, it took him six minutes to walk down one flight and up in the elevator just one floor, he told Ellen he found the door bolted shut with “brackets”… plural. So from the very first fact, at the inception of the event, there is a huge question.

    If the door was bolted shut, how did the door alarm get triggered? This is a glaring, profound, obvious, and very simple question. What caused Campos to be dispatched to 32?? If it was a door alarm or open door, how the heck was it triggered if it was bolted shut?

    It is absurd to believe that Paddock somehow went out into the hall, just moments prior to him commencing this huge attack, knowing it would attract attention, and for some reason open the door at 2158-2159 hours and trigger the alarm that would instantly alert security and cause a response, and remain in the hallway/stairwell and start drilling in bolts into a metal door frame and lock it shut. We are expected to believe he did this in less then five minutes? He managed to bolt a steel fire proof door and door jam that quickly and without notice? Absurd, especially knowing that if by chance he was confronted and questioned, it would lead back into his room where the arsenal was stored. As a side note, crime scene photos would require to show the steel shavings were right below on the floor, and shavings should still be on the drill bit recovered in his room, possibly on his clothes, shoes, and hands if it was Paddock that did the drilling.

    I would love someone to ask that question, and break it down by the seconds in the minutes, that it would take to walk from the stairway in 32 down one flight to the elevator on 31, use the security guards “fire call” elevator key (which Campos stated he used) to call the elevator directly to him without delay, and to go back up to 32. There is absolutely no way it would take 5-6 minutes, as they claim. That is how they are accounting for the change in the timeline from 2159 to 2105 as the difference between the MB security log “manual” entry to the time they reported Campos being on 32 when the first shots were fired.

    I also find the tone of the voices of both Campos and the maintenance man Steve, on the radio transmissions released to be not congruous with unarmed men being under fire by hundreds of rounds of rifle fire. They are as calm as if they were reporting a burnt out light bulb or leaky faucet… “Hey… you got shots fired on 32…” as calm as can be, and he forgot to mention he was shot.

    Doug, the story stinks before it goes any further than that. Everything after that must be discredited because the foundation they are building the story upon appears to be false.

    • Doug Poppa

      Thanks Barney, no argument from me.

  • Alan Wald

    If and when Paddock’s gambling records are released, it will show his video poker returns were close to 100 percent. Gambling losses
    and its attendant loss of status is a convenient motive for authorities
    to advance. But I suspect the truth is more sinister and could damage
    Las Vegas casinos’ bottom line. The cover-up continues….

  • wva88

    The author is incompetent. That is obvious from his discussion of FLIR cameras. It is clear he has no knowledge of the underlying physics and engineering of these devices and their operational capabilities. Apparently he has also never heard of the “fog of war.” Once you find that someone has made one incompetent statement, you can be assured that everything else is bull excrement.

    • Anonymous

      So they don’t detect heat sources from infrared radiation like from bodies or weapons? That technology we had back in the 1980s and its much improved today. I must of touched a nerve with you!!

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