Sheriff Lombardo admits Las Vegas SWAT officer fired weapon in suite - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Sheriff Lombardo admits Las Vegas SWAT officer fired weapon in suite

Twenty-four days after the Baltimore Post-Examiner broke the story that an officer fired his gun inside Stephen Paddock’s suite Oct. 1, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo finally admitted it happened.

For nearly a month Lombardo withheld that information from the public until Monday when he confirmed the officer accidentally discharged his weapon inside Paddock’s suite.

Lombardo said the police firearm went off inside Paddock’s suite sometime after officers made entry, but the round or rounds were not fired in the same room where Paddock was found dead.

Lombardo said it was being investigated just like they do with any officer-involved use of force and that, “nobody was struck.”

The Baltimore Post-Examiner has raised the issue of why a SWAT officer fired his weapon in several stories since our first story on Oct. 6.

Why it took Lombardo over one month to come out and admit that a weapon was discharged the night the room was breached with explosives, is just another example of how Lombardo has not been forthright about the entire investigation.

Lombardo said that “nobody was struck.”

The SWAT officer who was inside the suite told the dispatcher, “Control, Zebra 20. We don’t need anybody else up on this floor. Break. We have one SWAT officer that did fire. Negative injuries on anybody else.”

We still have no explanation as to the circumstances of what caused the unidentified officer to fire his weapon and whether it was from a semi-automatic or fully automatic firearm and how many round(s) were fired.

Did the SWAT officer have a body-worn camera operating is also not known?

We still do not know why the LVMPD Homicide Division is not participating in the investigation of 58 murders and the alleged suicide of Paddock.

The investigation is being conducted by the Force Investigation Team (FIT) that investigates officer involved shootings. That team answers to their bureau commander, Capt. Kelly McMahill, the wife of Undersheriff, Kevin McMahill.

If the Force Investigating Team is investigating the discharge of the SWAT officers weapon, that still does not explain why they would be investigating the homicides and the alleged suicide.

It is very possible that the FBI took charge of the entire investigation early on after the LVMPD screwed up the initial interview with Mandalay Bay Security Officer, Jesus Campos.

We still do not know the manner and cause of Paddock’s death. That has not been released by the coroner’s office and neither has the estimated time of death.

The Clark County Coroner-Medical Examiner considers the coroner autopsy report, coroner medical examination report, toxicology report and the corner investigation report, to be confidential and not for public record.

Leaked LVMPD crime scene photographs show the body of Paddock lying on the floor with a revolver above Paddock’s head.

Was that revolver owned by Paddock or someone else?

A full inventory of all 23 weapons found inside the suite has never been released as well as whether a trace of the serial numbers indicated if all the weapons were owned by Paddock or another person.

Lombardo also said that there were no hotel surveillance cameras on Paddock’s room or in the stairwells.

That is not breaking news, we already knew that. Tell us something we don’t know.

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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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