Ten days after the Las Vegas Massacre LVMPD’s Sheriff Joe Lombardo had a problem telling the truth - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Ten days after the Las Vegas Massacre LVMPD’s Sheriff Joe Lombardo had a problem telling the truth

Ten days after the worst mass shooting in modern American history that left 58 dead and almost 500 others wounded by gunfire, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo held his first televised interview with Brian Loftus of KLAS-TV 8NewsNow.

The following are transcribed excerpts from that interview:

Loftus:  In the studio for his first interview since the shooting took place ten days ago, first of all we thank you for being here sheriff.  From all of us at 8NewsNow we thank you, your leadership and your guidance [seriously!] has provided so many in the community, courage and solace and hope these days, so we do want to say thank you.

Loftus:  Where were you that night when you found out what was going on?

Lombardo:I was having dinner with some friends from out of town and then I got the call.  You know a lot of times in police work you get a lot of those calls, you know they tend to work themselves out, the breadth of it was obviously not equal to this event, but you give it enough time and it works out, you go about your business. In this case it didn’t, it kept getting worse and worse.  So I went from dinner to the Mandalay Bay to make sure we had everything we needed out there to be successful and all the resources that we needed to insure evacuations of the patrons and then eventually I made my way over to UMC [University Medical Center] and that was a little bit of chaotic, so I didn’t want to get in anybody’s way there, so I wanted to check on my officers status. I was there a short period of time and I moved over to the headquarters and was in charge of the department operations center [that’s scary].

Loftus:You have been such a steady presence of leadership [sure], it’s like you’ve been there the entire time nonstop.

Lombardo:Yeah I have been there.

Loftus:Lets talk about that first response.  Police as you mentioned, use to set up a perimeter with an active shooter, now to quote you, “It’s gather up and go get it.”  You talked about the 2008 terror attack in India, which involved shootings in hotels, and you studied that, you actually traveled there to learn from it.  Talk about that first response team there.  Incredible bravery in forming so quickly to get up to the 32ndfloor so quickly.  What did they do right in their response?

Lombardo:Well I think they did everything right.  I think people are looking for a fall guy as usually the result of post evaluation of any critical incident and there isn’t one there and I’ve said that publicly. [Really, two of your officers stood by and did nothing as people were being killed].  Those officers that formed that team, it actually ended up being two separate teams, they did exactly what they were trained to do, what we ask them to do.  Quite often you’re paired up with somebody, probably never met before, but you know they have the training and they know how to act in that situation. You don’t have that fear that this guy don’t know what he’s doing so we’re going in blind on a situation, and that’s not the case.  The years of training that we brought forward, kicked in and those individuals got formed, made their team, got up to the target room and saved lives. [Dirty rotten liar, pants on fire].

Loftus:It was an incredible short amount of time when you look at it. [Is this guy for real, two peas in a pod].  But let’s talk about what so many are talking about in the national media, the change in the timeline.  On 9:59 Jesus Campos, the Mandalay Bay security guard shot, before the 10:05 p.m. shots started to be fired from the 32ndfloor window.  What are we to take from that change in the timeline?

Lombardo:Well there’s a couple of things, one is we’re being transparent. [Sure you are].  We’re letting people know exactly what we know at the time we know it.  The other thing is there’s more than 20,000 moving parts associated with this investigation and it takes time.  I ask people to give us patience.  Nobody is being nefarious, nobody is trying to hide anything [liar, what about Hendrex?] and what we want to do is draw the most accurate picture we can and I’m telling you right now, today, that timeline might change again because it’s a human factor involved.

Lombardo:The individual that put the time stamp associated with the radio call that they received, maybe their watch was different, maybe they looked at a different time when they put it down, so it may condense smaller, maybe less than six minutes when it’s all done, but lets not get wrapped around the axle on that. [Maybe you’re just as incompetent as you sound Lombardo].  I think it’s important for the people to understand that no matter what that timeline is, [notice how he minimized the importance of the timeline] the response was as quick as possible, and I don’t think the response could have been any faster.

[Sure, one hour and five minutes after the last shots were fired, entry was made into the room without the full SWAT Team, which by the way Lombardo and his Undersheriff, Kevin McMahill, said prior to this interview that the full team did make entry].

Lombardo:Mr. Campos does not have a firearm, you can’t expect an individual that is unarmed to go kick the door in and take care of business.

[What Lombardo was doing here was protecting MGM Resorts International and his department.  He never made mention of the fact that LVMPD Field Training Officer Cordell Hendrex, LVMPD Officer Eliff Varsin, and three armed Mandalay Bay security supervisors remained on the 31stfloor has people were being killed and failed to act to reach the 32ndfloor.  Campos was unarmed, but there were three armed Mandalay Bay security personnel on the 32ndfloor for several minutes who also stood by and did nothing as people were being killed].

Lombardo:There’s no SWAT Team, proverbial SWAT Team sitting in the basement of any hotel in the United States or in the world that can respond and take care of action.  [What about Mandalay Bay’s elite Emergency Response Team that they said was in place prior to October 1, 2017, where were they that night?].

Loftus:Is there a chance people might have to accept there are elements of this that we may never know?

Lombardo:Yeah.  There’s absolutely a chance, and that was asked of me yesterday and I said there may be a chance we will never know, but the net is getting smaller on a day by day basis and what I mean by that, we’ve had over a thousand leads come in and we’re running those down to the ground and our picture of Mr. Paddock or the suspect is getting a little bit brighter and I think we’ll have a pretty good assessment of the reasons why, but it’s going to take time.

Yes, it’s took a very long time and we still don’t know why.

It is almost the end of January 2019 and we still don’t have the results of the FBI’s investigation that we were told would be released last year.





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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