Who is in charge of the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay shooting investigation? - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Who is in charge of the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay shooting investigation?

LAS VEGAS: The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s investigation of the worst mass shooting incident in United States history that occurred on Oct. 1 and resulted in the death of 58 people and the injuring more than 500, has had more twist and turns since Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo first held his initial press conference.

The mass shooting and the death of the gunman, Stephen Paddock, who reportedly committed suicide, would normally be investigated by detectives from the LVMPD’s homicide division, however the Baltimore Post-Examiner was told by a retired police official that the investigation was pulled from homicide detectives and given to the department’s Force Investigation Team.

The Force Investigation Team (FIT) falls under the direction of the department’s Internal Oversight and Constitutional Policing Bureau that is commanded by Captain Kelly M. McMahill, who is the wife of Clark County Undersheriff Kevin C. McMahill.

Captain Kelly McMahill

Capt. McMahill is a staple on local television as the spokesperson for officer involved shootings in Las Vegas.

McMahill is listed as a speaker at the November 2017 Conference of the Society for Integrity in Force Investigation and Reporting. She is scheduled for a talk on Las Vegas Metro Police Officer Involved Shooting Investigations.

The FIT investigates all officer involved shootings leading to injuries or death.

When the Baltimore Post-Examiner contacted the LVMPD Homicide Division on Tuesday and inquired if they were handling the Mandalay Bay shooting investigation, we were told that it was being investigated by the Force Investigation Team.

A press information officer was not available for comment when contacted by the Baltimore Post-Examiner.

Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill

The FIT conducts a criminal investigation to determine whether the use of use deadly force was legally justified under criminal law., according the departments use of force policy. FIT also directs the investigation against a subject who either committed crimes which led to the use of deadly force or who has committed crimes against an officer.

Why the investigation is not being handled by the seasoned homicide detectives of the LVMPD seems peculiar when juxtaposed with the fact that the police said that Paddock was already dead, apparently by his own hand, when they entered his room at the Mandalay Bay.

Why a shooting investigation team that investigates if police officers were justified in using deadly force, would be investigating the mass Undershooting is unknown.

SWAT officer fired his weapon inside Paddock’s room

The Baltimore Post-Examiner was the first to break the story and produce a police audio recording that a SWAT officer fired his weapon inside Paddock’s room.

According to the police radio traffic that night after the rooms were breached a SWAT officer told the dispatcher that one SWAT officer did fire and that there were no other injuries and one suspect was down at this point.

During the Oct. 3 press briefing, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo was asked by a reporter, “Did police or security guards fire any shots at any time during the encounter.” Lombardo replied, “Um, during when he was discharging his weapon?” Reporter, “Yes.” Lombardo, “We are not aware of that, no security guard or police, other than the encounter at the room?”

The reporter did not follow up that answer. What encounter at the room? There was no encounter, Paddock was dead. So why did an officer fire his weapon?

Was it a case of an accidental discharge and if so why has there been no press release on that, almost three and half weeks since the massacre?. What’s the big secret? Who was injured, as the SWAT officer told the dispatcher that there were no other injuries?

When four of the LVMPD officers who had entered Paddock’s room after the door was breached, Detectives Matthew Donaldson, Casey Clarkson, and K-9 officers Joshua Bitsko and Dave Newton appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes, the Sunday following the massacre, neither one of them mentioned anything about any officer firing a weapon. SWAT officer Levi Hancock who also entered the room did not appear on the show.

There are still many unanswered questions.

Were the officers who entered the room on Oct, 1, including SWAT wearing body worn cameras and if so, will the recordings be released?

Were there any video transmission devices transmitting live feed images to a command post?

What officer fired his weapon and why?

When an officer discharges his weapon for any reason in the line of duty a shooting review board conducts an inquiry. Was that done and what are the results?

Paddock’s room door was not breached for over an hour. The police weren’t even sure he was still inside the room.

The LVMPD has robots that have been used in prior incidents involving barricaded suspects, which the Sheriff said this incident turned into because Paddock had stopped firing on the crowd.

If the police believed the room may have been booby-trapped why wasn’t a robot used.

The police saw the cameras on the room service cart, yet SWAT officer, Levi Hancock still approached the gunman’s door to fasten the explosive for the breach.

The public has the right to know what happened that night. Transparency, not secrecy is needed in this investigation.


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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