Las Vegas cop who was too scared to enter Paddock's room still training officers - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Las Vegas cop who was too scared to enter Paddock’s room still training officers

LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer Cordell Hendrex is still a field training officer even though evidence indicated he was less than a minute away from entering the room where mass killer Stephen Paddock starting shooting but chose to wait it out as dozens died.

Hendrex’, and Officer Elif Varsin’s decision not to enter the room on October 1 was on par with the decision made by the Florida officer who failed to enter the school as children were being slaughtered last month.

In an email sent to the Baltimore Post-Examiner LVMPD spokesmaOfficer Larry Hadfield wrote: “Hendrex   – Active Tourist Safety Division/Convention Center Area Command/Patrol/FTO.  Varsin – Active Tourist Safety Division/Convention Center Area Command/Patrol.”

In his report Hendrex said on October 1 he and Varsin, his day-two trainee, along with armed Mandalay Bay security personnel were on the 31stf loor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel hearing the gunshots of gunman Stephen Paddock emanating from the 32nd floor as Paddock was actively killing and wounding helpless concert attendees at the Route 91 Music Festival.

No action was taken to stop Paddock. How many more lives could have been saved if one of those officers entered the room will never be known.

“Once we were near the end of the hall we heard a volley of automatic rifle fire start,” Hendrex said.  The sound of the shots were so very loud and reverberated through the hall like thunder all around and above us.  Above us!  I could tell that it was coming from the floor above us on 32.  I then told everyone to get back and we retreated a few doors down from the end of the hall.  I know I hesitated and remember being terrified with fear and I think I froze right there in the middle of the hall for how long I can’t say.  I do know that at 2212 hours I got on the radio and told dispatch that I was inside the Mandalay Bay on the 31stfloor and that I could hear the automatic fire coming from the floor above us.”

“I once again hesitated as the shots were still being fired from the 32ndfloor and I remember saying another prayer in my head for God to keep us safe.  I did not know what to do next.”

Terrified with fear, froze in the hall for how long he can’t say, hesitated again and did not know what to do next.  All the while people were being slaughtered across the street.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardohas remained mute on this subject.

What we do know is that Hendrex is still a police officer protectingcitizens and still training new police officers.

Amazing.

Never forget 58 people died the night of October 1st  and more than 400 others were wounded during Paddock’s gunfire.

 





About the author

Doug Poppa

Doug authored over 135 articles on the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas Massacre, more than any other single journalist in the country. He investigates stories on corruption, law enforcement and crime. Doug is a US Army Military Police Veteran, former police officer, deputy sheriff and criminal investigator. Doug spent 20 years in the hotel/casino industry as an investigator and then as Director of Security and Surveillance. He also spent a short time with the US Dept. of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration. In 1986 Doug was awarded Criminal Investigator of the Year by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. In 1992 and 1993 Doug testified in court that a sheriff’s office official and the county prosecutor withheld exculpatory evidence during the 1988 trial of a man accused of the attempted murder of his wife. Doug’s testimony led to a judge’s decision to order the release of the man from prison in 1992 and awarded him a new trial, in which he was later acquitted. As a result of Doug breaking the police “blue wall of silence,” he was fired by the county sheriff. His story was featured on Inside Edition, Current Affair and CBS News’ “Street Stories with Ed Bradley”. In 1992 after losing his job, at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Doug infiltrated a group of men who were plotting the kidnapping of a Dupont fortune heir and his wife. Doug has been a guest on national television and radio programs speaking on the stories he now writes as an investigative journalist. Contact the author.
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4 Comments

  1. MattBracken says:

    Just putting rounds into Paddock’s suite from outside probably would have caused him to redirect his attention to the hallway and stopped the slaughter.
    For shame.

    Reply
    • Doug Poppa says:

      So true Matt, so true. Any type of response from Hendrex would have been better than retreating, hesitating, froze, didn’t know what to do next. And none of the national media has picked this up yet. And he had a small group of armed officers with him, so he says.

      Reply
      • MattBracken says:

        Maybe in this case, a training officer (rule bound, in the box) was exactly the wrong guy. It’s way out of the box to just fire into a room, but in this case, it’s exactly what was needed to draw Paddock’s attention away from the window. And many of these guys off themselves the minute they get resistance.

        Reply
        • Doug Poppa says:

          Some people just can’t think out of the box and in this case it resulted in more deaths and injuries. Hendrex said he did not know what to do next. Freaking disgraceful coming from a cop and a field training officer at that. So true Matt.

          Reply

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