Las Vegas Massacre victims and MGM Resorts' lawyers continue to try to reach out-of-court settlement - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Las Vegas Massacre victims and MGM Resorts’ lawyers continue to try to reach out-of-court settlement

LAS VEGAS — The mediation between lawyers representing MGM Resorts International (MGMRI), the owners of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, and the victims’ lawyers of the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas Massacre will continue for two weeks this month and if needed, another two weeks in April, according to sources who spoke to the Baltimore Post-Examiner.

On that horrific night, gunman Stephen Paddock fired unimpeded from his 32nd floor suite at the Mandalay Bay Hotel for more than ten minutes resulting in the death of 58 Route 91 Harvest music festival attendees and the wounding over almost 500 others. Hundreds more suffered other injuries.

In what is the worst mass shooting in modern American history to date, two Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) police officers and three armed Mandalay Bay Hotel assistant security managers retreated one floor below Paddock as his gunfire was ongoing and failed to make any attempt to reach the 32nd floor to stop, disrupt and or distract Paddock.

Stephen Paddock caught on video in the Mandalay Bay hotel hall.

On the 32nd floor during Paddock’s gunfire, were the armed Mandalay Bay Hotel security operations manager and two armed security bike patrol officers, who also failed to take any action to confront Paddock as the slaughter continued on.

The Baltimore Post-Examiner broke one story after another on the Vegas Massacre, much to the dismay of the local Las Vegas media which acted more like a public relations firm for MGMRI and Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo who runs the LVMPD.

In the over 135 stories I have authored for the BPE, I have consistently said that I believe the civil lawsuits filed against MGMRI by the victims would never see the light of day in a courtroom.

The odds are stacked against MGMRI in winning a court battle evident when the Baltimore Post-Examiner published our January 9 story, Mock juries rule against MGM Resorts International Las Vegas in concert massacre, source says.” In that story, the Baltimore Post-Examiner reported that three independent mock civil juries all ruled against MGMRI and returned verdicts in favor of the victims.

There is much more that MGMRI would have to face should a civil trial take place, besides the fact that their armed security personnel stood by and did nothing to save lives when they were all within several feet of Paddock’s hotel suite during his killing spree.

Mandalay Bay Security Officer Jesus Campos failed to call in when he couldn’t access the 32nd floor fire stairwell door to enter the room and later he failed to investigate the suspicious drilling noises coming from Paddock’s suite prior to Paddock opening fire. Campos told the police that he just walked away without calling in and investigating those noises.

The Mandalay Bay’s emergency response team was in place prior to the shooting spree, a hotel executive admitted to a Las Vegas security consultant. That emergency response team could not be found on the night of the Massacre.

Was the Massacre foreseeable?

In would seem so when juxtaposed with the incident in 2014 when a convicted felon was found in possession of a small arsenal of weapons in one of the high-rise towers of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, which included an AR-15 platform rifle, a bolt-action rifle with scope, a homemade suppressor and other weapons.

On September 29, 2018, the Baltimore Post-Examiner published, EXCLUSIVE: MGM Resorts International executive knew that a sniper attack from a hotel high-rise posed a threat prior to October 1 Massacre.”

In that story, the Baltimore Post-Examiner reported that a former ranking member of the LVMPD said that MGMRI Director of Corporate Security and Surveillance, Tom Lozich, knew prior to October 1, 2017, that a sniper attack from an elevated position in a hotel high-rise posed a threat.

Lozich is a retired deputy chief with the LVMPD. In 2008 he was hired by MGM Mirage Corporation, now known as MGMRI. According to the police source, Lozich, while employed at MGM was present during a training exercise that was held sometime after the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas closed in May 2011 and prior to renovations to transform the property into the SLS Resort.

During that training exercise, an FBI sniper successfully shot a mannequin that was placed inside a window of one of the hotel high-rise towers simulating a sniper at a hotel high rise. The FBI sniper fired the shot from a helicopter hovering over the Las Vegas Strip.

Since that story was published the Baltimore Post-Examiner was told by several other sources that in addition to LVMPD and FBI personnel, there was also some security professionals from the Las Vegas hotel industry also in attendance.

In an LVMPD email dated September 19, 2011, Subject: Scenario, which was recently acquired by the Baltimore Post-Examiner, bolsters our story about the old Sahara Hotel being used for police training exercises.

The 2011 email from Dean Hennesy, Alternate Police Operations Planning (APOP) – MACTAC, Support Operations Bureau to then LVMPD Capt. Todd Fasulo reads as follows:

“We are having a large scale MACTAC, SWAT scenario at the Sahara Hotel and Casino on Wednesday the 21st. We just wanted to let you know so you could pass this along to your troops. If you have any questions please contact me at (Redacted by Baltimore Post-Examiner) and I will make sure they get answered.”

The Baltimore Post-Examiner is in possession of other LVMPD memos, which are currently being evaluated for use in other stories.

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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