Las Vegas Police borrowed armored vehicles from private company - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Las Vegas Police borrowed armored vehicles from private company

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department borrowed armored vehicles from a Las Vegas based company, Battlefield Las Vegas, during last Sunday’s massacre of innocent concert-goers.

According to LVMPD radio traffic that night the police dispatcher stated, “Units be advised there is going to be three armored cars enroute to South Central Area Command followed by a silver Dodge Ram, okay per SWAT.” Minutes later; “3Ocean55, we have three armored cars that are at Russell and Las Vegas Boulevard, they’re not affiliated with law enforcement but the sergeant called them from Battlefield Las Vegas and they’re waiting for orders.” [Police dispatcher] They’re going to be going to South Central Area Command we’ve been advised.” “3Ocean55 copy.”

When the Baltimore Post-Examiner contacted Battlefield Las Vegas today an employee named Trevor after having been asked what type of armored vehicles were provided to the police the night of the shooting, stated that they were not commenting on it. He said the only vehicles they have were the ones you can see on their website.

Battlefield Las Vegas provides customers with the opportunity to fire fully automatic weapons including an M-134 mini-gun that they advertise as “This is the only mini-gun that’s running and available to the public in Las Vegas.” The company owns a fleet of surplus military vehicles.

It is not known at this time if any of those vehicles were deployed. The LVMPD was unavailable for comment.

The initial police response that night was nothing short of amazing as evident by the police radio traffic. The first shots rang out at about 10:08pm and continued for ten-minutes.

“179SamEasy, we got shots fired at the Route 91 sounded like automatic firearm. It’s coming from upstairs in the Mandalay Bay, upstairs Mandalay Bay halfway up, I see the shots coming from Mandalay Bay halfway up.” “We have an active shooter, we have an active shooter inside the fairgrounds.” “That’s correct, shots fired from Mandalay Bay.” “790 arrived I’m going to form a strike team, Mandalay Bay and the Boulevard, I need five officers on me.” “Control be advised shots are coming from Gate 7, Gate 7 shots are coming from Gate 7.” [Inside concert venue]. “159SE we have a rifle deployed, we are in front of Mandalay Bay. We are trying to see where the shots are coming from.”  “We’re seeing multiple flashes in the middle of the Mandalay Bay on the north side, kind of on the west tower towards the center of the casino, one of the middle floors.”

“Control 3Mary, we have an officer shot Mandalay Bay northbound right outside Route 91 at the south edge [automatic weapon fire heard in the background.”] Control 3Mary14, I’m inside the Mandalay Bay on the 31st floor, I can hear the automatic weapon fire coming from one floor ahead, one floor above us. “Copy.” “CP [command post] be advised its automatic fire from an elevated position, take cover.” That is correct it’s fully automatic fire I’m one floor below it.”

“We’re taking gunfire, it’s going right over our heads, there’s debris coming over our heads so we’re pinned down here with civilians.” “Control see if we can contact Mandalay Bay, see if they can shut down their elevators so he can’t get mobile we can take the stairs.” “We are going to make entry into the [unintelligible] to make contact with the subject, see if we can get up to him. We’re doing that right now, 32nd floor. We’re making our way to give you support. Okay, is he still firing?”

“Control 3Mary35, we’re getting from civilians that there may have been three shooters.” “Control 3Mary14 I am in the stairwell of the 32nd floor.” “Control 169SE, I need the radio please, I am on the 32nd floor the room is going to be 135.” “Just confirming it is the Mandalay Bay, the 32nd floor, room 135. “That is affirm.” “We have a four-man element at the very end of the hall.”

“Control we just spoke to Security at Mandalay Bay. They’re saying they have shots fired on 29 and 32nd levels.” “Control 182SE, we have a security officer also shot in the leg on the 32nd floor. He’s standing right by the elevator.” “He shot down the hallway and hit a security officer. It’s room 135 on the 32nd floor.” “We have a four-man team up here and we have another element coming to us. So, we’re going to have about eight on the 32nd floor.” “We will need the 29th floor. It sounds like it’s confirmed there are at least two shooters with fully automatic weapons.” Control Zebra15 [SWAT officer], get somebody into the camera room [Mandalay Bay Hotel Surveillance] and see if we can get cameras watching the 29 and 32nd floors.

“Control 167SamEasy, please advise all units to have their vehicles locked people are going in and trying to grab shotguns.” Control Air5 [LVMPD helicopter], we’re getting multiple reports from McCarron Tower [International Airport] now that there are multiple people running across the active runways.”

“590 I’m clearing the 29th floor.” “77Victor, I’m on the 29th floor of the Mandalay Bay with an element. 29th floor Mandalay Bay I have a four-man element.” “Control Air5, we have been able to clear all the lower roofs, there are employees on the upper roof there’s like a break room up there. The lower roofs on the east side have all been cleared.” Control 590, we started clearing just on the 29th floor and up. So, the floors below need to be cleared out. We just moved up here based on the intel.”

“167SamEasy I had a civilian take a patrol car!” “I need to know if we have that floor evacuated other than our suspects?” ‘We have snipers going up soon so I need to know if it’s been evac’d.” “Floor 32. It’s clear all the way up to [room] 120.” “We’re going to come up the stairwell.” I’ll let you know before we come through the door so we don’t have a blue on blue [firing on one another]. “Okay I copy that. We have a team up here so we’re ready.”

Confirming the Mandalay Bay and Ali Baba and Giles [concert area] are the two shooting locations, do we have a third? “We have the hallway contained. The room where the shots were fired from, it is contained right now.” “I have multiple rifles and plenty of officers.” “Hold the stairwell and we’ll wait for the Zebra team [SWAT] for the plan.”

About an hour after the first shots rang out the SWAT Team conducts an explosive breach on the gunman’s door and then a second explosive breach another interior room door. Zebra20 [SWAT officer] then notifies the dispatcher that the suspect in down. One officer discharged his weapon.

There was a lot more going on that night in Las Vegas that the police had to deal with. They were responding to multiple calls of other active shooters at other properties. That will be the subject of another story at the Baltimore Post-Examiner.

Feature photo from Jimmy Harris via Flickr (Creative Commons)


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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