Las Vegas Police launch internal probe into leaks and promise to release a report on shooting next month - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Las Vegas Police launch internal probe into leaks and promise to release a report on shooting next month

LAS VEGAS: The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department have launched an internal affairs investigation into leaks to the press and also have promised to release a detailed report in January on the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

“When we release this information, we’re going to have 100 percent confidence in exactly what occurred,” Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill told Nevada Public Radio KNPR on Thursday.

The Baltimore Post-Examiner was the first to report and question why the Force Investigation Team was investigating mass killer Stephen Paddock’s death and not the homicide division, which triggered the internal affairs investigation.

The Internal Affairs Bureau of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department contacted this reporter Nov. 22 and asked who leaked that the Force Investigation Team was handling the investigation. Obviously, I did not tell them who my sources were.

On Tuesday night this reporter was a guest on Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight show. I also raised the issue again why the LVMPD’s Force Investigation Team that is commanded by Capt. Kelly McMahill, (Kevin McMahill’s wife), was investigating the shooting and not the homicide division.

I also questioned where was the 40-member LVMPD SWAT Team the night of the worst mass shooting in American history, since the entry team into Paddock’s room on Oct. 1 consisted of only one SWAT Team member and three patrol officers.

Responding to a question from a caller on the KNPR radio show relating to my comments on Tuesday nights airing of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight show, McMahill said that, “it is true until this coming week, my wife has been in charge of the Force Investigation Team.”

McMahill said that the homicide division was involved in the investigation at the concert arena but that the hotel room where Paddock allegedly fired from was handled by the Force Investigation Team, because in part, a SWAT officer fired his rifle in the inner room of the suite. McMahill did not elaborate on what circumstances caused an experienced SWAT officer to fire his weapon, which was first reported by Baltimore Post-Examiner.

McMahill also didn’t say who investigated Paddock’s alleged suicide, to determine that it was indeed a suicide and not a homicide, something that would normally be handled by the experienced Homicide Division detectives.

McMahill said that the room was turned over to the FBI evidence team. That team however collects evidence and does not investigate homicides.

Speaking about the Tucker Carlson show, McMahill said that they considered going on the show, but that it is an accusatory news program.

To the contrary, that has been the problem all along for the past two months of this investigation. Sheriff Joe Lombardo and McMahill have never faced an experienced investigative journalist, one on one, where they would be challenged on their answers to questions that any competent investigative journalist would ask.

Asking questions to which we have no answers is not accusatory. Just because we want answers does not insinuate that we believe in conspiracy theories. If anyone has been responsible for promoting conspiratorial theories, it has been Sheriff Joe Lombardo and McMahill who from the start gave out unverified information to the public.

I wrote weeks ago that this has been a public relations nightmare for the LVMPD and MGM resorts International, the owners of the Mandalay Hotel. False, misleading, contradictory and convoluted information given out to the media, plenty of it that didn’t purport to the LVMPD radio traffic on the night of Oct. 1, has never been explained.

Not one piece of corroborating evidence, reports, logs, video tapes, police and security dispatch recordings, etc. has ever been released to support what we have been told by the LVMPD or MGM Resorts International.

When I contacted the LVMPD press information office on Thursday and told the PIO that I had heard that Capt. Kelly McMahill was being transferred to an area command and when was that going to be effective, I was told that he did not know.

I asked about rumors that Kevin McMahill is going to retire and the PIO responded that it was not true, unfounded, garbage.

How can we trust anything that comes out of the LVMPD when the head of the department, Lombardo makes statements such as he did on Nov. 2 to KLAS-TV, “In this case because of what the suspect did, officers made the decision to breach this doorway of the hotel room in case the guy was reloading, maybe he was reloading magazines, we didn’t want to give him the opportunity to keep firing and when they made entry they found out he committed suicide.”

That was a complete lie. They waited over an hour to enter the room, so where was the urgency for the public’s safety?

Then Lombardo made another ridiculous statement in the same interview that if Paddock had started firing again the police would have gone into the room immediately. So, they would have waited until he started shooting people again, then they would have gone in.


That raises another question. If the officers who were in the stairwell were fully capable of breaching the door had Paddock started firing again, then why did they wait for over an hour to go in?

Even the lone SWAT Team member said on the radio that night that they had to pop the door to see if he was still in the room or went somewhere else. I couldn’t even imagine what would have happened had they entered the room and found there was nobody inside.

Nothing makes much sense in this case. All we are left with is more questions.

Where was the 40-member LVMPD SWAT Team that night?

The inner room door of the suite was breached with explosives. Who locked that room door and why?

What police personnel compromised the criminal investigation by releasing crime scene photographs to the press?

Who allowed a news photographer to enter the hallway which was sealed off as crime scene area, so she could take pictures of the interior of room 32-135?

I’ll throw a bone to Lombardo who said on Nov. 2 they probably will never be able to find out who leaked any of the photographs.

I received information that the first two photographs of two of the rifles in the room that were leaked to BOSTON25 were leaked by one of Lombardo’s command staff officers.

Lombardo, check cellphone records and or emails and whoever has been contacting the female reporter from Boston25 is your man, if you so desire.

The worst mass shooting in American history and if you can’t trust the police with protecting the integrity of the criminal investigation, then who can we trust?







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.

One Comment

  1. Susan Armstrong says:

    Keep pressing on… There’s still a lot of people interested in this story. But, they have very few articles like this where they can comment….The info we’ve been given (or lack thereof) is utter horse-sh!t. There’s several independent YouTube journalists who are actually doing good work (front line investigations), but the flood of crap on YouTube have given the few good ones on there a bad name. The public hasn’t forgotten. It just seems like it because no one is giving us a voice. Thank you for your work.


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