Mandalay Bay security manager’s statement to FBI and police not true - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Mandalay Bay security manager’s statement to FBI and police not true

LAS VEGAS — An October 12, 2017, Mandalay Bay Hotel security manager’s tape-recorded interview conducted by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Detective B. Hodson of the LVMPD Force Investigation Team and FBI Special Agent J. Mollica contains false statements.

The Baltimore Post-Examiner was the first media outlet to question LVMPD Officer Cordell Hendrex’s officer’s report and the security manager’s report because of conflicting accounts of who was on the 31st and 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel during the time Stephen Paddock was opening fire on the Route 91 Music Festival.

Hendrex stated in his report that he was on the 31st floor with his partner, Officer Elif Varsin, and three armed Mandalay Bay security managers during the time the gunfire was erupting from the 32nd floor.

The security manager told the FBI and the LVMPD detective that Hendrex was on the 32nd floor with him during the gunfire and that after the firing stopped, Hendrex and he maintained coverage on room 32-135 and that nobody exited the room.

On Wednesday with the release of police body worn camera footage from Hendrex and Varsin there is no doubt whatsoever that Hendrex was not on the 32nd floor.

What is disturbing about the security manager’s account is that according to the transcript of his recorded statement, he names Hendrex ten times as the police officer he was with prior to and during the time he was on the 32ndfloor.

(1) A radio transmission came over Metro Officer Hendrex’sradio, Shots fired, festival lot across from Luxor.”

(2) Officer Hendrex looks at me and said, “Did you hear that?”  And I said, “Yeah, that’s right across the street.”

(3) So as soon as we heard that I yelled at Hendrex and said, “Elevators – elevators, shots fired on – elevators – elevators.”  So, we ran, we grabbed an elevator.

(4) Me, my [names redacted], Officer Hendrex with Metro, his trainee, which I don’t know the name, it was her first day and myself we were in the elevator heading up to 32.

(5) Me and Hendrex got off on the 32nd floor. When we got off on the 32nd floor we heard active shooting still going on.

(6) And Hendrexwent up with me to 32.

(7) And then myself and Officer Hendrex with our weapons drawn on the room way down the hallway now…

(8) But when we got to 32 and we exited the – me and Hendrex exited the elevator, it was about a good two minutes, maybe a little bit more of active fire still coming from that room.

(9) It’s either gonna be me and Hendrex down the hallway or it’s gonna be the two [redacted] and the new Metro officer in the stairwell on the 100 wing.

(10) From the time that me and Hendrex were up there nobody had left the room. That door never opened.

Hendrex and Varsin were the only two LVMPD officers inside the Mandalay Bay before the shots were fired and immediately after the calls went out when the gunfire started.

It is now evident that Hendrex was never on the 32nd floor while the gunfire was ongoing, and he was not covering Paddock’s suite right after the gunfire stopped as the security manager said.

So, what unknown police officer was with this security manager on the 32nd floor during the time Paddock’s gunfire was slaughtering people at the Route 91 Music Festival and what unknown police officer was covering 32-135 with him to make sure no one exited the suite?

There is no way it was Hendrex and there were no other police officers there at that time.

The Baltimore Post-Examiner is once again going on the record and calling on Sheriff Joe Lombardo to immediately release the lock interrogation reports for rooms 32-135 and 32-134 for October 1, 2017 so we can verify once and for all whether or not the deadbolts were disengaged, and if the doors opened after the gunfire stopped and before the room was breached for entry.

The other question is why the Mandalay Bay security manager was not truthful with the FBI and the police during his recorded interview.

It has been nine months since the worst mass shooting in modern American history occurred and we still have way too many unanswered questions.



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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