Police body worn camera footage shows LVMPD Officer Cordell Hendrex in Mandalay Bay Hotel stairwellBaltimore Post-Examiner

Police body worn camera footage shows LVMPD Officer Cordell Hendrex in Mandalay Bay Hotel stairwell

Body worn camera (BWC) video footage from Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department K-9 Sgt. Joshua Bitsko and K-9 Officer Dave Newton recorded on the night of October 1, 2017 shows that Officer Cordell Hendrex was with Officer Elif Varsin in the 31st floor stairwell at the Mandalay Bay Hotel when other officers arrived.

Varsin and Hendrex exiting stairwell onto 32nd floor #3

The video footage strongly contradicts a Mandalay Bay security manager’s account that Hendrex was with him on the 32nd floor as he stated during a recorded interview with the FBI and the LVMPD.

The security manager said that Hendrex had exited the elevator on the 32ndfloor with him during the time Paddock was firing into the concert venue and that he and Hendrex remained on the floor after the gunfire stopped and covered Paddock’s suite to make sure nobody exited the room.

The video footage verifies only that Hendrex was in the stairwell as other officers started to arrive about thirty minutes after the last shots were fired. Hendrex’s report indicates that he was on the 31stfloor and never on the 32nd floor as stated by the security manager.

As reported in several stories by the Baltimore Post ExaminerHendrex took no action to stop, distract or disrupt Paddock’s gunfire. Hendrex stated in his report that he, Officer Varsin and his contingent of three armed Mandalay Bay security managers retreated in the hallway of the 31stfloor as the gunfire was emanating from the 32nd floor.

Hendrex in stairwell #1

Hendrex stated that he was terrified, froze in the hallway for how long he couldn’t say and then called in to his dispatch and told them that the gunfire was coming from one floor above him. He said he once again hesitated and did not know what to do next, as the gunfire continued. Only after the gunfire stopped did he and his group enter the 31stfloor stairwell.

Officer Elif Varsin’s body worn camera footage has not been released.

According to Hendrex’s report, Varsin turned her BWC on while in the security office before responding to the 31stfloor. Hendrex stated he did not turn his BWC on until he was in the stairwell. Hendrex’s BWC footage has also not been released.

Still photographs obtained from Bitsko’s and Newton’s BWC footage shows Hendrex and Varsin in the stairwell as those officers and others arrived. It also shows Hendrex and Varsin exiting from the stairwell into the 32ndfloor hallway after Paddock’s suite was breached.

Varsin in stairwell against wall #2

In addition to Officer Varsin’s unedited BWC footage, the Mandalay Bay elevator video surveillance camera footage should also be released as that will also show who exited on the 31stfloor and the 32ndfloor.

Regardless of which floor Hendrex was on he still failed to take any action to confront Paddock while both civilians and police were being fired upon at the Route 91 Music Festival.

If Hendrex was on the 31st floor the entire time, then who was with the security manager on the 32nd floor during the gunfire and who if anyone was maintaining a visual on 32-135? The manager told the FBI and the police, “From the time that me and Hendrex were up there nobody had left the room. That door never opened.”

Cordell Hendrex from Facebook

Elif Varsin from Facebook


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. Anthony Beltman says:

    just between 34th and 40th minute of the below video, you see 3 dummies planted on fairgrounds among the multiple actual casualties. Some TV stations actually included those dummy videos in their October coverage on the wounded – although given hundreds of video hours to choose from, they didn’t have to. Comment?


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