LAS VEGAS – Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department held Friday his first press conference in three months.
One person who was absent was Aaron Rouse, the FBI ASAC of the Las Vegas FBI Division. When asked by a reporter why the FBI wasn’t present Lombardo stated it was by design and he asked them not to attend. Maybe he got tired of Rouse breathing down his neck and glaring at him at every presser.
Lombardo read from a script as he addressed the press which was another good move. He gets himself in trouble when he goes off script.
He announced the release of a preliminary investigative report that was prepared by the Force Investigation Team (FIT) of the LVMPD. The Baltimore Post-Examiner was the first to break the story and question why the homicide detectives were pulled from the investigation and why it was turned over to the FIT.
On that topic, Lombardo said, “Questions arose early on in this investigation as to why the homicide unit was not doing the whole investigation. Immediately upon the scene becoming static, our investigators separated the work tasking to ensure that we would have the appropriate amount of resources assigned to each crime scene. Homicide was determined to be the primary in regards to Route 91 scene and the FIT Team was determined to be primary in regards to the rooms at the Mandalay Bay and Mr. Paddock. Both scenes included the assistance of the FBI.”
“The release of this report is not standard practice in which LVMPD releases information regarding its criminal investigations. We would not in practice release a preliminary investigative report, but this is a unique circumstance. Let me stress this is a preliminary investigative report. In no way is this report comprehensive nor does it encompass every facet of the investigation. It gives the reader cliff notes that are based on the facts of 1 October written by the detectives that investigated this shooting. The comprehensive complete investigation will not be completed until sometime in the near future. An important piece on this, not all names associated with response to the report or the incident are included in this preliminary report. That was by design. It will be included, all names associated from my police department and every other public safety entity that responded and participated in different aspects of the event will be included in the comprehensive report.”
“Do to the size and scope of this case and the community’s desire to know information relating to the 1 October shooting I am going to go against normal protocols I am releasing this information now. We are talking about the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States. The men and women of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the other federal, state and local enforcement individuals that assisted in this investigation are to be commended. The contents of this report include but are not limited to the sources utilized in the investigation.”
“An overview of the incident. The sequence of events beginning on September 17, 2017, when Paddock checked into the Ogden located in downtown Las Vegas and ending when officers made entry into Paddock’s rooms. The sequence in this report or the sequence timeline is based on numerous sources. Early on in this investigation and the press conferences, there was controversy about timestamps. That controversy will continue to take place. Timestamps are provided by the Mandalay Bay, by human sources and various other sources to determine the exact timing associated with each officer’s actions and the suspect’s actions. 2159, that was provided previously, we are still utilizing that more closely to 2200 and as you do your research you would each see what I am talking about.”
“A listing of 58 deceased victims, a listing of total injured will be provided in a completed report. For informational purposes today, we are aware of 422 individuals that suffered some form or fashion of injuries associated with gunfire. In total we have determined there is 851 individuals injured directly related to the 1 October shooting.”
“Also included will be a brief overview of Stephen Paddock. Also, a detailed account of the actions that took place on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. Descriptions of the Las Vegas Village venue and the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. Items of evidentiary value recovered from various scenes. Preliminary findings from investigations to include certain indicators of intent revealed by Stephen Paddock’s actions leading up to October 1. Public venues and other locations researched by Paddock and some scene photography or photographs. This report is not going to answer every question or even answer the biggest question as to why he did what he did. What this report will shed light on is the planning of the attack, the research that was done by Paddock in looking for public venues for crowds gathered, Paddock’s movements in the days leading up to the attack and based on witness interviews and evidence how Paddock carried out the attack. You will see in the report Paddock’s disturbing search history from his computers to include extensive search history in ballistics and SWAT tactics. You will see that we recovered numerous photographs of child pornography. And as to the missing hard drive that was mentioned in previous press conferences, we have yet to determine when the hard drive was removed. It could have been in close proximity to 1 October or it could have been years prior. We are unable to locate it.”
“As you will read there was no suicide note, nor a manifesto left behind, no ideology or radicalization was discovered. We hope that the work that continues to be done on this case and will help paint a more complete picture why Paddock committed such evil. The results of the autopsy, the toxicology, and the pathology will be provided by the coroner’s office. It’s not a matter of public record. I realize there is litigation currently associated with the coroner’s office reference this matter, but any information reference those three items will be provided by the coroner’s office. The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit are working tirelessly to provide answers as to why. But that is a long and detailed process and we are all going to have to be patient and let this investigation run its course. I know and believe there is only one suspect who killed 58 people and injured hundreds more. All the evidence recovered in this case supports that theory. There was one shooter in the 1 October massacre. There is only one person responsible and that was Stephen Paddock.”
“We do not anticipate bringing charges forward against Marilou Danley. As to any other people, the FBI has an ongoing case against an individual of federal interest. I will not be able to elaborate on that statement as it’s a pending investigation. Any further information reference that individual can be provided by the FBI. Its my hope this report will provide the media and the public an understanding of what occurred on 1 October.”
The Baltimore Post-Examiner was the first to question why all the police tactical movements the night of the massacre was broadcasted unencrypted for the public to hear. Tactical movements should never be openly broadcasted, it can place police officer’s lives in danger.
Lombardo addressed the radio system.
“Before I close I would like to address an issue a number of you raised about changes to our police radio system. And specifically, if this will affect your ability to listen to our radio traffic. This change has been in the works for two years, two years, no relation to 1 October. It will enable our department to go on the open market to purchase end user devices such as pac sets and radios. We are no longer having to rely on a single proprietary vendor, subsequently it will save the department money. It will also allow us to update our radios over the air, via the Internet versus manually manipulating them. It will also allow our undercover units to have encrypted channels for safety. The press will continue to have access to all our calls for service with the patrol division.”
I don’t believe Lombardo is correct on what he said. The LVMPD went to the P25 Phase 2 protocol a few years ago. Outside of the patrol area commands all the specialized units to include vice, narcotics, organized crime, SWAT, etc. currently use encrypted channels.
Lombardo said that he doesn’t anticipate the completed comprehensive report to be completed until the end of the year.
Lombardo did contradict himself in response to a reporter that asked him if he felt Paddock losing money could have been a factor in why he did what he did. In the November 2, 2017 KLAS-TV interview he did say that, then a few minutes later in that same interview he said he did not think that was a deciding factor. Now he thinks it may have been.
As I watched the press conference live I was hoping that someone would address the issue of why the LVMPD full SWAT Team did not breach Paddock’s suite as Lombardo had told us they did from the start. Nobody asked him. Also no one asked him the status of the investigation or lack thereof relating to the leaked crime scene photographs by police personnel.
I read the 81-page preliminary report that was released after the press conference via the LVMPD website. This is what I have been wanting to see, an actual police report documenting some findings. I just couldn’t take any more of Lombardo’s lies, misleading and convoluted statements and contradictions. I have said it before. His comments are not reflective of the LVMPD police officers and detectives that I worked with in my twenty-year tenure in the hotel casino industry.
The report was much more than I expected, very detailed with some photographs as Lombardo stated. Plenty of good hard detective work went into that investigation as is apparent by reading the report. There are still questions concerning the investigation that need answering though.
After reviewing the 300 pages of the FBI search warrants and affidavits that were released last Friday and what I read in the LVMPD preliminary report, I feel comfortable in saying that I believe Stephen Paddock was the lone shooter responsible for the Las Vegas October 1, 2017 massacre and that he alone fired from his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. There is ample evidence to support that.
That doesn’t change my opinion of Sheriff Joe Lombardo and I stand by my belief that the massacre should never have happened in the first place.
I will have a follow-up story with my analysis of the report and why I am now certain Stephen Paddock acted alone in that hotel room.
Never forget the 58 people who were murdered and the 851 who were wounded and or injured in the worst mass shooting in American history, October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Doug authored over 135 articles on the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas Massacre, more than any other single journalist in the country. He investigates stories on corruption, law enforcement and crime. Doug is a US Army Military Police Veteran, former police officer, deputy sheriff and criminal investigator. Doug spent 20 years in the hotel/casino industry as an investigator and then as Director of Security and Surveillance. He also spent a short time with the US Dept. of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration. In 1986 Doug was awarded Criminal Investigator of the Year by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. In 1992 and 1993 Doug testified in court that a sheriff’s office official and the county prosecutor withheld exculpatory evidence during the 1988 trial of a man accused of the attempted murder of his wife. Doug’s testimony led to a judge’s decision to order the release of the man from prison in 1992 and awarded him a new trial, in which he was later acquitted. As a result of Doug breaking the police “blue wall of silence,” he was fired by the county sheriff. His story was featured on Inside Edition, Current Affair and CBS News’ “Street Stories with Ed Bradley”. In 1992 after losing his job, at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Doug infiltrated a group of men who were plotting the kidnapping of a Dupont fortune heir and his wife. Doug has been a guest on national television and radio programs speaking on the stories he now writes as an investigative journalist.