LAS VEGAS — It has been almost one month since the May 23 court-ordered release of more than 2,000 witness statements and officer’s reports relating to the October 1 Las Vegas massacre.
Among those documents that were released to the media, was Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officer Cordell Hendrex’s report.
The Baltimore Post-Examiner was the first to report in several stories that Hendrex, according to his own report, failed to take any action to confront gunman Stephen Paddock, making no attempt to stop, distract or disrupt Paddock’s gunfire as his hail of bullets was raining down on the Route 91 Music festival on the night of October 1.
We reported that Hendrex by his own account, retreated as he was on the 31st floor with another police officer and three armed Mandalay Bay security managers until after the gunfire stopped. No action was taken to stop Paddock.
The Baltimore Post-Examiner also reported that Hendrex’s account was at odds with a Mandalay Bay security manager who told the FBI and the police that Hendrex was on the 32nd floor with him during the gunfire and that after the gunfire ended, Hendrex and he had maintained coverage on Paddock’s suite and no one exited the room.
Since running those stories the Baltimore Post-Examiner has received numerous comments from readers questioning why nothing has been reported by the Las Vegas media about Hendrex’s failure to confront Paddock.
One reader wrote, “You have to go all the way to Baltimore to find anyone questioning this case. Vegas Wrong!”Another wrote, “Keep up the post, I live in Vegas and you can’t get any info in the news here.”
To date, not one Las Vegas media outlet, either print or television, has expressed outrage that LVMPD Police Officer Cordell Hendrex failed to act to stop Paddock.
Never forgot 58 people died and more than 400 were wounded by Paddock’s gunfire, and those included not only civilians but police officers as well.
As other police officers were risking their lives running through the gunfire to get into the Mandalay Bay Hotel to confront Paddock, Hendrex remained safely one floor below the gunfire and failed to act to protect lives and has yet to be criticized by the Vegas media.
The fact that this has been ignored by the local media is nothing short of disgraceful.
To add insult to injury, one local television reporter from Fox 5 Las Vegas, Adam Herbets, apparently was unnerved by my comments on Twitter calling out the Las Vegas media as ‘bought and paid for’ by failing to report on Hendrex’s cowardly act.
Herbets even called me a liar.
Because I said that the Baltimore Post-Examiner broke the story that Hendrex failed to act to confront Paddock. That’s wasn’t a lie, that is fact. No media outlet reported on that.
MGM Resorts International, the owners of the Mandalay Bay Hotel also have a stake in this. Remember, Hendrex’s account conflicts with one of their security managers.
Breaking news that the police released over 2000 documents is news. But reporting only half the truth is not investigative journalism. Not one Vegas media outlet has stated either verbally or in print that Hendrex’s failure to act cost lives on the night of October 1st. If they had, that would have been national news, no different than the Parkland, Florida school tragedy.
A cop failed to act, and it costs lives and injuries.
It may not even be that the local reporters in Las Vegas are at fault here. Their paycheck comes from the news organizations they work for, and there may be where the problem lies.
Why hasn’t Hendrex’s failure to act been a headline at the Las Vegas Review-Journal or the Las Vegas Sun?
Why hasn’t that been breaking news on 8 News Now, Fox 5 Las Vegas, 13 Action News or News 3 Las Vegas?
Are they following in Sheriff Joe Lombardo footsteps when he said a few months back referring to Paddock, “We have to forget about this and move on?”
As the head of the LVMPD what has Lombardo said on the Hendrex incident?
Nothing. I know he is fully aware of all eleven articles published by the Baltimore Post-Examiner concerning Officer Cordell Hendrex.
Although the LVMPD stated they will not comment on anything related to the court-ordered release of the October 1 records, all my articles were sent to the LVMPD Public Information Office.
Are the Las Vegas media only going to report on the good stories and not the bad?
It’s a freaking disgrace to journalism, it’s repulsive and it’s not fair to the families of those who were killed and the survivors who are still looking for answers.
No wonder the public has lost faith in the mainstream media.
The media should not be a party to covering up the truth. They should report the truth and all the facts as they know them.
What did LVMPD Cordell Hendrex say in his report
This is not opinion, this is coming right from the horse’s mouth or should I say the coward’s mouth:
“I heard an Officer on the radio and say that there was an active shooter inside the Route 91 Music Festival, which I knew to be across the street from the Mandalay Bay Hotel.”
“I heard on the police radio that at least some of the shots were coming from somewhere inside of the Mandalay Bay about half way up of the casino closest to the Strip and not just from the concert.”
“One police officer said that they were taking rounds and were pinned down and I could hear gunfire in the background of the radio transmission.”
“As we rode up the elevator I distinctly remember saying a prayer in my head for all of us in the elevator and the ones still dealing with the shots coming at them.”
“Once we’re near the end of the hall we heard a volley of automatic rifle fire start. The sound of the shots were so very loud and reverberated through the hall like thunder all around and above us. Above us! I could tell that it was coming from the floor above us on 32. I then told everyone to get back and we retreated a few doors from the end of the hall. I know I hesitated and remember being terrified with fear and I think that I froze right there in the middle of the hall for how long I can’t say. I do know that at 2212 hours I got on the radio and told dispatch that I was inside the Mandalay Bay on the 31stfloor and that I could hear the automatic gunfire coming from the floor above us.”
“I once again hesitated as the shots were still being fired from the 32nd floor and I remember saying another prayer in my head for God to keep us safe. I did not know what to do next.”
“At 2215 hours the last shots were fired, and we then made our way back to the end of the hall to the stairwell.”
Hendrex knew people were being shot and those police officers were pinned down and taking fire. He was one floor below the shooter, heard the gunfire, no doubt knew the location of the shooter one floor above him. He retreated and failed to take any action during the several minutes of gunfire, never once even attempted to get to the shooter while he is firing.
From reading Hendrex’s statement I cannot understand how any news agency with any level of common sense could not reach the conclusion that Hendrex failed to confront an active shooter as people were being slaughtered.
Police officers are trained to run towards an active shooter, not retreat. Hendrex could have prevented further injuries and loss of life but he failed those at the Route 91 Music festival because he was derelict in his duty.
If the local media wants to report only half the facts to keep Hendrex and the LVMPD from public scrutiny, then so be it.
Then, the Las Vegas media themselves also have failed the public.
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.