I confess, I think about the Las Vegas concert shooting every day. And it’s not a passing thought, either. I think about it out of sheer sympathy for the 58 families shattered beyond comprehension. I think about it to try to get my head around the mere existence of pure, demented evil in humans.
I think about it like you would think about a puzzle. What would you do, if you were on the ground that night? How did the shooter execute his plan? And of course I think about the “why?” I’ll bet the “why” part is going to remain hopelessly buried in the depths of deep, deep, mental illness.
Now… the whole story is entering a new phase, due to the fact that some pretty basic timelines of the atrocity are being changed almost a full week after the shots stopped ringing out into the Vegas night.
At this point, it’s pretty apparent, that certain entities are not being entirely truthful. The reasons for that, are not hard to put together.
At first, we were told unarmed security guard Jose Campos was the defacto hero, coming upon the shooter’s room in mid-massacre, drawing an avalanche of rifle fire through the hotel room door. Campos was struck in the leg, but allegedly stayed on the 32nd floor until police arrived and the shooter had finally killed himself.
Now… forget all that. So says the LVPD. They say Campos came upon the shooter 6 MINUTES BEFORE the carnage at the music festival began! Holy whaaaaaa?
Everything else is now a complete mess of contradiction. Denials are flying. This is going to get ugly from a liability standpoint, no doubt.
Now we have been told about the maintenance worker who ALSO was on the floor when the bullets began flying. And instead of the narrative that Campos got shot through the door, the maintenance worker claimed bullets were flying “down the hall.”
It’s been a week and two days. This is the FIRST time we’ve heard about the maintenance man or any of these details. This is not normal. The LVPD said – rather weakly, I think – that the events of the hallway that night were “not a priority” in their investigation.
Really? How’s that, exactly?
I understand a complicated and multi-location mass atrocity like this will take time to untangle, and that there will be corrections of certain facts along the way. I refuse to believe that the LVPD would botch the basic timeline of the crime and have to revise it a week later, unless they were getting very minimal cooperation from the hotel and their lawyers. Yeah, I said it: lawyers.
Because IF a security guard got shot in the leg 6 minutes before the massacre began, and he DID NOT call 911 immediately, there’s trouble for MGM Grand. If he radioed to the front desk, and THEY did not immediately call 911, there’s trouble for MGM Grand.
I have read a story that claims actual LVPD were in the resort at the time Campos was shot, responding to a separate call. If that’s true – and it’s a BIG IF, because the story keeps changing – then the known response time to the room is flatly un-acceptable. A pair of officers should be able to get to that exact room, ID’d exactly by Campos via radio, in 5 minutes. Maybe less.
There’s an 18 minute gap between when Campos was shot, and the police arrived. By then, the shooting had stopped. And they took another 45 minutes to breach the room. I can understand some degree of caution on breaching the room – it may well have been booby trapped.
But how could the police know he wasn’t wiring up explosives to cause more mayhem? Loading up more guns? Jumped from the window with a short altitude parachute? A million things could have been going on. Furthermore, did some victims die needlessly without an “all clear” radio call from the shooter’s room by police to medical personnel assisting the wounded at the concert?
Look, I am not trying to criticize anyone involved that night. It was an unthinkable act, shrouded in darkness and chaos. Many, many people acted with true, amazing heroism. But there are so many questions.
A few stray thoughts, on a few more things.
This was the estimate given to what the shooter put through the door at the security guard/maintenance man. I’m skeptical. That’s about 20 straight seconds of fully automatic (or bump-stock) fire. Or 6 different shooting barrages between what were likely 30 round magazines. How many other hotel guests heard this thundering barrage, and called 911? Or the front desk? So far, we’ve heard nothing.
While its true that Vegas has a TON of “eyes in the sky” I’ve been told that not every hotel has them pointing down each hallway. Mandalay Bay might have only had them at each elevator bank. Also, many Vegas hotels have “hallways” that bend, and slant, and jag from one end to the other. If we never see hallway footage, I won’t start putting on my tinfoil hat.
I’m very pro second Amendment. But, of course these things should be illegal. I saw one at the gun range the one time I was at one, and yeah… it turns your legal rifle into an illegal machine gun. I don’t see how anyone can oppose this.
False Flag/Isis/Conspiracy Theories
Bah. You can have all these bags of nonsense. I think this was a perfect storm of a guy who was a) Highly intelligent b) Disciplined c) Detached from humanity d) Deeply broken mentally. I wish these individuals didn’t exist in the world. But they do. And there is no stopping them.
Why Was He So Quick to Stop Shooting and Kill Himself?
Does seem odd, no? Why not kill as many cops trying to get in your room, en route to your own express ride to hell? It appears – and again, who knows how much the “official” timeline may change going forward – that the shooter didn’t even engage police at his door. He was already dead. Sure, that’s “odd” if you think he’s a rational “crazy” person. But crazy is crazy. Who knows what the voices in his head told him?
For Those Obsessed With How Many Guns He Had
This is a pointless complaint. While having multiple rifles would help ensure he could keep shooting in case of a gun jam, I would bet that as few as three rifles with loads of ammo in magazines would have been plenty. In fact, bringing as many guns as he did, only created a greater operational burden for him, and increased his chances of getting caught.
How Come They Didn’t See Him Bringing All Those Weapons To His Room?
Uh, because he didn’t bring them up all at once, in wooden crates marked “GUNS.” You should see how my dad overpacks to visit a casino for 1 night! Computers, coffee makers, clothes, etc. Now, there IS a separate issue of letting him stay holed up without maid service for 3 days. Steve Wynn said in an interview that his properties don’t let a guest go beyond a day and a half. Which I think is sensible. Russell Brand could be in that room, dead for a day on an overdose, starting to rot!
Aside from the sheer horror of the act, and those who have been killed, maimed, and otherwise traumatized and broken, the tragedy hits sorta close to my heart because of my deep affinity for everything that is, Las Vegas.
It is, my kinda town. I’ve been going there every March for almost 20 years. I love the pulse of the place, and the feeling of being out there in the desert. I’ve also stayed at Mandalay Bay more than a few times. It’s a great property. We play our golf at nearby Bali Hai GC, from which the gleaming gold facade of the hotel rises as a backdrop. It’s an awesome visual, and one that I have yet to get tired of seeing and feeling when I visit.
I’ll never look at it the same way, however, and that just adds another small layer of sadness.
Let’s just hope that the facts end up settling into an agreed upon narrative, and that operational lessons are learned to help prevent, or mitigate such atrocities in the future. But I’ll be honest: it smells like something fishy is going now, and that future discovery of negligence or incompetence in the response, may add to the tragedy.