Every time it appears the investigation into the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history couldn’t get any more bizarre, something happens to take things to the next level of strange.
After a week in which the timeline of the shooting was changed by police and then contested by the Mandalay Bay hotel, the sheriff who has been the local face of the investigation lashed out at the public he had just days earlier asked to help in providing information about the killer’s motive.
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo condemned those disseminating “conspiracy theories” about the case.
One of the most oft-repeated theories is that there was at least one other shooter besides the 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, possibly down on the ground or stationed on one of the first two or three floors of the Mandalay Bay. Paddock was shooting people from the 32nd floor and police say he killed himself after murdering 58 strangers and injuring nearly 500 at a country-music festival.
“There is no conspiracy between the FBI, the Las Vegas Metorpolitan Police Department or anybody else. Nobody is attempting to hide anything in this investigation,” said Lombardo during a press conference Friday that was otherwise devoid of any substantive new information.
Now almost two weeks since Paddock launched his attack on the Route 91 music festival, police still don’t have a motive as to why he did it.
Sheriff is ‘his own worst enemy’
Ted Williams, a former homicide detective and Fox News contributor, said he feels bad for the sheriff but the investigation has not been handled well.
“The sheriff is under a great deal of strain on this investigation,” Williams told Fox anchor Neil Cavuto. “On the other hand, the sheriff is his own worst enemy. He asked for help from the public, and when you ask the public for help, you have to give the public information, not misinformation. My heart goes out to the sheriff but you can’t give out misinformation.”
Williams was referring to the timeline of the shooting, which for over a week was that the attack started with shots out the 32nd floor window and was stopped when hotel security guard Jesus Campos approached the shooter’s hotel door and was shot in the leg. That was reversed earlier this week with Campos said to have been shot before any of the gunfire was rained down on the concert-goers, and a hotel maintenance worker came forward Wednesday saying he heard the shots, some 200 rounds, fired at Campos through the door and warned hotel staff to call the police.
At least six minutes elapsed between the shots at Campos and Paddock starting his ballistic assault on the crowd gathered at the concert below the hotel.
If the new timeline is accurate, it only leads to more unanswered questions. If Campos was shot and wounded before the attack started, why did Paddock stop shooting and kill himself if the security guard did not stop him as previously reported by the Vegas police?
Reporters barred from press conference
Sheriff Lombardo also reportedly barred two conservative, independent journalists from entering the Friday press conference. They said they were stopped from entering by armed officers.
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) October 13, 2017
Translation: “We don’t want real investigative journalists asking real questions. Only lying MSM are welcome.”
Too bad MSM is complicit. https://t.co/Kx6OIzEGnl
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) October 13, 2017
‘Hero’ security guard nowhere to be found
Campos, meanwhile, has disappeared from public view. A security guard has been placed at his residence and he skipped out on five interviews Thursday night in which he had planned to break his silence.He was scheduled to appear on the Sean Hannity show on Fox News Thursday night.
“We were in a room and we came out and he was gone,” Campos’ union president told reporters, according to ABC News’ Stephanie Wash.
Campos is represented by the International Union, Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America, which did not respond to requests for comment from Fox News earlier this week.
He cancelled. https://t.co/fWCb4X8cNQ
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) October 13, 2017
WND reported earlier this week that Campos is not even registered with the state as a licensed security guard.
Now his whereabouts are unknown.
ISIS claim still hangs out there
ISIS, also called the Islamic State, immediately claimed credit for the attack and followed up four times reiterating its claim that Paddock was one of its “soldiers of the Caliphate.” But the FBI on day one said it has zero evidence of any such link.
Some independent investigators believe that until more information is given about Paddock, the ISIS claim should be given more consideration and should not have been automatically discounted by the FBI.
One such man is John Guandolo, a former Marine and ex-FBI counter-terrorism officer who now runs Understanding the Threat, a consultancy for law enforcement.
Guandolo has called the investigation “bizarre and unprofessional.”
In speaking to an FBI colleague, Guandolo said he was told, “Listening to FBI agents speak about the Las Vegas attack reveals there is an automatic dismissal on their part that this attack has anything to do with the Islamic Movement. This attitude is so well seated in the FBI that it drives all investigative efforts away from Islam and the Islamic State.”
That should disturb every American, Guandolo says.
“Knowing and understanding the Islamic threat and their doctrine Shariah — the thing that drives everything they do — is critical in cases like this,” Guandolo wrote on his website Friday. “But at the ground level, basic investigative steps will necessarily be missed and are being missed because investigators, no matter how proficient or how much experience they have, will never get to the truth because they are programed to specifically not get to it.”
He continues with a bleak conclusion:
“So for all of you out there who are not investigators, yet see this event clearly because you do understand the Islamic threat, the Muslim Brotherhood Movement, and Shariah, we (UTT) hope this helps you understand why you can see this for what it is but investigators cannot.
“The Las Vegas attack, more than any other, puts the success of the Islamic Movement on full display while highlighting the intentional outcome of all of their efforts – complete investigative collapse in the face of overwhelming reality.”