By Joe Ragonese
A little knowledge can be a wonderful thing, but if you don’t know, what you don’t know, it can be dangerous. Lack of knowledge is how conspiracy theories are born. Due to so little information coming out of Las Vegas since the worst mass shooting in American history, many conspiracy theories are fomenting. To put to rest, or simply to inform, please allow me to share some of my police knowledge with you.
The first thing is the timeline; it has changed over the investigation. That is not unusual; in fact it is the norm. Going into an investigation, the facts learned during the process direct the trained detective and often change from what was first thought to be the case.
During his last presser, the Sheriff of Clark County, Joe Lombardo, said that a security guard was shot six minutes prior to the first shots fired at the Route 91 concert goers, across the lot from the Mandalay Casino. That was a change from initial reports; however, it was changed as the facts were learned, altering the direction of the investigation. From that remark many have leapt to the conclusion that some nefarious conspiracy is taking place to cover up an even more odious act.
The truth is that changing timelines are normal when an event is of this magnitude. Some are saying that it is proof of a cover-up. As evidence some point to all the reports of calls made to the police, a full six minutes prior to the first shooting at the country music festival; and that the police didn’t arrive on the 32nd floor until 16 minutes later. In reality, it is quite remarkable, only not in the way conspiracy theorists think; it was remarkable for the speed of the response.
On average police response is three to five minutes to the scene of a crime. That would be to the lobby of the Mandalay Casino, not the 32nd floor where the shooter was. It would have taken at least a minute for dispatchers at the casino to sort out what was going on with their security guard and calls from the maintenance man, before making the call to LVPD.
Dispatchers at LVPD, better trained than those at Mandalay Casino, would have gotten the call of the shooting to patrol officers within a minute or less; sometimes within seconds. But let’s give them a minute to understand what was going on, filling out the proper forms and transmitting the shots fired call. Five minutes to get there, two to call both ways, equals seven minutes; by that time the shooter is one minute into his killing spree.
When the shooting started at the country festival, calls started pouring into LVPD dispatch immediately, hundreds all at once. With the flood of calls about a shooting in progress, right across the street from the Mandalay, the patrol units assigned to the shots fired call, which has already happened, are redirected to check out the shooting in progress calls across the street from them.
Until patrol units arrive on the scene and assess the situation, no one in the dispatch center knew that the two calls were connected. That these officers, who responded, were able to assess the situation so quickly, and respond to the location of the shooter only 16 minutes after the first shots are fired at the crowd, and 21 minutes after the first shots are fired in the Mandalay, is a testament to the professionalism of the LVPD.
Anyone who has been in any type of combat or firefight understands how confusing it becomes, especially early on. Who better controls that confusion is usually the victor. The LVPD was the clear winner in this case. Remember, the shooter had every intention of using that confusion to make his escape; he did not. The LVPD did an outstanding job and should be recognized for that excellence.
Some here will think that what was said so far is reasonable, but insist that two guns can be clearly heard on some tapes; especially those played by Infowars. They will say that is proof of a coverup. Having been in gunfights, where multiple weapons are fired simultaneously, I can attest to the fact that telling the difference between two different calibers is easily discernible. In fact, I heard those weapons being fired myself, and simultaneously, on those very tapes that you have heard.
The most logical answer to this dilemma, because Sheriff Lombardo insists that there was only one shooter, and the FBI agrees, although trust in the FBI is at an all time low, is that those higher pitched rounds heard are fired from a police officer returning fire. There have been no reports of that, but I believe that to be the case. I know most will say that it is stupid to return fire with a pistol at someone so far away, and 32 stories high, but mark my words, someone would take the shot because doing nothing is not an option.
Return fire has not been reported, adding to the conspiracy theories, yet no one has asked the Sheriff if there was any return fire. In fact, none of the press on the scene has asked about the rumors of two different guns, at least not at the pressers that I have heard. The MSM is so woefully un-knowledgeable about guns, that they are clueless as what questions to ask. So conspiracies develop to answer the unanswered questions. If we only had a real press corps.
There is one other event that has been opened up as some kind of conspiracy of silence from investigators, and it is a recent report that when people on the scene gave the police their cell phones, they were returned with voice or photographic evidence missing. It has been reported as wiped out. This has added fuel to the fires of conspiracy.
The removal of evidence from cell phones is standard police procedure. To maintain a chain of evidence, in the event of future prosecutions, prosecutors need the original evidence, not a copy, and that would explain the missing digital entry’s on the cell phones. They were simply taken into evidence by the FBI; standard operating procedure.
All of which indicates, at least to this 36 year police veteran, that an ongoing investigation is still following leads that may lead to others who may have had prior knowledge of the planned attack, or even been a participant in it. While we all want answers, and want them now, we must be patient because investigations run based on following the trail of evidence, and that takes time to sort through the leads. With the huge amount of leads to follow in this case, this is going to take a little longer.
How this all pans out in the end will not be a 50 year mystery, like the JFK assassination, this is still being investigated. If we are let down with the results, we can change our minds then; but we simply do not have enough information, at this time, to start with the conspiracy theories. Don’t worry, this isn’t over yet, there is more to come.