Las Vegas mass shooting: Who is telling the truth?Los Angeles Post-Examiner

Las Vegas mass shooting: Who is telling the truth?

LAS VEGAS — A Las Vegas police officer’s statements contradict the story the  Baltimore Post-Examiner broke Thursday — which means someone is lying.

In that story, a Mandalay Bay armed security supervisor told a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department detective and an FBI special agent during a taped interview that LVMPD Officer Cordell Hendrex and he were on the 32ndfloor of the Mandalay Bay while Paddock was still firing from his room for a two-minute period.

However, in his written statement, LVMPD Officer C. Hendrex writes that he never left his partner who was in training, Officer E. Varsin, and never was on the 32ndfloor.

According to Hendrex:

A moment later one of the security personnel stopped and said that he heard over the radio that the shots were actually coming from the 31stfloor. I then told him to take me there. (It should be noted that Officer Varsin activated her BWC while still in the security office, I forgot to turn mine on until later.) We then got into the elevator and I realized that Officer Varsin was right there with me along with three security managers, who were identified as [ three names redacted]. 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.

At some point, I pulled out my firearm, as I do not remember doing this, but when the doors opened on the 31stfloor my gun was in front of me and I was clearing around the corner and then down the hall to try and locate the shooter or shooters. The floor was quiet, and no one was in the hall. As I made my way down the hall I had to stop [redacted] from racing down in front of me as I knew that he was a civilian and not wearing any body armor and it was my responsibility to be the first in the stack.

I told him to slow down and walk next to me if he wanted to. While going down the hall one of the guys said there was a stairwell at the end of the hall. Once we were near the end of the hall we heard a volley of automatic rifle fire start. The sound of the shots were 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 treated 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 fire coming from the floor above us. (I regret not being clearer in my radio traffic and saying 32ndfloor because after hearing myself later I said, “coming from one floor ahead, one floor above us, I stumbled my words.)

We have a total contradiction in the two accounts, the one given by the Mandalay Bay security supervisor to the LVMPD detective and the FBI and the written account in Hendrex’s report.

Only one account can be correct. Either way, somebody is not telling the truth here and that puts into question the validity of someone’s account.


About the author

Doug Poppa

Doug Poppa is a United States Army Military Police Veteran, former law enforcement officer, criminal investigator and private sector security and investigations management professional with 35 years of real-world investigative experience. He has 19 years experience in a hotel and casino environment, 14 of which were in security management positions. In 1986 he was awarded Criminal Investigator of the Year by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. Contact the author.
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