LVMPD final report on Las Vegas Massacre didn’t include spent shell casingsLos Angeles Post-Examiner

LVMPD final report on Las Vegas Massacre didn’t include spent shell casings

LAS VEGAS — A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officer’s Report states that law enforcement recovered spent shell casings and broken window glass as evidence in the early morning hours after the October 1, 2017, Las Vegas Massacre.

Whether that evidence was seized by the LVMPD or the Federal Bureau of Investigation is not mentioned in the officer’s report, however in the LVMPD’s final criminal investigative report that was released on August 3, they state that the FBI’s Evidence Recovery Team handled the collection of all evidence related to the Mandalay Bay and the Las Vegas Village venue which was the site of the Route 91 Harvest music festival.

The following are excerpts from LVMPD Officer Jeff Stuart’s Officer’s report:

Deputy Chief Hank and I met Captain Greenway at the Mandalay Bay, where we established a secondary command post at the valet, providing direction to officers and Mandalay Bay staff in securing the outside perimeter of the property and the buildings. It quickly became our agency’s responsibility to maintain the integrity and security of this property, due to the fact that much of the interior was left unsecure by fleeing and displaced employees.

Also from this post, I established a place for key personnel from Mandalay Bay and MGM properties to meet and receive police protection, while they conducted necessary business.

One of our goals was to provide Mandalay Bay management with the opportunity to reunite guests with loved ones and open the Mandalay Bay Casino back up for business. Through the full cooperation of Mandalay Bay and MGM Properties, this was done in an orderly manner in the morning.

“Blue on blue” accidents were completely avoided and important items of evidentiary value, such as spent shell casings and broken glass were quickly identified and secured.

Officer Stuart does not indicate where the spent shell casings and broken glass were found, identified and secured.

There would be nothing out of the ordinary in finding spent shell casings and broken glass on the outside perimeter of the Mandalay Bay on the ground, if indeed that is where this evidence was found.

Paddock at some point broke out/and or shot out a portion of both room windows, so glass falling outside the window would not be out of the ordinary.

Some ejected spent cartridge cases from the rifles could very well have gone out the window.

If this was the case, then why is nothing mentioned in the police final report about spent cartridge cases and glass being recovered outside of Paddock’s rooms and what was the result of the analysis on those spent cartridge cases.

Crime scene photographs that were released as part of both the preliminary and final police reports depict glass fragments and spent cartridge casings only inside Paddock’s suite.

Timeline of Paddock firing his weapons as stated in the final police report

10:05 p.m. – Paddock fired two single gunshots into the concert area. Paddock fired an undetermined amount of gunshots into the concert area.

10:06 p.m. – Paddock fired approximately 100 rounds into the concert area. Paddock fired rounds down the hallway at Security Officer Campos.

10:07 p.m. – Paddock fired approximately 95 rounds into the concert area. Paddock fired approximately 100 rounds into the concert area. Paddock fired approximately 94 rounds into the concert venue.

10:08 p.m. – Paddock fired the first round at the fuel tank (missed tank).

10:09 p.m. – Paddock fired the second round at the fuel tank (missed tank). Paddock fired the third round at the fuel tank (missed tank). Paddock fired the fourth round at the fuel tank (missed tank). Paddock fired the fifth round at the fuel tank, the first strike into the fuel tank (top strike). Paddock fired the sixth round at the fuel tank, the second strike into the fuel tank (lower strike). The investigation was unable to determine when the seventh and eight rounds were fired at the fuel tank. (Footnote #20 states sequence determined through the audio of Uber video. There were eight .308 casings located inside of Room 32-134.) [I don’t believe that Uber video was released.] Paddock fired a number of rounds into the concert area.

10:10 p.m. – Mandalay Bay Engineer Schuck heard automatic gunfire. (Footnote #21 states that the investigation determined at the time Engineer Schuck heard the gunfire, Paddock fired approximately 21 rounds into the concert area. [The report doesn’t indicate how they determined this.] Paddock fired rounds down the hallway at Engineer Schuck.

10:11 p.m. – Paddock fired approximately 80-100 rounds into the concert area. Paddock fired approximately 95 rounds into the concert area.

10:12 p.m. – Paddock fired approximately 80-90 rounds into the concert area.

10:13 p.m. – Paddock fired an undetermined number of rounds into the concert venue.

10:15 p.m. – Paddock fired two separate volleys of an unknown number of rounds into the concert venue.

Evidence Recovery

Footnote #30 states items of evidentiary value were housed and analyzed by the FBI. For the purpose of this article I am only referring to the weapons and expended shell casings.

Located in Room 32-135 the police report states they recovered approximately 1, 050 expended .223/5.56 cartridge cases. Either they recovered 1,050 expended cartridge cases or they didn’t. You count every single one.

Keep in mind cartridge cases may contain DNA evidence, fingerprints and the firing pin indentation can be used to match the expended cartridge case to the weapon it was fired from.

There is nothing mentioned in the report that any .308/7.62 expended cartridge cases were found inside Room 32-135 which would indicate that Paddock did not fire any of the .308/7.62 rifles inside 32-135.

In Room 32-134 they recovered eight expended .308/7.62 cartridge cases. No .223/5.56 expended cartridge cases are listed, so Paddock did not fire any .223/5.56 rifles inside 32-134.

Firearms recovered in Room 32-135

Thirteen AR-15 .223/5.56 semi-automatic rifles all equipped with bump stocks.

Five AR-10 .308/7.62 semi-automatic rifles. No bump stocks on any.

One Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver with 4 cartridges, 1 expended cartridge case.

Firearms recovered in Room 32-134

One AR-15 .223/5.56 semi-automatic rifle with a bump stock. No sights or optics.

One .308 caliber bolt action rifle with scope.

Three .308/7.62 semi-automatic rifles, all with scopes. No bump stocks.

Ammunition

Several types of ammunition were located within rooms 32-135 and 32-134 loaded into rifle magazines for AR-15 and AR-10 style rifles. The AR-15 .223/5.56 rifle magazines were loaded with hollow point and polymer tipped hollow point ammunition. The AR-10 .308/7.62 rifle magazines and the bolt-action rifle were loaded with Tracer, Frangible Incendiary Armor Piercing and Armor Piercing Incendiary ammunition. (Footnote #31 states the information on the ammunition was summarized from the analysis report produced by the FBI.) That FBI analysis report has not been released yet.

Firearms Forensic Analysis

Recovered in rooms 32-135 and 32-134 were 1057 shell casings. [That’s what I want to see, an exact number.] Forensic analysis was completed on all of the shell casings that were recovered. Of the [23] rifles recovered from inside rooms 32-135 and 32-134, 14 were found to have been fired.

Room 32-134

The Ruger SR0762 AR-10 .308/7.62 rifle with scope, bipod and the 25-round magazine was fired six times.

One of the LMT Serial#LM308MWS .308/7.62 rifle with scope, bipod and 25-round magazine was fired twice.

Room 32-135

All of the following are .223/5.56 caliber semi-automatic rifles. All had bump stocks:

Daniel Defense M4A1 Serial#DDM4123629 fired 95 times. EOTech optic. 100-round magazine.

Daniel Defense M4V11 Serial#DDM4078072 fired 100 times. EOTech optic. No magazine.

Noveske Rifleworks N4 Serial#B15993 fired 33 times. EOTech optic. 40- round magazine.

Colt M4 Serial#LE564124 fired 96 times. No optics. 100-round magazine.

Christiansen Arms CA-15 Serial#CA04625 fired 21 times. No sights or optics. 100-round magazine.

LMT Serial#LMT81745 fired 100 times. No sights or optics. 100-round magazine.

Colt Serial#LE451984 fired 100 times. Front sight only. 100-round magazine.

POF USA P-15 Serial#03E-1603178 fired 100 times. EOTech optic. 100-round magazine.

POF USA P-15 Serial#PE1600179 fired 95 times. No sights or optics. 100-round magazine.

FNH Serial#FNCR000383 fired 144 times. No sights or optics. 100-round mag.

FNH FN-15 Serial#FNB024293 fired 153 times. EOTech optic. 100-round magazine.

LWRC M61C Serial#5P03902 fired 12 times. EOTech optic. 100-round magazine.

Paddock’s revolver

Forensic analysis was also completed on the Smith and Wesson revolver recovered in Room 32-135. Scientists were able to determine the round recovered from Paddock’s head was fired from the revolver recovered in Room 32-135. It was determined the spent shell casing recovered in the cylinder of the revolver was fired from the revolver. (Footnote #32 states information was summarized from the analysis report completed by the FBI.)

DNA

Scientists were able to determine Paddock’s DNA existed on several firearms, including the Smith and Wesson revolver. When tested against Danley’s DNA, the results for the firearms were either inconclusive or negative.

What is not mentioned in the police report is the analysis of bullets recovered from the deceased victims and survivors of Paddock’s gunfire and whether they were matched to the firearms in the room.

The FBI has said that their report would be released sometime before the end of the year. We may or may not see the analysis of all the evidence that was seized by the FBI. That will remain to be seen.

In addition, the report of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit may be the closest to a motive for Paddock’s actions that we get.

Top photo is a Crime Scene Investigation photo from Stephen Paddock’s room at the Mandalay Bay


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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