Tag Archives: Mandalay Bay

Vegas Warrants: More questions than answers

Redacted warrants and affidavits for the Mandalay Bay shooting have been published. Sadly, the data dump is only from local Vegas LE. It does not include federal investigation information. That’s important because federal agents would be investigating violations of federal law like the reported fully-automatic weapon(s) that fell out of the official narrative once victim-disarming politicians decided bump-fire was a good target for new gun people control laws. I still want to see ballistics reports that show what weapons were used, and what those weapons were.

Part 1
Part 2

Multiple warrants appear to use identical copy/pasted portions of the affidavits. This appears in quite a few:

Upon breaching the door, officers entered and located a deceased male suspect with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
[…]
Despite this suspect being neutralized, several other callers at various locations along The Strip continued to report active shooters inside of hotels and sightings of people with firearms.

Due to the mass casualty event that was still very dynamic and multiple other callers reporting other ongoing incidents, it appeared there may be several other suspects involved.

He’s dead, but someone else is still shooting? And note: they found the dead body.

Um… Maybe not.
SW-17-971C&D, October 2, 2017, Telephonic Search Warrant, Sgt. Jerry MacDonald

SWAT officers arrived on the 32nd floor and pinpointed the shooter’s location to be in room 32-135. As SWAT officers breached room 135, they observed Stephen Paddock place a gun to his head and fire one round. (emphasis added-cb)

A local Fox5 report leaves open the possibilities that MacDonald misspoke, although that sounds like an oddly specific way of misstating that they found a dead body. “Sorry; I accidentally said they witnessed the dead guy put a gun to his head and kill himself.”

By Wednesday afternoon, after I drafted the above paragraph, MacDonald pretty much said just that:

“He absolutely killed himself before anyone got into the room,” Sgt. Jerry MacDonald told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
[…]
“That night was crazy. You get information coming in. It’s fluid, and none of it is confirmed,” he said. “And that’s par for the course when you’re doing telephonic search warrants. You base those search warrants based on what you believed up to that point.”

I could see telling the judge, “Yeah, officers saw him shoot himself” or “Subject killed himself on entry.” But specifically, “As SWAT officers breached room 135, they observed Stephen Paddock place a gun to his head and fire one round.”?

Two other affidavits put it this way:

Tactical entry was made into the room in order to preserve life under exigent circumstances and law enforcement located a deceased male with a gunshot wound.

and

Tactical entry was made into the room in order to preserve life under exigent circumstances and law enforcement located a deceased male with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“Apparent.” In light of the photo (warning: graphic) showing expended brass on top of the seemingly coagulated blood, we’re left with more questions: If he died on entry, how did brass end up on top of the blood, if the shooting in the suite had stopped an hour before? If he died earlier, and they found the body, how did brass end up on top of the blood?

There are other little oddities in the warrant info. Why did he need two “personal massagers”? Different types, for different applications? Two people? The fact that he had his passport with him might be significant or not. While in the US, most folks I know leave their passport secured at home. But reports indicate the Mandalay bay shooter was enough of a world traveler that he might have kept his in a go bag out of convenience.

What’s up with the vase and flowers?

Where did the missing hard drive go?

Then there’s the other redacted (except for the one instance a clerk initially missed) “person of interest,” which law enforcement claimed as a reason not to unseal the warrants, as revealing him would compromise the investigation. Only, due to said clerical error, we learn that Douglas Haig apparently did nothing but sell a box of a tracers at an Arizona gun show. Is he somehow significant, or was he a convenient excuse to keep the records sealed, hiding the oddities we’ve just seen?

Two entrees, two pair of gloves, two rooms, two shooting postitions, two personal massagers, ballistics calculations and scoped rifle and spotting scope, other rifles with no sights and bump-fire stocks…

One shooter.


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Mandalay Bay Preliminary Investigative Report

Yes, it matters for RKBA.

The LVMPD’s Preliminary Investigative Report (PDF) on the Mandalay Bay mass shooting has been released. If they expected this to silence doubters of the ever changing narrative, they screwed up. Do read it; it’s 81 pages, but that includes photographs and victim lists.

I noticed little things. Early leaks said there were AR- and AK pattern rifles. According to this report there were only AR-15 and and AR-10 pattern rifles, one revolver, and a Ruger bolt-action in .308.

Early leaks said the asshole was in financial trouble. This reports says not only were all his debts paid, but he’d paid the resort bill.

One point of agreement between early leaks and this report is that the asshole wired at least $100,000 to the Philippines.

But something missing from this report is hinted at here.

Paddock was on the floor south of the chair and side table. He was wearing black pants, a long sleeve brown shirt, black gloves, and grey shoes. Paddock was on his back with his head to the south, feet to the north, and arms at his sides. There was apparent blood surrounding his nose and mouth, and on the floor under his head. There was also apparent blood on the front of his shirt. A rifle was on the floor under his legs. A grey box cutter was on the floor between his feet. There were casings on the floor surrounding him. A silver/black colored “Smith & Wesson”
revolver with apparent blood on it was on the floor south of Paddock’s head.

Please refer to this previously leaked crime scene photo (mildly graphic shot of the body). Unmentioned in the report is the rifle under which the asshole somehow managed to extend his foot without overturning it.

Also unmentioned is something to be found in this leaked photo (very graphic; head shot): expended brass on top of the blood.

The geometry is odd, too. The asshole shot himself in the mouth and fell over. The revolver (the suicide weapon per the report) is two feet “above” his head, and his arms are along his side, foot under a bipod-mounted rifle. Shades of Vince Foster (has anyone checked Hillary’s alibi?).

And now we get to something else I find odd. The room service ticket for October 1st included two entrees. The asshole’s body in 32-135 was found wearing gloves. Another pair of gloves was found at the shooting position in 32-134 (he changed gloves mid-shoot?), which happens to be where the scoped bolt-action rifle was found.

Now, looking at the weapons list, you’ll note that many rifles had no sights/optics. At least one only had a front sight. Clearly precision shooting wasn’t expected…

…except we have a note of precision ballistics calculations. And a spotting scope.

Two entrees, two shooting positions, two pairs of gloves, a precision rifle and a spotting scope. Computers connected to different cameras in both rooms. Video recording with the sound of two different weapons fired simultaneously. Brass on top of blood from suicide.

One shooter.

Oh, and the laptop whose hard drive walked away. You’d think if the asshole was concerned about incriminating computer files, he’d have disappeared the one with the reported kiddie porn, too.

Draw your own conclusions. (I have my own, but in deference to The Zelman Partisans I’ll stay out of that here.)

Back to why this still matters. At the state and local levels, we’re seeing legislation to further restrict rights based on this incident. Bump-fire stocks, most notably. Peruse that report and you’ll see multiple reports from civilians and police officers of automatic weapons fire. While there were leaks that at least two firearms were fully automatic (in addition to the bump-fire stocked rifles), that isn’t addressed in this report at all. Seems odd.

Perhaps they’re after the person who sold (or converted) automatic weapons to the asshole and don’t want to tip him off that they know auto weapons were involved. Except that was released back in October. If I were that black marketeer, I’d have started covering my butt back then.

If no weapons were full-auto, why not correct the initial report, leaving the path open for regulating bump-fire stocks? If all the weapons were legal, and they no longer consider the girlfriend a suspect, why not set the record straight? And who could they be considering for charges if no one else did anything unlawful?

If this report was expected to allay concerns, they missed… their own target.


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar.

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Vegas Questions; and why they matter

The Mandalay Bay shooting has left more questions unanswered than answered. And yes, it matters.

It matter because numerous — and gross — violations of Constitutionally “protected” rights are being proposed to “fix” the problems that let that happen.

1. “‘Silencers’ must not be deregulated; they must be banned because what if the Mandalay Bay asshole had used them and nobody knew they were being shot?

2. “More preemptivly-prove-your-innocence prior restraint “background checks” because they were good enough to catch this guy when he passed them.”

3. “Ban bump-fire stocks because they turn any gun into a machine gun.”

4. “Ban all semiautomatic firearms because ‘military grade weapons of war’!”

5. “Stop reciprocal carry because that guy might’ve gotten a carry license.”

6. “Register all gun owners and all their guns because… we don’t know, but do it for Vegas.”

7. “Ban all guns because no murderer will ever figure out how to kill without a gun.”

And the list goes on. Mandalay Bay has become the rationalization for human civil rights violations on a scale not seen in this country since slavery was outlawed. Hyperbole?

Consider that anti-gunners are screaming that gun owners have no right to speak on the subject. Bans and confiscations deprive people of property. Finding the owners and guns will involve mass warrantless searches. Privacy will be invaded as authorities scour email and social media for ownership indications. Bank records will be searched for firearms (and accessories) purchases and sales. Failure to comply fast enough will get you dead or jailed.

Or somebody dead.

It isn’t just the Second Amendment violations; it’s everything else they have to violate just to accomplish them. That’s some serious stuff to be doing based on near total ignorance of the facts of the incident.

And, since the authorities claim the shooter acted alone, and they aren’t searching for anyone else in the matter, there’s no reason for the ignorance; there’s supposedly no real ongoing investigation to compromise unless they’ve lied about looking for accomplices.

So before any more rights violations advance, let’s get answers.

1. Several media outlets reported early on that, in addition to bump-fire stock-equipped weapons, the shooter had AR-pattern rifles converted to full auto. Fox reported that the full auto conversions were chambered in both .223 and .308.

Those reports were never walked backed or corrected. They just stopped talking about the weapons, leaving the anti-gunners free to whine about bump stocks.

I’m not a mass murderer, so I could be missing something. But if he had fully automatic weapons, why bother using bump-fire while the automatic weapons were available? C’mon, you’ve had months to do ballistics testing; you know what weapons were actually fired.

2. If no automatic weapons were used, why does at least one recording of the incident have a burst with two simultaneous rapid fire gunshot audio signatures, one a steady boom, and the other a sharper crack, at different rates of fire?

A wannabe Rambo could grab two fully automatic weapons and fire them at the same time. Poorly and inaccurately, but it’s doable if you don’t mind a face full of brass. But not bump-fired rifles; you need both hands with a bump-fire stock: one for the trigger, and one to provide the tension to pull the rifle forward.

If the weapons were bump-fired, it raises the question of how one guy fired two guns at the same time.

3. Las Vegas is one of the most surveilled cities in the world; possibly the most when you include all the casino and hotel interior cameras. Where is the video of the asshole bringing in his guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition? Sitting in a restaurant? Playing video poker? Walking down halls? He doesn’t even show up in the background in some tourist’s iPhone footage?

Did he carry everything himself, or did someone help him with all that stuff? Maybe an innocent valet, who could at least add to the timeline. Where’s the video?

4. When people spotted a “note” in crime scene photos and speculated that it was a suicide note or explanation of motive, authorities said it was actually “ballistic calculations” to better target his victims. Why would he need such ballistics calculations?

Calculations of that nature would involve wind speed for bullet drift, and more importantly bullet drop for shooting from an elevation at a given range. Except he didn’t need that, and relatively few shooters know how to do it on a scrap of paper. He didn’t need it because such precision is to hit a specific — often relatively small — target accurately. Our asshole wouldn’t be concerned about hitting a torso or head on one person. He was hosing down a mass of tens of thousands of people, a crowd the size of football fields. Unless there’s something else they haven’t told us.

And this brings us back to bump-fire. Bump-fire is inaccurate. What’s the point of careful calculations of the most accurate way to aim a firehose? An automatic rifle in most people’s hands wouldn’t be much better.

Can we see a legible image of that note/calculations?

5. Authorities said the asshole had an escape plan. What was it, and why did he abandon it for suicide?

6. Where is the computer hard drive? Law enforcement said the drive from the computer in the hotel room was missing; where did it go and when?

Would video answer that question, too? Speaking of video, the shooter had his own cameras which are implied to have been wireless computer types; where’s that video? On the perambulating hard drive?

7. Why did the shooter stop after 9-10 minutes with thousands of rounds of ammunition left over?

Is that when he killed himself?

7. So when did the asshole die?

Just body temperature should give them a rough idea of how long he’d been dead when they finally entered the room. Perhaps that would shed light on why spent brass appeared to be sitting on top of coagulated blood in crime scene photos. Or how he shot himself in the head and fell down, extending one leg under a rifle on a bipod without knocking it over.

9. Within a day or two, authorities were rummaging through the shooter’s financials enough to figure out that he’d purchased software, and been shipping cash out of the country by the pallet. Why did it take another month and a half — when folks were getting antsy over motive — to discover he was despondent over massive gambling losses, when they totally ruled out “terrorism” in less than a day?

How much had he lost? When? Was it significantly higher than previous losses? Victims and families suing the estate would probably like to know how much is left.

10. Why did the most valuable material witness leave the country, and did the authorities know before he left?

Seriously; no one told him, “Don’t go leaving town. Keep yourself available for more questions while we sort out the latest version of the timeline.”?

11. Why did the police wait until roughly an hour and twenty minutes after the last shot was fired to enter the room? Was the shooter still alive, did he communicate with them? For that matter, we don’t know why it allegedly took them so long to figure out what room the shooter was in. Two witnesses claim they reported it.

Oh well. It isn’t as if I don’t know about plenty of “armed standoffs” with empty houses, or sleeping drunks who didn’t know the cops were there.

Until investigators will explain what guns the asshole used, and how, along with other pertinent facts, imposing more infringements of human/civil rights based on “we have to prevent another Mandalay Bay” makes as much sense as banning automobiles because the shooter owned one of those, too. Or houses. Or boats. Airplanes. Clothing. Suitcases.

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Ancient Mysteries

While the current news cycle churns out reports about multiple bills to ban bump-fire stocks and other accessories, or to ban nearly all semiautomatic rifles, let us cast our minds back to the ancient — in lamestream media time — history to the event that prompted this round of Second Amendment infringements.

Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, where the uninformed world discovered “bump-fire.” You know the narrative: A multimillionnaire dragged a couple dozen semiautomatic weapons to his 32nd floor suite. A dozen of them were equipped with evil bump-fire stocks. He broke out two windows and used those bump-fire “fully automatic” weapons of mass destruction to hose down a crowd of 20,000+ country music fans who probably deserved it because they’re nasty NRA gun owners themselves.

So our heroes in Washington, DC were forced to protect us by offering legislation to deny stuff to the 55 to 120 million gun owners who didn’t do it. “Bump stocks” must go! Bump stock manufacturers must pay for their crimes!

Whoa. Like I said, cast your minds back in time. To… say, October 2, 2017.

Did you see that? At least one fully automatic weapon and weapons equipped with bumpstocks.

The LA Times reported that other weapons were being examined to determine if they had been converted to full auto.

The Weekly Standard reported at least fully automatic weapon as well.

Dennis Michael Lynch noted it, too.

But the automatic weapon(s?) vanished from the narrative. Perhaps I overlooked it, but my searches turn up no “correction” that, “Oh, we didn’t mean full auto,” or, “That person was mistaken; we were talking about two different bump-fire devices and he thought we meant bump-fire and full.”

They just stopped talking about it.

Then they just stopped talking.

Well, why not, when you have powerful senators and congresscritters who need a lawful accessory to demonize in the interest of creating a gun control slippery slope?

Was one (or more) of the shooter’s weapon fully automatic? Personally, I thought at least one recorded burst sounded so regular (as opposed to other stuttering bursts) that I took it for full-auto fire.

The shooter had a clean record, so he’d have been eligible to purchase an NFA item. Certainly a multimillionnaire could afford one even at the inflated prices driven by the FOPA of 1986. But if he’d bought one legally, that would be just another example of the law not working as advertised. If he purchased one unlawfully, or converted a semiautomatic to full, well, then he’s just another criminal. Our protectors need something unregulated to… regulate. Gotta get that slippery slope.

So our ancient media mysteries are:

  • Was there one or more fully automatic weapons as reported in multiple outlets?
  • Did inspection of the weapons found in the hotel suite show which had been fired?
  • Has ballistics testing determined which were used to kill and wound the victims?

This is fairly important, really. The Mandalay Bay massacre is being used to justify a whole new set of infringements of human/civil rights, starting with bump-fire. Are they justifying legislation by something that didn’t happen per the script? (Note to nutcases: I’m not saying the incident was staged/faked; I’m questioning which weapon(s) was used.)

But shooters — aside from a few Mom’s Basement Army keyboard commandos and mall ninjas — consider bump-fire stocks to be nothing more than fun ammo-wasters. Granted, I can’t really wrap my head around mass murder, but it seems to me that if I were a wealthy guy intent on the murder of as many people as possible in ten minutes, and I had one or more automatic weapons handy, I don’t think I’d look over the selection and say, “Nah, the toy is the better tool for the job.”

I might transition to a bump-fired weapon if everything else jammed or broke, but who would start with that?

The cable news attention span has expired, so we may never learn the answers to my questions.

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