Time­line dis­puted

MGM state­ment fur­ther chal­lenges sher­iff ’s ac­count of Strip shoot­ing

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Rachel Crosby and Richard N. Velotta Las Ve­gas Re­view-jour­nal

MGM Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional on Thurs­day re­leased a new time­line of the events lead­ing up to the Oct. 1 Strip shoot­ing, fur­ther chal­leng­ing the sher­iff ’s lat­est ac­count ahead of a planned Fri­day po­lice briefing.

Po­lice de­clined to com­ment on the new time­line, which sug­gested Man­dalay Bay had no time to warn au­thor­i­ties and pre­vent the

■ shoot­ing. A gun­man car­ried out the at­tack from his 32nd­floor suite at the Strip re­sort, killing 58 peo­ple and in­jur­ing hun­dreds of oth­ers at a coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­val.

“Although we pre­fer not to com­ment on the de­tails of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, we are is­su­ing this state­ment to cor­rect some of the mis­in­for­ma­tion that has been re­ported,” MGM Re­sorts, which owns Man­dalay Bay, said in the state­ment re­leased Thurs­day af­ter­noon.



Clark County Sher­iff Joe Lom­bardo on Mon­day said a ho­tel se­cu­rity guard was shot by the killer six min­utes be­fore gun­fire was un­leashed on the fes­ti­val — a gap that calls into ques­tion the re­sponse of the ho­tel and po­lice.

The time­line is crit­i­cal to MGM be­cause it could de­ter­mine the com­pany’s li­a­bil­ity as vic­tims and their fam­i­lies con­sider le­gal ac­tion.

MGM first dis­puted the time­line on Tues­day but did not pro­vide specifics.

Unan­swered ques­tions

On Mon­day, Lom­bardo an­nounced that Man­dalay Bay se­cu­rity guard Je­sus Cam­pos was shot at 9:59 p.m. on Oct. 1, about six min­utes be­fore the gun­man turned his weapons on the Route 91 Har­vest fes­ti­val crowd.

Lom­bardo said the un­armed guard then ra­dioed the Man­dalay Bay se­cu­rity depart­ment, which later con­tacted po­lice. The sher­iff did not pro­vide a spe­cific time as to when po­lice were no­ti­fied of the gun­man’s lo­ca­tion or that the guard had been shot. He also did not spec­ify whether se­cu­rity called po­lice, ra­dioed them or no­ti­fied them in per­son.

As of late Thurs­day, the Metropoli­tan Po­lice Depart­ment had not an­nounced a time for the sher­iff ’s planned Fri­day briefing.

Lom­bardo said he ex­pects to re­lease the to­tal amount of rounds fired at the fes­ti­val crowd.

The killer’s mo­tive re­mains a key unan­swered ques­tion in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Other ques­tions also re­main unan­swered.

While the sher­iff said the gun­man had 23 firearms stashed in his suite, it re­mains un­clear what type of guns he had, how many of those ended up jam­ming or when he killed him­self.

The sher­iff said an ex­am­i­na­tion of the gun­man’s brain re­vealed no ab­nor­mal­i­ties, but au­topsy re­sults have not been re­leased.

Of­fi­cials also have not said where the gun­man’s first room was lo­cated. The ho­tel rented him that room free of charge between Sept. 25 and Sept. 28, when he switched to the cor­ner suite, which he paid for him­self.

Fluid time­line

Last week, the sher­iff said Cam­pos was shot well af­ter the gun­man be­gan fir­ing into the crowd. But in an in­ter­view Tues­day with the Las Ve­gas Re­view-jour­nal, the sher­iff stood by his new 9:59 p.m. time stamp, while adding the caveat that “it could change even more.”

MGM ad­dressed that de­tail in its new state­ment Thurs­day.

“The 9:59 p.m. PDT time was de­rived from a Man­dalay Bay re­port man­u­ally cre­ated af­ter the fact with­out the ben­e­fit of in­for­ma­tion we now have,” the state­ment reads, with­out ex­plain­ing what that in­for­ma­tion was. “We are now con­fi­dent that the time stated in this re­port is not ac­cu­rate.”

The state­ment went on to clar­ify the time frame in which the guard re­ported he was shot, say­ing, “We know that shots were be­ing fired at the fes­ti­val lot at the same time as, or within 40 sec­onds af­ter, the time Je­sus Cam­pos first re­ported that shots were fired over the ra­dio.”

Ac­cord­ing to the new MGM state­ment, “Metro of­fi­cers were to­gether with armed Man­dalay Bay se­cu­rity of­fi­cers in the build­ing when Cam­pos first re­ported that shots were fired over the ra­dio. Th­ese Metro of­fi­cers and armed Man­dalay Bay se­cu­rity of­fi­cers im­me­di­ately re­sponded to the 32nd floor. We will con­tinue to work with law en­force­ment as we have from the first mo­ments of this tragedy as they work to­ward de­vel­op­ing an ac­cu­rate time­line.”

Ques­tion of li­a­bil­ity

Larry Har­ris, the Fred V. Keenan Chair in Fi­nance at the Marshall School of Busi­ness at the Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, said MGM share­hold­ers would not be happy with man­age­ment if of­fi­cials de­cided to set­tle claims with a large pay­ment.

But Har­ris, who ac­knowl­edged he’s not a le­gal ex­pert, said he has a hard time be­liev­ing MGM could be found li­able.

“MGM is a very, very large com­pany, and it’s es­sen­tially in­con­ceiv­able, at least to me, that they could be held li­able for 58 deaths and all those other in­juries,” Har­ris said.

“To be held li­able, they would have to have a re­spon­si­bil­ity, and they have to have done some­thing wrong. Un­less there’s some kind of li­a­bil­ity that, when peo­ple start shoot­ing guns out­side your ho­tel, it’s your re­spon­si­bil­ity — and I’ve never heard of any­thing like that — it’s hard to see what their re­spon­si­bil­ity is.”

He said squar­ing the time­line is part of de­ter­min­ing that re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“If the re­spon­si­bil­ity was to re­port im­me­di­ately that one of their of­fi­cers was shot, then there’d be a de­bate into what ‘im­me­di­ate’ was, and they may very well have done the re­port,” Har­ris said. “This was a time when there was

a mas­sive amount of con­fu­sion, and one pre­sumes that, as soon as the shoot­ing started, there were prob­a­bly more than a hun­dred calls to 911.”

Har­ris said MGM — Ne­vada’s largest em­ployer and tax­payer — just wants the story to go away.

“There’s noth­ing sin­is­ter about do­ing that,” he said.

Con­tact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@ re­viewjour­nal.com or 702-3808135. Fol­low @rachelacrosby on Twitt­ter. Con­tact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@re­viewjour­nal.com or 702-477-3893. Fol­low @Rick­velotta on Twit­ter.

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