Nearly a month after Stephen Paddock shot and killed 58 people and injured hundreds more in a mass shooting in Las Vegas, the public and the media are still very much in the dark about how and why it happened.
As far as the public knows, investigators have not found anything yet that indicates what Paddock’s motive might have been. Earlier this week, an anonymous source connected to the investigation revealed to ABC News that Paddock appeared to have removed his computer’s hard drive before taking his own life. This was not mentioned in any of the press briefings following the mass shooting.
The key witness, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino security guard Jesus Campos, who was shot in the leg while he was in the hallway outside of Paddock’s room on the 32nd floor, has become the subject of increasing scrutiny — perhaps because there’s so little information for the public to focus on. As CrimeOnline previously reported, Campos abruptly abandoned plans for his first media appearances two weeks ago, and since then has appeared to be working closely with MGM Resorts International, which operates the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. According to all available information, MGM arranged for Campos’s interview last week with Ellen Degeneres, which the talk show host said would be his only media appearance about the shooting.
And earlier this week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson obtained border security documents that revealed Campos had left the U.S. for Mexico sometime the week after the shooting, returning to the U.S. on October 8 in a rental car. It is unclear why he made the trip.
On Thursday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Campos had been staying at an MGM Resorts International property free of charge since the shooting. (Presumably, this excludes the time he was in Mexico, which had to have been for less than a week.)
MGM Resorts International and the union president who once acted as Campos’s de-facto spokesperson — who said he lost contact with Campos the day he walked away from his first scheduled media appearances — have stopped responding to our inquiries. This includes a member of MGM’s public relations team who, according to an email auto-reply, left the country the week after the shooting. Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo gave his last media briefing on October 13, indicating that the FBI would be taking over the investigation from there.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reached out to the FBI to ask why there have not been any media updates in nearly two weeks.
“It doesn’t matter,” FBI spokeswoman Sandra Breault reportedly said.
“It’s an ongoing investigation, and unless there’s something to report, there will not be a briefing.”
The Las Vegas newspaper also reached out to local law enforcement to request an interview with Joseph Lombardo. (CrimeOnline has yet to receive any response from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to our request for information.)
“As he has stated previously, the case is still ongoing,” Carla Alston, the police department’s director of communications, wrote in an email to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“Another media briefing will be held when we have new and accurate information.”
The newspaper reports that police sources have indicated another briefing will take place in the next two weeks.
[Feature image: Associated Press]