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by WorldTribune Staff, December 30, 2018
A statement from a Las Vegas police officer cites multiple “active shooters” on Oct. 1, 2017, when 58 people were killed in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Additionally, statements indicate police may have tampered with the initial crime scene upon entering the Mandalay Bay room of suspected gunman Stephen Paddock.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) on Dec. 27 released 18 voluntary statements made by officers who responded to the shooting, according to reports by AP and independent investigative reporter Laura Loom.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo declared the police investigation ended in August, issuing a report that said hundreds of interviews and thousands of hours of investigative work found no motive, no conspiracy and no other shooters.
In his statement which was recorded on Oct. 3, 2017 and released on Dec. 27, 2018, Sgt. William Matchko said the LVMPD had reports of multiple shooters as they discovered Paddock’s body.
Matchko’s statement says:
“Look, you guys are gonna stay here with me. We’re gonna work on Intel gathering and we’re gonna work on, you know, preserve this crime scene. And I told the rest of the guys to get your shit and go to the New York New York (hotel/casino) ’cause the New York New York had two active shooters called in at the same time at that very moment.”
On the night of the shooting, Matchko, in the statement, reported a police captain told him:
“Hey, you need to go in there and you need to be looking for his (Paddock’s) ID and look for anything that we can get to gather intelligence under exigent circumstances to prevent the rest of these shooters. We need to figure out who the rest of these shooters are because we’re gonna try to go up on wiretaps on the phones. So he’s like, ‘Go in there, get any phones that you can. Get the phone numbers off of ’em and start figuring it out.’ He radios back ‘Look, well I don’t know if he has his phone on him, I’m gonna have to move him,’ and they’re like, ‘Well you gotta move him, you gotta look for the phone, you gotta find it.’ ”
Matchko’s statement indicated that, upon the officers’ entering the room, Paddock appeared to have been dead for quite some time:
“So I go in there. Um, and I could see the suspect laying on the ground and the blood had started to, ah– started to coagulate by his head. So it appears that based on the time I didn’t–there–I didn’t think it– it looked like there was no way that the gunshots that we did from the time frame based on the blood coagulating like they shot him. You know, when I looked at him I immediately thought to myself this guy has been dead for more than the time we’ve been in this room.”
Along with statements about multiple shooters, Matchko’s statement also shows that LVMPD officers had orders to move Paddock’s body.
Matchko’s statement said:
“And then we found his main phone – well, no, we – we rolled him – so I grabbed him by the arm. I picked the suspect up on his side. The blood came out of his mouth when out next to his face. I rolled him back he was obviously dead ’cause he had a bullet in his head. So I put him back down, he went back in the same position but now the blood on the side of his face is from me rolling him. Um, he had nothing on him.”
Matchko’s statement also contradicts the LVMPD’s assertion that officers witnessed Paddock shoot himself in the head.
On January 30, 2018, a series of police search warrant documents regarding the Las Vegas shooting were unsealed by a Nevada judge. One of the documents unsealed details a search warrant request from 3:02 a.m. on Oct. 2, in which Sergeant Jerry MacDonald, the sergeant who sought the search warrant and also helped author the preliminary investigative report, said officers witnessed Paddock kill himself.
“As SWAT officers breached room 135, they observed Stephen Paddock place a gun to his head and fire one round.”
Matchko said in his statement:
“They go in, they say, ‘We’re gonna blow this other door. Um, as they walk into the room, mind you on the radio there’s a million other active shooters being called out in all these other hotels. They put the second charge on the door. Um, they blow the door. As soon as that I hear the second explosion now the fire alarm goes off again and I hear the (unintelligible). I hear the what sound like a burst fire but it was very muffled. So it sounded like two or three rounds went off. And I’m – I’m down there I’m trying to make my way through the room I’m like, okay, I was like, ‘Did the suspect shoot at us? Did we shoot the suspect, are we in a gunfight, what’s going on,’ and they were all pretty calm. So they all seemed a little bit like embarrassed. And I guess one of – O’Donnell or one of them had a negligent or accidental discharge I don’t know what the proper term would be.”