WATCH: Las Vegas sheriff fights back tears as he talks about the bravery of deputies who were injured in the attack. https://t.co/L5RYAdVgXx
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) October 13, 2017
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo spoke to the press today to clarify the timeline of the deadly Las Vegas rampage by Stephen Paddock. Lombardo wanted to assure the public that the investigation is ongoing, and while the lack of information was frustrating, it was not part of a “conspiracy” to keep information from the public. His comments arrive after MGM, the resort company that owns the Mandalay Bay hotel, questioned law enforcement’s version of events regarding the timing of shots fired from Paddock’s suite.
Stepping past liability issues, Lombardo instead chose to focus on the bravery of the first responders who raced to the hotel’s 32nd floor to try and put an end to the shooting. Lombardo was nearly overcome with emotion, and choked up several times while speaking.
One officer, Brady Cook, suffered four gunshot wounds after arriving on the scene, which Lombardo believes happened because Paddock targeted incoming police. “The response of those individuals, I believe, saved lives,” Lombardo said. After detailing Cook’s injuries, Lombardo said he mentioned that particular officer because he had requested to return to work on Friday.
Another officer, Samuel Wittwer, broke his leg during the melee but remained on site to provide security and cover for the medical personnel who were arriving on the scene.
Lombardo also offered an update on Paddock’s targets, specifically the fuel tanks at McCarran International Airport. Lombardo said it was authorities’ assumption that Paddock was firing on the tanks “with intent” while attempting to cause an explosion. Lombardo also said that an autopsy had been performed on Paddock, and his brain was being sent off for further testing and study after it showed no outward abnormalities.