Galaxy Macau Simulated Robbery Hostage Exercise Planned to Prepare Law Enforcement for Better Crisis Response

Posted on: January 22, 2018, 04:00h. 

Last updated on: January 22, 2018, 03:20h.

Authorities will simulate an armed robbery and hostage situation at the Galaxy Macau on Tuesday night, hoping to minimize the chances of a tragedy like the one that hit Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017. That mass shooting claimed the lives of 58 people and left hundreds more injured, an event that nobody ever wants to see repeated.

Macau police prepare for “Operation Wold Capture” at the Galaxy Macau
Macau police will test their crisis response mechanisms through “Operation Wolf Capture,” with the goal of preventing the kind of carnage that occurred in the recent Vegas massacre were something similar to occur in the Asian gaming enclave. (Image: Macau Daily Times)

The casino will be closed to the public between 1am and 5am Tuesday morning, and a section of the street will also be cordoned off as police use the drill to assess the effectiveness of their crisis response mechanisms.

The operation will also measure the effectiveness of law enforcement information exchange, command and coordination, and scope of cooperation between police and other public entities, as well as the resort’s own operator, Galaxy Entertainment.

The drill, code-named “Operation Wolf Capture,” will involve simulated injuries and the “suspicion of explosives,” Macau police said in an official statement about the impending event.

Balancing Act

Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock’s massacre of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip, and the rampage of Resorts World Manila arsonist Jessie Javier Carlos just months before in the Philippines, forced the casino industry to confront the reality that their properties have become soft targets for mass murder and terror.

Operators have tightened security protocols, but a dichotomy still exists between the welcoming open-door policy of casino resorts and idea of rigorously scrutinizing each visitor for any potential to do harm to others.

In the wake of the Vegas shooting, Macau authorities announced they would conduct a series of terror attack drills in preparation for a similar emergency, as well as establishing special action teams within casinos and installing metal detectors at all venue entrances.

Still a Question Mark

Meanwhile, new details have emerged about Stephen Paddock’s mental state, which are painstakingly documented in a newly released 81-page Metro police report on the shooting.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said in a press conference on Friday that investigators had “gone over 2,000 leads and looked at 21,560 hours of video” before compiling the report.

It reveals that Paddock was a “germophobe” who had “become distant” to his girlfriend Marilou Danley in the year leading up to the shooting. The report also notes he had a “strong reaction to smells” and his doctor felt he may have been suffering from a bipolar disorder, but Paddock refused to take antidepressants, although he did have a prescription for the anti-anxiety medication Valium.

Those who knew him said he complained of feeling ill, tired, and in pain in recent months.

He had lost a “significant amount of wealth” between 2015 and the shooting, which had led to “bouts of depression,” although he paid off all his gambling debts shortly before he carried out the atrocity, the lengthy document also asserted.

But an actual motive for the shooting of hundreds of complete strangers remains an unsolved mystery. Last week, Eric Paddock received his brother’s ashes from the Clark County coroner’s office. Before Stephen Paddock’s cremation, a sample of brain tissue was sent to the Stanford University School of Medicine for a neuropathological examination in the hope that some clues might be evident, but researchers found nothing obvious that would have caused such mass violence.