Reporters Get Shut Out as Authorities Refuse to Comment on Paddock Shooting Investigation

Posted on: October 29, 2017, 02:00h. 

Last updated on: October 29, 2017, 08:20h.

Less than a month since Stephen Paddock sprayed bullets into a crowd of country music fans, and authorities have grown silent. The Las Vegas Review-Journal asked the FBI why there had been no significant updates in two weeks.

Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo at a podium.
Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo speaks at a press conference on the Las Vegas Shooting. (Image: YouTube)

“It’s an ongoing investigation and unless there’s something to report, there will not be a briefing,” said FBI spokeswoman Sandra Breault.

An ongoing investigation sounds like every case that isn’t closed, so there has to be another reason the various law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation suddenly have nothing to say. The Las Vegas Review-Journal called Sheriff Joe Lombardo at least twice this week to request an interview about the shooting. He got the same response each time … the sheriff will “not be conducting interviews.”

The police department’s director of communications, Carla Alston, was noncommittal, but when pressed, told reporters there may be another briefing within the next two weeks.

“Investigators have made progress on investigative leads and in mapping out Stephen Paddock’s life for the last few years — and they’re still not done,” Alston said. “We still have officers dedicated to this case 24/7.”

Sheriff on the Defense

The last time Sheriff Lombardo appeared before the media was on October 13th, and according to him he was not please with the way things were being framed by the media.

“In the public space the word ‘incompetence’ has been brought forward and I am absolutely offended with that characterization.”

A Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter noticed things seemed a little off that day for some key members of the law enforcement community.

“The last time the Metropolitan Police Department or the FBI addressed the media or public — something had changed. The sheriff, who had been straightforward and stern, was now emotional and at times combative. Both he and the FBI failed to provide much new information, and at the end of the meeting, they refused to take questions.”

Police were, by contrast, extremely helpful in the hours immediately following the shooting.They held several news conferences a day, keeping a community on edge informed with the latest updates live from the scene as the tragedy unfolded.

Public Wants to Know

The shooting was barely three weeks ago, and the investigation is still in it’s early stages. The public is hungry for new information on the case that reminded American’s how vulnerable we are in public settings amidst the gun control debate.

Listening to that nonstop barrage of gunfire play over and over again on the news, it was clear from the beginning the death toll would be staggering. Paddock plowed trapped concertgoers down with bullets like they were sitting ducks. Survivors opened up to the media who shared their harrowing stories of survival with the world.

The shooting caused PTSD, depression, and anxiety in victims, their families, and community members. While overexposure to news about the tragedy is bad for the recovery process, robbing victims of information about their crime is counterproductive as well.