On October 1, 2017, a country concert in Las Vegas was silenced by a gunman, who fired into the crowd from a position in a hotel room up above where the concert was being held. When the smoke cleared, the shooter was dead, but not before he rained lead down upon the crowd and killed more than fifty people, to say nothing of the more than five hundred individuals injured. All this was done by one deranged shooter with multiple rifles. Or was it?
The ‘single shooter’ story was the only story that had been seriously presented by the media up until Tuesday January 16, more than three months after the shooting. On Tuesday, the lawyer for the Las Vegas Metro Police, Nicholas Crosby, made a startling admission; there are other people being considered for charges aside from the man currently thought to be the only shooter.
Clark County District Judge Elissa Cadish asked Nicholas Crosby on Tuesday if “without naming names, there are potential charges against others as the result of the ongoing investigation,” to which Crosby tersely replied that “Yes, there are charges being investigated.” A spokesman for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shed even more light on the subject when they stated that they are in the process of investigating “possible criminal charges related to items discovered during the service of search warrants.”
This would be almost comforting, due to the fact that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and other law enforcement agencies have not yet released any information about a possible motive for the shooter. According to local news outlets, the scope of the investigation has been immense, making it all the more disturbing that law enforcement agencies have nothing to show for it.
According to this local source, the FBI investigation has involved 400 specialists, 1,500 local leads and 500 international leads, 40 terabytes of data, 22,000 hours of video, and 250,000 images being reviewed by the federal government and its specialists, agents, and contracted experts. It took the FBI 14 days to comb through the site of the concert to find all the evidence that they could, including recovering bullet fragments from the shooting. It took the FBI 13 days to search for and recover all the evidence available in the Mandalay Bay (the hotel from which the shooter fired upon the crowd).
In all, the federal government filed 12 search warrants, and the grand jury impaneled by the federal government issued 500 grand jury subpoenas. The FBI Special Agent in Charge, Aaron Rouse, said that by December, they had interviewed more than 400 people across the world, hoping to learn “as much as we possibly can about why the subject did what they did.”
To put it shortly, the federal government has an immense trove of information to sift through, and they are still in the process of sifting through that information. The government in Las Vegas has been doing its best to not release any information, causing media outlets to hire a lawyer to represent them in demanding that the local government provide them something to help “Las Vegas residents to heal from the tragedy.”
Though the police suggest that they are interested in filing charges in connection with the investigation, it remains to be seen what those charges will be and how much they will relate to the actual shooting. The fact that the charges seem to be related to search warrants makes it sound like perhaps individuals withheld information about how much they know of the plans of the shooter, or that perhaps they illegally supplied him with weaponry in violation of state or federal laws.
Whatever the case may be, and whether the police have found evidence that there were multiple shooters or not, the people of Las Vegas, and the people who attended the Route 91 Harvest music festival at the Vegas Strip deserve some answers, even if those answers are mostly speculative at this point. The FBI has been combing through an immense amount of information; surely they have some sort of idea about what drove a man to think that shooting at thousands of people trying to enjoy a concert was a justifiable act.
Hopefully, when the warrants are issued and approved by the judge, they will contain more specific information, and citizens will be able to get some idea of the purpose behind them. However, at this point all that can be done is to wait and see.