Fifty-eight people killed. More than 500 injured. And yet, nearly a month after the Las Vegas Strip experienced the worst mass shooting in modern American history, local and federal authorities are refusing to fill in the blanks.
It wasn’t always like this. In the days after Oct. 1, when Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest festival crowd from his Mandalay Bay corner suite, Las Vegas police were hosting multiple news conferences a day. Then, once a day. Then, once every few days.
They compiled and released snippets of officers’ body camera footage. They spent several minutes answering specific questions. They released a comprehensive timeline, which ended up being wrong. They took it back, and tried to clarify the errors, but instead caused more confusion.
By Oct. 13 — 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.