Last Friday afternoon, an armed man entered a high-rise condo in Las Vegas and started shooting. An armed citizen confronted him, causing him to exit the lobby. While exiting, the shooter sustained several gunshot wounds in his back. The videos can be seen here.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) reported that they found a man with gunshot wounds in his back lying near the high-rise building, and transported him to a nearby emergency room. The man’s name was not released, but he is reported to be in critical condition.
When Amy Swearer, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, tried to learn more about the incident, she was stonewalled. Swearer runs the foundation’s defensive gun-use database and wanted to know if this incident should be added to it.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Swearer reported that she had been stonewalled by the LVMPD:
It’s indisputable that an armed civilian stopped an active shooter last week.
You almost certainly haven’t heard about it.
Because Las Vegas Police have gone out of their way to downplay it, while the media have shown basically zero interest.
Last Friday, LVPD responded to a shooting at a luxury condo just off the Las Vegas strip. The initial reporting on it looked generally like this:
Two people involved. One shot and injured.
That’s it. Pretty standard crime, right?
The next day, some follow-up reports started hinting that something more complex may have happened.
We find out that a “gunman” fired shots into the apartment complex lobby, and was “stopped” by a hero employee.
She pressed on:
None of these reports mention HOW the employee stopped the gunman. Was it a rugby tackle? Persuasion? Sorcery? An Old Testament-style act of Divine Intervention and super-natural strength?
Apparently, no one can be bothered to ask these things or report on them.
Curiosity thoroughly aroused, Swearer expanded:
Enter social media. With video.
It’s very, very clear that someone (not a police officer) SHOOTS the gunman. The gunman is clad in a tactical helmet and firing an AR-15 indiscriminately in public, so let’s just assume he’s not here for a friendly convo.
Now, here’s where it gets weird.
This video is everywhere. Readily findable. Easily proves that a would-be active shooter was stopped by a good guy with a gun.
And the police are just pretending like they have no idea what happened.
She ramped up her investigation with a little help:
So I teamed up with our reporters @DailySignal to ask them about basic, relevant information that should absolutely be available to the public – like whether they can confirm the gunman was shot by an employee, and what the employee’s role is at the building.
Swearer continued, impatient with the stonewalling:
Again, this has been FOUR DAYS since the incident. They obviously have this information. And some of the questions have obvious answers that they need only confirm – like yes, duh, the gunman was shot by someone who wasn’t a cop.
She got a response, finally:
FOIA [make a Freedom Of Information Act request and wait months for the response from LVMPD] it. It’s an active investigation.
I’m dead serious.
They refused to simply state the obvious – an armed civilian thwarted an active shooter.
Then she waxed sarcastic:
Now, do I understand that if the employee isn’t a suspect, his identity should be protected? Yes. Do I understand that there may be legal implications for him if his employer didn’t know he was armed or if he didn’t have a CCW? Yes.
But I’m not asking for that information.
She noted the discrepancy between this incident and similar ones:
Look at the Greenwood mall shooting or the White Settlement Church shooting – within 24 hours we absolutely knew that an armed civilian intervened. As we should.
But LVPD has gone so far as to lead the media to believe, four days later, that there’s nothing to see here.
At her wits’ end, Swearer finally realized she’s at a dead end:
Four days, and LVPD apparently doesn’t think it’s important to clarify basic facts of an incident that would probably garner national attention.
They’d prefer you just move along, folks, because what does it matter if a good guy with a gun saved lives?
That’s rhetorical. Of course it matters. There’s a war against the private ownership of firearms going on in this country right now, with the enemy unable to fasten a communist dictatorship onto the country without first disarming its citizens. Any reporting that goes against the grain — by informing that private gun ownership actually increases public safety — instead of the canard that private ownership of firearms puts that safety at risk, gets buried.
As her “Defensive Gun Uses in the U.S.” database points out, “Americans use their [privately owned] firearms defensively between 500,000 and 3 million times each year.” Her database doesn’t catalog all of them, because “most defensive gun uses are never reported to law enforcement, much less picked up by local or national media outlets.”
What Swearer uncovered in Las Vegas is this: Anything that goes against the grain in the gun wars stays in Vegas.