The Mandalay Bay Casino, owned by MGM Resorts International, has opted to give itself a public relations nightmare by suing more than 1,000 shooting victims from the Oct. 1, 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. While it is sort of understandable why MGM would want to avoid liability in the situation, it is still kind of a head scratcher.
MGM has subsequently poured gas on the situation by claiming that its goal is to provide a “timely resolution” to the shooting victims. In other words, being sued by a giant corporation is for your own good.
Stephen Paddock is accused of killing 58 people and wounding 451 others from his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Casino last October. Another 400 people were injured as the crowd at a packed country music concert was scrambling to safety. A handful of shooting victims have filed suit against MGM claiming damages, because the hotel did not notice as Paddock (and perhaps others – more on this in a moment) moved more than two dozen firearms into his room which were used to carry out the shooting.
Compounding the situation is the fact that we still don’t know what the Las Vegas shooting was. Did Stephen Paddock shoot up a country music concert because he knew it would be filled with Trump supporters? Was the guy a Muslim convert? Mentally ill? Did he just really hate country music? Was he an illegal arms dealer and this was actually a weapons deal that went bad? Was he a federal employee for an alphabet agency and the government is now trying to cover the whole thing up?
Pardon us for sounding conspiracy theory-ish, but we knew within an hour of the 9-11 attacks that Muslims working for Al Qaeda had flown planes into buildings. We knew the same night that the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando took place that Omar Mateen was a Muslim terrorist. Within hours of the Parkland school shooting, everyone knew that the attacker was Nikolas Cruz, a dangerous, mentally ill former student that everyone at the school was worried about. But we still know next to nothing about Stephen Paddock or his motive for carrying out the attack from the Mandalay Bay Casino after more than nine months.
What we do know makes the situation even weirder. The Baltimore Post-Examiner has published the redacted police reports that have been released. Who were the three women that were registered in Paddock’s hotel room with him from Sept. 25 through Oct. 2? Notice how the possible explanation for the shooting changes, depending on who those three people were.
It also raises another question. Police body cam footage revealed that Paddock was alone in his Mandalay Bay room, dead from a gunshot wound when police arrived. But was he alone when the shooting started? For that matter, was he the only one shooting?
If the three women were local prostitutes, there’s a good chance that Paddock was spiraling downward on a cocaine-and-hookers binge and then flipped out and started shooting. If the three women were Hispanic with connections to a Mexican drug cartel, the narrative changes dramatically from that. Likewise if the three were Muslims. Who were they, why don’t we know their names and what do they know about the shooting or Paddock’s motives?
Here’s another chilling thing found in the redacted police reports. Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, has a daughter [name redacted]. The adult daughter has a follower on Facebook who is an ISIS supporter, and whose page is filled with beheading videos. Yet police have told the public that the shooting is “not terrorism related.” Okay. Why not?
None of the strangeness surrounding the case excuses MGM from its callous behavior toward the shooting victims, of course. But if we knew Paddock’s motive, it would change the tenor of many of the legal arguments. If a foreign government is somehow tied to the shooting, for example, then that government could potentially be held liable (although, good luck claiming any damages from them in a lawsuit).
It might have been better for the Mandalay Bay to simply wait and see if police release some sort of explanation for the shooting. Likewise, since the casino has such deep pockets, it would have been better to simply face each individual lawsuit one-on-one, instead of filing the equivalent of a reverse class-action suit against 1,000 victims.
Our hearts still go out to all of the victims impacted by the shooting. But whatever goodwill we may have had for the casino has been squandered with this lawsuit. This is what happens when a corporation listens to its lawyers too much.
~ American Gun News