Detroit, MI – Detroit Police Chief James Craig said on Monday that off-duty police officers who were attending the concert in Las Vegas on Sunday night should have been armed, and that more should be done to prevent mass shootings.
Fifty-nine victims have died, and 567 victims were injured in Sunday night’s mass shooting at the Jason Aldean concert outside the Mandalay Bay Resort, according to WXYZ.
The suspect, Steven Paddock, killed himself as police officers breached his room on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay.
It was a scene of terror, fear, and chaos, as shots rang out while performer Jason Aldean was on stage. It was the final night of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Village.
One witness, Meghan Kearney, told MSNBC, “We heard what sounded like firecrackers going off. Then all of a sudden we heard what sounded like a machine gun. People started screaming that they were hit… When we started running out there were probably a couple hundred [people] on the ground.”
She said, “People kept dropping and dropping. … People were getting shot one foot away from us,” she said. “People were trying to save their friends. There were gunshots everywhere. Helping them would’ve meant that we got shot, too.”
In a press conference, Chief James Craig said, “I’m told they (off-duty officers) were not allowed to bring in their firearm. That is a problem for me.”
He has long advocated for off-duty police officers to be able to carry their weapons, and praised the MLB for allowing them to do so.
At the same time, he criticized the NFL for not allowing police officers, including federal officers, to have their weapons with them at a game.
Chief Craig said, “In these times we’re in right now, we have to find ways to mitigate threats. We have to consider the off-duty officer a force multiplier.”
“We have to start thinking on risk mitigation. We need to think about force multipliers and the only way we do that is to think about off-duty officers,” he added.
He said that the Las Vegas Police Department “moved quickly to take out the threat,” according to ClickonDetroit. He also said that something should be done to prevent people from stockpiling guns in a motel room.
Chief Craig said, “While off-duty officers might not have saved lives in the Vegas massacre attack, every second counts, and armed off-duty officers must be equipped to take out active shooters.”
“I mean, what good are they if they aren’t armed?”
At least sixteen firearms were reportedly found inside Paddock’s room, and investigators in Las Vegas are trying to determine how he got the weapons into his room, which he checked into on September 28, according to Fox News.
In addition to the weapons multiple very high-capacity magazines were found inside Paddock’s room; more weapons and ammunition were found at his residence after a search warrant was obtained.
Some of the weapons were high-powered rifles that were capable of penetrating a police officer’s body armor. A modified bump stock rifle was found, which allows a gun to simulate rapid automatic gunfire. The guns are being tested to determine if they were capable of firing automatically.