After months of radio silence, new information released earlier this week surrounding the investigation into Las Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock’s motive appears to have revived suspicions that another person was involved in the shooting.
The newly unsealed documents – which were unsealed by court order after journalists at the Las Vegas Review-Journal and other media sued – revealed that the FBI is seeking a “person of interest” named Douglas Haig. Haig’s name had not previously been connected to the shooting. What’s more, according to what’s been widely cited as his LinkedIn page, Haig had “DOD Top Secret clearance” and worked for top weapons manufacturers and specialized in Military Ammunition, as we pointed out.
Haig’s connection to Paddock and the shooting is unclear, but in another confusing development, Clark County Nevada Coroner John Fudenberg is defying a court order to release the full autopsy report for Paddock – even though Paddock’s body was cremated in December.
According to the Daily Caller, District Court Judge Timothy Williams ordered the coroner Tuesday to immediately release the autopsy. Fudenberg is conferring with others in his office, and no date had been given for his compliance with the judge’s order, the corner’s office told The Daily Caller.
The office also told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the report wouldn’t be released until it was “finalized.”
“The coroner’s office has fought to keep autopsy reports confidential,” according to the the Review-Journal.
It’s difficult to imagine what component of the autopsy could, at this point, be left unfinished; after all, Paddock’s body was destroyed weeks ago. And yet, the coroner has chosen to pay $32,000 in legal costs instead of turning over the final report.
“The shooter’s body was cremated Dec. 21. How can the autopsy report not be ‘finalized’ when the body was cremated more than five weeks ago?” Review-Journal Editor-in-Chief Keith Moyer publicly stated. “The law is squarely on the side of the public’s right to open government.”
An interim report released Jan. 8 gave only scant information about the autopsy and did not release either the autopsy or a toxicology report on Paddock.
“Preliminarily, the injuries noted were on the posterior of both calves and a gunshot wound to the upper palette inside the decedent’s mouth with obvious damage to the upper teeth,” the department stated.
“The cause of Paddock’s death was an internal gunshot wound and the manner of death was ruled a suicide,” the report concluded.
While the details so far largely comport with the early press reports, some say the initial report was suspiciously lacking in detail.
“What’s glaring are the missing details on the autopsy,” said Wayne Black, a 40-year veteran law enforcement and private security expert, in an interview with TheDCNF.
“This is probably one of the most significant medical examiner’s investigations of the year,” he said.
It’s been four months since the shooting, and still much remains vague or unknown. Paddock’s motives remain a mystery. Unanswered questions remain about the official timeline of events. Photos published online in the immediate aftermath of the shooting purported to show a second shooter closer to ground level, but they were largely dismissed by law enforcement and the media.