Las Vegas Police Fire Officer Who ‘Froze’ During 2017 Massacre
By Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, The New York Times
A Las Vegas police officer has been fired for remaining one floor below the gunman who fired into a crowd of concertgoers from a high-rise hotel room and killed 58 people in 2017, the police union president said Wednesday.
Officer Cordell Hendrex was terminated by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in March for his inaction at the Mandalay Bay hotel during the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, said Steve Grammas, president of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association.
Body camera footage released by the department shows Mr. Hendrex, accompanied by another officer and armed security guards, walking and standing in the hallway of the 31st floor as the gunman fired on civilians and officers at a concert venue below.
On the recording, the officers and guards can be heard reporting that the gunman is one level above them, but for several minutes they stay on the floor below.
Mr. Hendrex later wrote in a report on the shooting that he had frozen, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last year.
“I know I hesitated and I remember being terrified with fear and I think that I froze right there in the middle of the hall for how long I can’t say,” Mr. Hendrex wrote.
Mr. Grammas said the union was seeking to contest the officer’s termination through arbitration, and that he expected a final decision in August or September. Officials with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department were not immediately available for comment.