Security expert on Las Vegas: ‘There isn’t much of a lesson here’

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LAS VEGAS — The Sunday night massacre happened under unprecedented circumstances. The venue itself was secure but the shooter never entered the venue perimeter, he fired from far away and 32 floors above the crowd with plenty of firepower.

“Usually there is someone else you can assign some blame to, not Sunday night,” said attorney Steven Adelman who focuses on event security. “Nobody plans for an emergency that has literally never happened before.”

He says there are three important factors to look at during a mass shooting.

First, there is the security component, something he says was solid on Sunday night, both at the concert and at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Second, he looks at the venue. Again, measures were in place to make the venue itself secure. But event organizers couldn’t prepare for a threat outside of their space, a threat they couldn’t have known about.

“That’s the problem with this incident, there isn’t much of a lesson here,” said Adelman who blames one factor and one factor only.

“There is a third party here, it is the guy with the guns. So the question I would ask here is, how does a guy turn into a shooter? There’s the teachable moment from Sunday night” said Adelman. “It’s not about making festival security more robust. The festival security Sunday night was excellent. It is not about making hotel security more robust. The hotel security Sunday night was excellent. This is a story about how a guy turns into a shooter. And if we are looking for something to do, that’s where we need to go.”

There’s no good solution to Sunday night’s problem. Organizers of upcoming events like the Lost Lake Festival in Phoenix say they’re continuing to work with law enforcement on creating a safe environment. The Las Vegas shooting may have created an additional factor to consider in security planning but it is an unfortunate reminder that we simply can’t know what every bad guy plans to do.

“Let’s recognize that Sunday night’s shooting in Las Vegas was not only an extreme outlier, it was extremely unique and unprecedented,” said Adelman.

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