PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — How was it possible for suspected gunman Stephen Paddock to smuggle as many as 19 rifles, including AR-15-style automatic rifles into his Las Vegas hotel room undetected?
Easily, says Lou Gentile, a security expert with CSI Corporate Security and Investigations of Monaca.
“You could take a weapon like that, you could break it down. You could put it into a bag no longer than 24 inches, and you could take it into a hotel without being noticed,” said Gentile.
Hotels around the country are now looking at increasing security with surveillance cameras, closer inspection of things like fishing gear and tighter cooperation with law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
But, Gentile says it would be a mistake to begin scanning and searching the baggage of all guests
“Imagine this, if you would screen and the metal detector goes off, you’d have to go through every suitcase, every handbag, it would be virtually impossible. It’s not doable,” says Gentile.
But Gentile say security, law enforcement and security agencies can only do so much; and in preventing mass shooting like the one in Las Vegas, they depend on the public to be their eyes and ears.
“The only way that this possibly could have been prevented is if someone had recognized some aberrant behavior on behalf of this individual. I can assure you, there would have been behavior that should have been recognized by someone, and possibly was recognized by someone,” Gentile said.
Gentile says acts like these are pre-mediated and planned out, and that those who would commit them show signs that should be reported. Short of that, he says we should educate our families to be aware in any crowd or situation where there could be danger.
“Training your family about situational awareness,” said Gentile. “Training your family that when they go into venue, the first thing your family should do is take a look around and notice anything usual.”