Change in Las Vegas Shooting Story Prompts Alternate Theory

By Dean Weingarten

Joseph Wilcox
Joseph Wilcox, armed citizen who died attempting to stop attackers who had killed police.
Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -( Mass shooting situations trigger a tsunami of public emotion, so there are enormous incentives for politically correct reporters to “interpret” them in certain ways for political purposes.

They are often complex events that take time and careful investigation to unravel.   In the recent shooting in Las Vegas, two police officers and a concealed carry permit holder were killed by the two attackers, who also died.

The last three deaths occurred in a Wal-Mart, which, I am told, has some of the most complete surveillance camera systems of U.S. retail establishments.

Initial stories did not include mention of the fact that the victim killed in the Wal-Mart was a legally armed citizen.  Later stories mentioned that he was attempting to stop the attackers when he was killed; it was implied that his action was futile.   Initial police reports claimed that the attackers had committed suicide.

From CNN:

Authorities had earlier said the woman shot and killed her husband before taking her own life. But Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill told reporters Wednesday that a review of forensic evidence at the scene and autopsy results showed that police fatally wounded the gunman.
“We made a determination that she did not shoot him. He did suffer a gunshot wound, and we believe the entrance wound was here,” McMahill said, pointing to his own collarbone.
Note that CNN makes no mention of the armed citizen, Joseph Wilcox, being armed, or of his attempt to stop the attackers, until the end of the story:
 After gunning down the officers, Jerad and Amanda Miller ran to a nearby Walmart, police said, where they killed a bystander before barricading themselves inside the store during a firefight with responding officers.

At the end of the article the writer includes this statement from the police spokesperson, Assistant Chief McMahill:

 “He was carrying a concealed weapon, and he immediately and heroically moved toward the position of Jerad Miller. Upon completing that action, he did not realize that Amanda Miller was with Jerad Miller,” McMahill said.

The change in the story from the male attacker being shot by his wife, and then committing suicide, to him being fatally shot by police, has prompted at least one person to wonder if Joseph Wilcox might have wounded the male attacker.  From, commenter porkupine writes:

First they said the wife shot the husband at walmart. Now they are saying cops shot him and the wife shot her self, and only now are they saying a concealed permit carrier “confronted them”. You know what I think? I think that the concealed permit citizen shot the husband, then the wife shot the concealed carrier. The concealed guy stopped a potentially huge shooting spree but the anti gun mainstream media doesn't people to know that

One of the early reports from the Las Vegas Review Journal stated:

One unconfirmed report is that the two exchanged gunfire with a citizen who was carrying a concealed weapon, and that one of the shooters was injured.

There is a clear bias in the old media to downplay successful citizen defensive uses of guns.   John Lott wrote an entire book about it, so it is easy to understand the skepticism embodied in porukpine's comment.   The Las Vegas police have also earned considerable skepticism about their ability to investigate shootings, especially after all the Costco footage of the shooting of another concealed carry permit holder, Eric Scott, was never recovered.     The Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote a book devoted to criticism of Las Vegas police shooting investigations.

The police acknowledge that they have voluminous videotape of the incident from store cameras.

McMahill said investigators were reviewing a “tremendous” amount of graphic video of the suspects during the rampage.
“The video shows you exactly how vicious and coldblooded these murderers were,” he said.

In the interest of transparency, and to nip any questions about a “coverup”, the police should release all of the video to the public.   We have often seen how, when only select snippets of video are released, as in the Rodney King affair, those snippets can be completely misleading.

In these days of online video, there is no reason not to release the entire footage.
c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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6 years ago

Well Gus since you don’t think good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns, I hope one day you find yourself staring down the barrel of a bad guys gun and no one comes to help you. Hope that works out for you!

6 years ago

Gus, do you really think that one incident in which the bad guy kills the good guy with a gun somehow nullifies all of the times that good guys with guns do stop bad guys with guns?

A gun is not a talisman, and no reasonable gun owner would claim that it is one. Sometimes bad things happen. That doesn’t change the fact that many lives have been saved by good guys with guns.

6 years ago

I knew about the citizen the day after the shooting and I live in Colorado…it was reported. And when I read it my first thought was that it sort of blows the idea of what stops a “bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Hmmm how’d that work out for ya?

6 years ago

Sorry I didnt add. The first day Mr Wilcox was reported as a legal concealed carry holder who was armed and did attempt to stop the shooter that he saw and that he was killed by the wife wow was playing possum.

You might want to watch and read the reports from the local news Outlets were a incident happens… it is the Internet age where its all available.

6 years ago

WOW! What news have you been watching? The Las Vegas Metro Police reported in the first days that Mr Wilcox’s gun was not fired. While the sheriff is a lot of things, I dont think he would fib that one. As for the reports that the wife shot her husband, the video did appear to show it happened.. but again just a few days later Metro police did say although the video did appear so show it, the wife didnt shoot the husband, the bullet was from a different officers gun than the one they took off the the officers… Read more »