An elite Federal Bureau of Investigation hostage rescue team and select Las Vegas Metropolitan Police trained in 2011 to neutralize an active shooter operating from a high-rise. The training tasked a highly-trained FBI sniper to make a risky shot and strike a rubber dummy from a hovering helicopter inside a broken hotel window. Participants conducted the exercise at the Sahara Hotel after it closed, before becoming the SLS Resort, and would set the stage for what would come in October 2017.
At its core, the rather boisterous plan to have a sniper fire his primary weapon at a flesh-and-blood target from a hovering aircraft seems preposterous and haphazard at best. Nonetheless, the method was later greenlighted in real-life six years later, during the 2017 Route 91 massacre.
Intellihub editor-in-chief Shepard Ambellas was first to comment on footage showing the sniper onboarding his fully-automatic M-240 belt-fed heavy machine gun into a police helicopter outside the Harly dealer at 10:45 PM, just moments after the shooting occurred.
Doug Poppa writing for the Baltimore Sun reports:
“During the training exercise, a mannequin was placed inside one of the high-rise tower rooms near a window, to simulate an attacker. An FBI HRT sniper inside an FBI helicopter hovering over the Las Vegas Strip successfully made the shot and hit the mannequin.“
“According to the law enforcement sources who spoke to the Baltimore Post-Examiner, then Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie was unaware that the maneuver was going to be part of the exercise and was livid when he found out what happened. Another ranking member of the LVMPD at the time, according to one source, stated that they would no longer train for such scenarios and if an incident similar to the training exercise should happen in the future they would accept liability for the outcome.“
“The BPE was told that the LVMPD sniper inside the police helicopter had a rifle with optics capable of looking in the room and asked the pilot to get as close as possible to the broken-out window in Paddock’s 32nd floor suite however the pilot refused because he was unsure if anyone in the room would start firing again and endanger the aircraft.,” reports Pappa.
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