LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Metro Police officer who was fired for hesitating and not acting during the 1 October mass shooting has been reinstated.
Steve Grammas, Las Vegas Police Protective Association president, said Officer Cordell Hendrex won his case and will get back to work with Metro once he completes paperwork. He also noted Hendrex will not be disciplined and will receive back pay.
The initial firing came after police found Officer Hendrex did not engage when he was one floor beneath the Route 91 Harvest festival gunman on Oct. 1, 2017.
Metro released body camera footage that showed Hendrex, along with a trainee and a few armed hotel security guards, go to the 31st floor of Mandalay Bay. He held his position in the hallway one floor below Stephen Paddock. It appeared he hesitated for approximately five minutes as the shooter fired into a crowd of country music fans.
In 2019, Metro Undersheriff Kevin McMahill, said:
“We train our officers in a variety of different ways, and we believe we provided the training to all of our officers, and we see that played out in many other body cams. In this particular case, particularly with the responsibility of having a trainee along with him, we didn’t believe that he met the standards of conduct for the organization.”
Last year, Grammas commended Hendrex for his choice, saying, “He’s not a coward. He’s an officer; he’s a human being. That was a situation with a very, very violent encounter.” He noted Hendrex was making decisions on containment and what he needed to do on the floor there based on the knowledge the shooter was above him.
Hendrex admitted being “terrified with fear” in that moment in a written report. He did contain a stairwell that night.
The 1 October tragedy is the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, with 58 people killed and hundreds more injured.