Clark County Nevada Coroner John Fudenberg is defying a court order to release the full autopsy report of Stephen Paddock, the shooter who caused the deadliest mass murder in the nation, killing 58 and wounding close to 700 people at a concert in Las Vegas.
District Court Judge Timothy Williams ordered the coroner Tuesday to immediately release the autopsy. Fudenberg is conferring with others in his office, and no date had been given for his compliance with the judge’s order, the coroner’s office told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The office also told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which sued for the autopsy report, they wouldn’t release Paddock’s autopsy report until it was “finalized.”
“The coroner’s office has fought to keep autopsy reports confidential,” according to the the Review-Journal.
A judge ordered the coroner Jan. 11 to pay about $32,000 in legal costs to the Review-Journal for refusing to release public records to the newspaper.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released an interim report Jan. 8 on the shooting. The report gave only scant information about the autopsy and did not release either the autopsy or a toxicology report on Paddock.
“Preliminarily, the injuries noted were on the posterior of both calves and a gunshot wound to the upper palette inside the decedent’s mouth with obvious damage to the upper teeth,” the department stated.
“The cause of Paddock’s death was an internal gunshot wound and the manner of death was ruled a suicide,” the report concluded.
“What’s glaring are the missing details on the autopsy,” said Wayne Black, a 40-year veteran law enforcement and private security expert, in an interview with TheDCNF.
“This is probably one of the most significant medical examiner’s investigations of the year,” he said.
“The shooter’s body was cremated Dec. 21. How can the autopsy report not be ‘finalized’ when the body was cremated more than five weeks ago?” Review-Journal Editor-in-Chief Keith Moyer publicly stated. “The law is squarely on the side of the public’s right to open government.”
The Review-Journal has obtained documents showing Las Vegas authorities were pursuing a “second person of interest” in the shooting.
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