As Questions Mount, Maui Police Chief Revealed To Have Led Las Vegas Massacre Response

Maui Pelletier Las Vegas
Source: Screenshot YouTube

It has just been revealed that the wildfires that recently plagued Maui are not the first mass casualty event that the Maui Police Chief John Pelletier has dealt with, as he also led the response to the 2017 Las Vegas massacre that saw 58 people killed and hundreds more be injured after a gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest music festival.

Pelletier’s Las Vegas History

USA Today reported that Pelletier spent 22 years working for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, rising up in the ranks to the position of captain during that time. He was named as the chief of police for the Maui Police Department in 2021, and while trying to get this job, he argued that leading the response to the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting made him the perfect person for the position as he lamented the “incredible loss of life” from that tragedy.

“It took years to build that response. It took years to get that right, but we got that right, and we got our hands around it, and we did something incredible,” he said at the time of the Las Vegas shooting response. “We took the biggest crime scene, second only to 9/11, and we did everything to mitigate that. We brought a community together. We did something really, really great.”


“I understand tourist-based policing and community-based policing at the highest level,” Pelletier also argued, according to The Las Vegas Review Journal. “I understand that the citizens of Maui County deserve to have the best police service possible in order to move forward, and it’s my job, my desire, my wish to come here and help take this agency, which is good, and make it great.”

Related: Hawaii Wildfire Kills 36, Wipes Out Entire Town Of Lahaina – ‘Dead Bodies Floating On The Seawall’

Pelletier Speaks Out On Maui Wildfires 

During a press conference this past weekend, Pelletier referenced his experience responding to the Las Vegas mass shooting as he called for patience when it comes to the painstaking process of identifying dozens of more victims of the wildfires in Maui. The death toll from the wildfires currently sits at 89, but officials are expecting that number to grow as areas burned by the wildfires continue to be searched.

“Give us a little bit of time,” Pelletier said. “We’ve got to go make 89 notifications. And coming from a place that had to make 58, I understand the pain this is going to take, and we’re not done with 89.”

Pelletier went on to urge the public to submit DNA samples to help officials identify their family members.

“Everyone wants a number,” the police chief said of the death toll, according to The Associated Press. “You want it fast. … We’re going to do it right.”

Related: James Woods Eviscerates Biden For $700 Payments to Maui Disaster Victims While Seeking $24 Billion For Ukraine

Search For Victims In Maui Nears Its End

Nearly three weeks after the wildfires, the search for victims is nearing its end. CBS News reported that last week, Maui officials released the names of 388 people who remain unaccounted for, with these names coming from a larger group of roughly 1,000-1,100 people that had been estimated to be missing by the FBI. Within a day of this list coming out, however, over 100 of those on the list or their relatives contacted officials to say that they were safe.

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“We have wrapped up almost completely the search and recovery mission and moving into the next phase,” Darryl Oliveira, the interim administrator of the Maui Emergency Management Agency, told reporters on Tuesday.

It will undoubtedly come as a shock to many to learn that Pelletier is leading the response to two of the biggest mass casualty events that this country has ever seen.

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