Man accused of threatening Vegas mass shooting had been in custody but was cut loose by judge

(AP Photo/John Locher)

Police in Las Vegas, Nevada may have thwarted a mass shooting this week when they took a 33-year-old man into custody who’d threatened to carry out “the Mandalay Bay massacre part duex”, but it turns out the state of Nevada had the opportunity to keep the suspect behind bars last year and failed to do so.


Authorities say Matthew DeSavio had posted several threats to social media several hours before the Vegas Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup, including one post that read ““I’m coming for you guys tonight and I hope you get every ****ing police officer in Vegas Golden Knights there to defend you!” DeSavio was taken into custody after showing up at a Las Vegas business, where someone called police to inform them that DeSavio was making similar threats in person.

It’s not the first time that officers have encountered DeSalvio, nor is it the first time he’s allegedly threatened an act of mass violence. Police actually had DeSavio in custody last year, but were forced to let him go several months later.

On Oct. 26, 2022, a person reported a “disturbing Facebook post” to police where DeSavio reportedly threatened a similar mass shooting, police said.

“Something big is about to hit the Vegas Strip. #October1stwasjustapreview! Let’s [expletive] [expletive] up before I literally #blowup Paradise NV,” the Facebook post reportedly said, according to police. The Las Vegas Strip is in the unincorporated community of Paradise, Nevada.

Officers later contacted DeSavio, who agreed to meet them at a fast-food restaurant on Blue Diamond Road near Durango Drive, police said. While speaking to DeSavio, police said the man “stated he wanted to drive his vehicle into the Mandalay Bay.”

Records show a judge ordered DeSavio to undergo a competency evaluation in November 2022. DeSavio awaited treatment for 78 days, which his public defender said violated his due process rights.

In a hearing in March, Judge Christy Craig noted the state failed to transport DeSavio to behavioral health treatment in a timely manner. DeSavio remained in custody for eight days after that hearing, prompting Craig to dismiss the charges and release DeSavio from custody in April.


And yet gun control activists will continue to insist that we don’t need to talk about mental health, or that when folks like you or I bring up the crisis in the country’s mental health systems we’re only trying to deflect attention away from their calls for more gun control.

Nevada has a “red flag” law in place, though it’s unclear whether DeSavio has ever been the recipient of an Extreme Risk Protection Order. Given that DeSavio has threatened to detonate a bomb on the Las Vegas Strip and crash his vehicle into the Mandalay Bay casino, however, it’s crystal clear that simply removing any lawfully-owned firearms from DeSavio’s possession and sending him on his merry way isn’t a good idea from a public safety standpoint.

The state of Nevada failed to provide a competency evaluation for nearly three months after his arrest, and it’s hard to dispute the argument of his public defender that his rights were being violated. He was arrested, charged, and then kept in limbo for months on end because the state could not fulfill its duty in providing that evaluation in a timely manner. Whether you think the Second Amendment should be repealed, everyone should be given a machine gun at birth, or something in between, we should all be able to agree that when the state is forced to let guys like DeSavio go rather than take him to trial or commit him for psychiatric treatment there’s a problem that needs to be addressed that won’t be solved by gun control.


Let’s hope this time around the state is on the ball and can provide DeSavio with a competency evaluation within a reasonable amount of time. Otherwise he’s likely to once again be cut loose with all charges dropped, leaving him more emboldened than ever to make (and perhaps carry out) these threats.


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