Las Vegas sheriff's daughter shares experience of watching dad lead investigation

Posted at 10:57 PM, Oct 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-21 12:24:47-04

DENVER -- The man leading the Las Vegas shooting investigation has had some of the toughest moments in his life play out in front of the world.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo has received much praise, but also criticism and questions. Denver7 sat down with his daughter, Morgan Lombardo, who lives in Colorado and attends CU Boulder.

Sheriff Lombardo's impact and training of his officers could be seen within twelve minutes of the shooting that night. Officers moved so quickly, jumping in and immediately subduing the shooter, without waiting for direction.

Morgan wants people to know that about her dad and the heroism the first responders showed, saving so many lives. Morgan got a phone call late one Sunday, October 1, from an old high school friend.

"I hear screaming. I hear sirens,” said Morgan as she recounted the phone conversation.

"I think there's gunshots and you have to tell your dad."

That's how she found out about the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, her hometown.

She, of course, was hundreds of miles away and called and texted her dad. When he didn't answer, she turned on her TV.

The world watched Morgan’s dad lead the investigation into the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, but he had been preparing for this moment for a long time.

"He flew to India after their terrorist hotel attacks to educate himself and how to approach the problem long before he was sheriff," said Morgan.

Normally stoic and composed, it hurt her to see him sometimes vulnerable.

"To be honest, when he cried in the press conference that was the second time I've seen him cry. The first being when his father died," said Morgan. "I felt for him, I just wanted to be there to hug him."

In the past few weeks, while investigators try to piece it all together, Morgan has found ways to grieve and help others heal. She held a vigil on campus, remembering each victim of the shootings and naming them on a paper heart in the courtyard of the UMC.

"Because I'm not in Vegas, I can't be at a blood bank or I can't be at funerals, I can't be there to support my dad,” said Morgan. “I can be upset, but this isn't about me, this isn't about my dad. It’s about 58 people who lost their lives."