Workplace violence seminar on G2E’S last day sparsely attended

Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

Attendees inspect a slot machine during the Global Gaming Expo at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas Tuesday, October 3, 2017.

Just four days after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, a seminar on how to handle an active shooter situation at Global Gaming Expo (G2E) drew few participants.

Only 40-50 people attended the seminar, “Active Shooter: Violence in the Workplace” in a large meeting room the Sands Expo.

That may have been because the scheduling — Thursday was the convention’s last day — and the limited focus of the session.

Three speakers who work with or for tribal gaming organizations and businesses spent most of the time addressing threats from disgruntled employees or the spouses and partners of employees involved in domestic disputes.

Sunday’s attack was mentioned before the session began when moderator Juan E. Baca, vice president of security/entertainment for Sycuan Casino, asked for a moment of silence.

Global Gaming Expo

Attendees compete on Beat Square games during the Global Gaming Expo at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas Tuesday, October 3, 2017. Launch slideshow »

Later, Jim Mattheis, senior risk-control consultant for Tribal First Insurance, discussed how active shooting suspects typically leave clues to their intentions and motivations.

“The normal things haven’t shown up in this guy (Stephen Paddock),” Mattheis said. “But I’m sure they’ll show up as they get into the investigation.”

Most of the seminar was geared to preventing disgruntled employees from turning to violence or spotting the precursors of workplace expressions of domestic violence.

Toward the end of the seminar, however, Mattheis addressed what people should do if there’s no way to escape, no place hide, and the only decision left is to fight.

Anything that can be used as a weapon should be used, Mattheis said. Once people decide to fight, they should commit to the act without hesitation and with all the force they can muster, he said.

“You should always be trying to control their hands,” Mattheis said. “That’s where the gun, or the knife or whatever they have is, and you want to control it. Take this meeting room for example. If there’s one shooter, there are 40 to 50 people in here. Yes, some of you could die. But that’s better than doing nothing and all 40 to 50 of you dying.”