When you hear about shootings, hurricanes, earthquakes, you never think it’ll happen to you. You hear about things on the news and you know that people are suffering and you can sympathize– but you can’t relate. We watch the news and feel bad for a moment. A few of us donate money or use a hashtag to spread word… but we don’t understand. I was like this. I always saw things on the news and felt my heart sink for a moment but I didn’t truly understand the pain a person can feel until it happened in my city.
On Sunday, October 1, 2017, around 10:09 PM, the deadliest modern day massacre happened in Las Vegas.
This massacre is said to have happened at the hands of one man. (Conspiracy theorists are theorizing that there was more than one shooter. While that is something that you should keep in mind, I’m talking specifically of police reports and facts.)
Stephan Paddock is the name of the 64 year old murderer who killed more than 50 people and caused injury to more than 500 people. Paddock was in a room in the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and shot out of a window into a crowd of 22,000 people who were attending Route 91- a country music festival.
He had 47 weapons inside of his hotel room– including rifles and explosives. They also found “bump stocks” which is a device that he installed that would allow him to fire more ammunition at a faster rate per minute. Las Vegas Metro Police Department searched his home in Mesquite aftermath and found 19 more weapons in his home. In his car they found Several pounds of ammonium nitrate (a material used to make explosives).
Paddock installed cameras in his room and recorded himself massacring people. Not only did he do that, but he installed some outside of the room as well so he could see when police was coming. He did just that and shot himself before the police were able to detain him.
Paddock also gave the United States another reason to talk about gun control. Mass shootings like this are happening far too often.
In the wake of the worst modern massacre in the United States, the Las Vegas community came together quickly.
Lines for blood donation were wrapping around multiple streets because so many people wanted to donate. Some blood donation places began to turn some people away just because they did not have time to collect as much as people were trying to give. Others who couldn’t donate blood were donating food and water to first responders and charity places like the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Allegiant Airlines is even offering free plane rides to the family members of the people who were injured during the shooting.
Many celebrities and Las Vegas natives are also tweeting about the massacre and trying to encourage people to donate blood, food, water, or their time.
Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commission Chair for Las Vegas even started a GoFundMe to assist the victims of the shooting. As of this being published, over 66,000 people have raised over 8 million dollars for the victims
The famous Las Vegas strip, known for it’s neon lights went dark the night after the tragedy in honor of the victims. Other countries around the world are also showing remorse for what happened. Paris, France, darkened the Eiffel Tower to show remembrance, unity, and respect. The Empire State building in New York stayed dark as well.
The Las Vegas community will never be the same after this massacre. We will forever have to live in remembrance for the people whose lives got cut short at the hands of an insane individual. As we mourn, we will continue to donate and do our part for those who lost someone, or something in the shooting.
Although we will always remember, we will move past it but never forget the events that occurred on that October night.
The actions of the Las Vegas community and the world prove that even in the wake of a tragedy, our spirits will never be broken.
Use the hashtag #VegasStrong to share your thoughts or see what the community is saying.