On the night of Sunday, October 1st, Las Vegas fell victim to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. A man since identified as Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of concert attendees at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing at least 59 people and injuring at least 527 others. People suffered from gunshot wounds and stampede injuries as 22,000 attempted to flee from the shooter.
Stephen Paddock was a 64-year-old man with no criminal record besides a routine citation from several years ago. According to his family, Paddock was “not a normal guy,” but had indicated nothing about any plans or motives for the shooting. Eric Paddock, Stephen’s brother, said he is “horrified” and “dumbfounded” by what he did. So far, Paddock has not been connected with any terrorist groups, although ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to CBS news. Police believe Paddock acted alone, and have not yet determined his motive.
Paddock was found dead in his hotel room, believed by Las Vegas police to have killed himself before they could reach him. Also in his hotel room were 23 firearms, including a handgun and multiple rifles. In a report from CNN news, authorities announced that thousands of rounds of ammunition and ammonium nitrate, a material used to make explosives, in his car and at his home in Mesquite, Nevada, about 75 miles away from Las Vegas.
Thankfully, many citizens are offering all their help to aid Las Vegas in recovering from this tragedy. Hundreds of Nevadans have lined up to donate blood to U.S. blood banks for those injured in the shooting, waiting in lines as long as 6 hours–and officials in Las Vegas say that no more blood is needed right now. Steve Sisolak, Chair of the Clark County Commission, has set up a GoFundMe page for the families of the victims. As of Monday, October 9th, the page has collected over $10 million in donations for the victims and families affected by the shooting and is still going strong.
By: Rachel Smith
Photo credit to David Becker