The eve of October 1, 2017 marked one of the most deadly mass shootings in American history. In Las Vegas, Nevada, James Aldean began to wrap up a performance at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when rapid gunfire rang out. A gunman on one of the highest floors of a Las Vegas hotel promptly shot fire into the crowd at the musical festival, killing 59 people and leaving 527 others injured.
Police eventually found the gunman, Stephen Paddock, 64, dead in his hotel room shortly after. They are still investigating the cause of his death. Police still have not yet tied Paddock to any terrorist organizations and his relatives claim that he never had or expressed any kinds of terroristic beliefs with them. According to the New York Times, President Donald Trump called the crime an “act of pure evil” and called for harmony of the country, saying, “Our unity cannot be shattered by evil, our bonds cannot be broken by violence.”
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Police Department reported at least 17 firearms, including a handgun, were found in Paddock’s hotel room. Paddock also fired through his hotel doors, shooting a security guard in the leg, but only injuring him. In addition to the weapons found in his hotel room, police also found many more firearms, explosives, and electronic devices inside Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nevada.
As a result of the shooting, the hotel remained in partial lockdown on Monday. Melissa Ayala, 41, came to the concert with friends after hearing what they thought was fireworks. They believed this until a man close by was grazed by a bullet, and blood spewed from his neck. ISIS was said to claim responsibility for the attacks, claiming that Paddock was a member of the Islamic State, but officials have yet to confirm this. ISIS has made many false claims before.
A flood of patients was rushed into Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, which was the closest hospital to the concert. An estimated 180 patients arrived at the hospital, busying the staff and doctors. Dr. Jeff Murawsky, the hospital’s chief medical officer stated, “Our trauma surgeons don’t feel like we were ever in a situation where we weren’t able to do our best.” The investigation still proceeds, and more details will be available in the following days.
By: JoAnna Palumbo ’19, Staff Writer