Sunday night in Las Vegas, Nevada, thousands of people were enjoying a performance by country music star Jason Aldean at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when out of nowhere, gunshots rang throughout the strip. Concert-goers, unaware of the location of the shooter, panicked and ran for the nearest exit to escape the gunfire. After looking at this figure of the geographical locations of the shooter and the concert it’s easy to tell the concert goers were sitting ducks.
The shooter has been identified as Stephen Paddock, a 65-year-old local resident of Mesquite, NV with no significant criminal history. Paddock took perch on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, murdering 58 people and injuring over 500–including four police officers. Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said an “excess of 10 rifles” were found in Paddock’s hotel room.
Paddock had been staying in the hotel since September 28 and simply checked in under his own name. Law enforcement officials also said that there was no indication of Paddock being on any state or federal radar before this tragedy. Paddock reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound by shooting himself as a SWAT team barged into his hotel room shortly after the shooting.
Although the County Sheriff stated federal officials have not seen any connection between Paddock and international terrorism, The Islamic State terror group took credit for this terrible event, saying Stephen Paddock converted to Islam months prior. There is no evidence to back up this claim as of yet.
Apparently, Paddock had visited the hotel two times prior to the weekend of the shooting and rented two rooms, one facing east, and one north.
According to Fox News, the gunman’s father was on on the FBI Most Wanted list from 1969 to 1977.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered his full support to Sheriff Lombardo Monday morning. President Donald Trump called the shooting “an act of pure evil”, thanking first responders as well. The nation and the victims are thankful for the authorities who risked their lives running towards the danger while the innocent concert-goers were running away.
As awful as this tragedy is, it did not take long for certain politicians to politicize the event. Hillary Clinton tweeted, “The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get. Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.”
At least wait 24 hours before trying to turn someone else’s hell into a soapbox for your own political agenda. And in fact, a silencer, also more accurately known as a suppressor, would not have made much of a difference. The presence of a suppressor does not completely make the gunshot silent. For more information on suppressors check this out.
For now, let’s all agree on one thing–we need to pray for our nation and those families and friends of the people affected by this awful domestic terror incident. As a nation, we should stand as a united front on the road to recovery. As our president said, “In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one, and it always has.”