Sam Dunaway | News Editor
A gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel Oct. 1, killing 59 and injuring hundreds more. The gunfire was directed at a crowd of nearly 22,000 people attending an outdoor country music festival concert on the Las Vegas Strip. According to the New York Times, this incident is considered one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history.
The shooter rained bullets from his room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, just down the road from the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival, during a performance by Jason Aldean. The music stopped soon after the gunfire began and concertgoers began to duck for cover or run for their lives. According to nytimes.com, the bullets didn’t cease for approximately 10 minutes.
According to CNN, the hotel was placed on lockdown and a SWAT team searched every floor; they found the gunman dead, inside his room on the 32nd floor. Also found in the room were at least 23 firearms, including several rifles that had scopes on them. Law enforcement officials searched the gunman’s home in Mesquite, Nevada, discovering several more firearms, explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Jake Owen, a singer who was onstage with Jason Aldean, described the shooting to NBC News saying, “It got faster and faster, almost like it sounded like it was an automatic rifle. You could hear it ringing off the tops of the rafters of the stage. That’s when you saw people fleeing. At that point, everyone on stage just started running everywhere possible. It was pretty chaotic for sure.”
According to CNN, hundreds of individuals in the Las Vegas community rushed to blood banks Oct. 2. People waited in lines for six to eight hours to donate blood for the victims.
In his Oct. 2 speech, President Trump stated, “We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity. Our unity cannot be shattered by evil, our bonds cannot be broken by violence, and though we feel such great anger, at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens, it is our love that defines us today.”
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