Last night during the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a gunman opened fire on the crowd of 22,000.
The gunman was located on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, while the concert took place across the street. Police have identified the shooter as Stephen Paddock, 64, a Nevada local. His motive is yet to be determined. A SWAT team entered Paddock’s room immediately following the attack but found Paddock dead from self-inflicted shots prior to police arrival.
The concert’s headliner, Jason Aldean, issued a statement saying he was heartbroken over the incident, and urged people to “stop the hate.” President Trump has also made comment, stating that the shooting was “an act of pure evil,” and that he would be visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday to speak with law enforcement officials.
The tragedy took 58 lives, and injured 515 others, making it the most deadly shooting in modern American history. Until now, the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016 in Orlando, Florida held precedent for the most deadly American shooting of modern times, with a death toll of 49. The Pulse shooting greatly affected the LGBTQ community, as it took place at a queer club. It’s too early to know the stories of those who lost their lives due to this shooting, but we are sure that the community will be rocked, as queer people and allies most likely suffered at the hands of this gunman. Following the Las Vegas shooting last night, many Orlando survivors are are speaking out in support of the Las Vegas survivors. Several took to social media this morning, encouraging Las Vegas concert-goers to stay strong and hold hope.
Although there is no clear motive for the attack, it is being investigated by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI. FBI official Aaron Rouse, a special agent handling the Las Vegas attack, disputed claims that the attack was linked to terrorist group ISIS. The investigation is ongoing, and law enforcement officials made it clear that details will be released as they come in. As these details unfold, our hearts and thoughts are with any affected. Stay tuned for updates about the incident and how you can help and give back.