Yet another deadly shooting has occurred in America. Yesterday, on the final day of the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, a gunman began shooting at the crowd from the 32nd floor of the overlooking Mandalay Bay Hotel. Route 91 is a country music festival that has occurred annually on the Las Vegas Strip since 2014. The festival hosts around 40,000 people each year at a 15 acre property on the strip. There were roughly 22,000 people present when the 15 minute long shooting occurred. CNN has confirmed that 58 have been killed and around 500 have been injured.
The casualty rate has even surpassed the recent Orlando Pulse Shooting which left 49 dead and 58 injured. It also follows the recent bombing at a Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, which occurred in May and left 22 dead.
Local authorities respond quickly to the situation, escorting guests out of the festival to safety, transporting injured victims to nearby hospitals, and tracking down the shooter. One of the local trauma centers, University Medical Center, had actually been training for this sort of situation. One of the emergency responder’s from the Pulse shooting had recently visited and trained them.
Police have confirmed that the shooter is 64 year old local Stephen Paddock. Paddock managed to use some sort of hammer like object to break through the protective glass in his room in order to shoot out at the crowd. It is suspected that Paddock took his own life before Police arrived. According to the New York Times, around 10 firearms were found in the hotel room. Paddock checked into the hotel Thursday and did not begin his attack until late Sunday night. According to ABC, Paddock was an accountant with no criminal history. He lived nearby in Mesquite, and did have a hunting license. The police have no reason to believe he had any help, and are unsure of his motivation for shooting at this point in time.
Jason Aldean was in the middle of performing his hit song, “When She Says Baby,” when shots began unexpectedly pouring down on the attendees. Jason Aldean has taken to Instagram to confirm that he is safe, and went on to express disappointment that the festival ended on such a tragic note. The future of the festival is uncertain after this year’s heartbreaking ending.
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