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Massacre on the Las Vegas Strip

Country in disbelief after mass shooting on Jason Aldean concert.

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At least 58 people are dead and 527 injured in a horrific shooting on the Las Vegas Strip.

On Sunday, October 1, at approximately 10:08 pm PT, a gunmen opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest festival while country music star Jason Aldean was performing. The shooter, 64 year old lone-wolf Steve Paddock, was shooting from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel with a possible “military-style weapon,” according to a CNN law enforcement analyst. Paddock later killed himself after being cornered by the police, and his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, was flown in from the Philippines and taken into custody. She is being considered a person of interest by the LVMPD.

Police are still searching for a motive to find out why a seemingly normal person like Paddock would become a cold-blooded murderer. He didn’t have a criminal record or financial problems, but he was known to have a gambling addiction. While his motive is unknown, one thing police know is that he had planned his attack a long time ago.

People hide from incoming bullets in the midst of the shooting rampage.

Witnesses described a hailstorm of bullets that lasted for several minutes. Rachel De Kerf, who filmed the aftermath of the shooting as she escaped, said, “The gunshots lasted for 10-15 minutes. It didn’t stop. We just ran for our lives.” De Kerf’s sister Monique Dumas was also in attendance of the country music festival. She said, “The gunfire never ended, it seemed like it went on and on and on.”

The day after the attack, police searched through the suite that Paddock was staying in at the Mandalay Bay, and found 23 weapons. These included several rifles and handguns. Ammonium nitrate, an ingredient used in explosives, was found in his car. Nineteen more weapons were found at his Mesquite, Nevada home along with thousands of rounds of ammunition.

With 58 dead, this attack has surpassed the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, where 49 people died, as the deadliest mass shooting in American history, a horrible record to break.

President Donald Trump visited the heartbroken city on Wednesday, October 4 to meet with the survivors. Addressing the tragedy in a press conference at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, he said, “In the months ahead, we will all have to wrestle with the horror of what has unfolded this week, but we will struggle through it together, we will endure the pain together, and we will overcome together as Americans.” Hospital workers said that the spirits of the injured had been lifted by his visit.

People all around the globe showed their support for Las Vegas in the face of this horrific tragedy. Sophomore Caitlyn Walsh, who has been following the story, said, “It’s heartwarming to know that in the wake of such a tragic event, our country manages to come back stronger than before. The support is amazing.” A GoFundMe page has already raised over $2 million as of Tuesday, October 3. Blood banks in the Las Vegas area are fully booked for days, and some people waited in line for as long as five hours to give blood on Monday and Tuesday. Witnesses told of heroes who let fleeing concertgoers into their cars and drove the injured to hospitals. For many, there is a long road to recovery, but the support of the nation is sure to help.

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Massacre on the Las Vegas Strip