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Shedding Light on the Las Vegas Shooting

Ashton Jah, Writer

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On Monday, October 2, millions of Americans awoke to the unfortunate news of the recent massacre in Las Vegas, Nevada. At around 10:05 pm on Sunday, October 1, the 64-year-old gunman of Mesquite, Nevada opened fire on a large crowd of concertgoers attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

The incident began when country singer Jason Aldean was performing onstage and the crowd began to hear a series of popping sounds. Initially, numerous attendees assumed the sounds were electronics or pyrotechnics; however, seconds later the sounds of screaming and terror were unleashed in the bay of the concert.

The 64-year-old Nevadan was residing in the 34th floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel. It was reported that he checked into the hotel on September 28 with a total of 23 weapons, which were later found in his suite, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition.

On the floor of the concert, the shooting took place for an estimated 10 minutes. Many remained low to the ground, huddled up, or even ran until they approached the local airport hangar for safety.

In the surge of the moment, the SWAT team ran an estimated time of 72 minutes to locate and reach the gunman from the first reported gunshot; Donald Trump tweeting, “It is a ‘miracle’ how fast the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police were able to find the demented shooter and stop him from killing more.”

The police department later released a statement stating a security guard decided to assist in trying to locate the gunman. Although it did help with the locating process, as he approached the room, he was unfortunately shot by the gunman.

“It’s tragic that this happened,” Junior Katherine Maner mentioned. “[The shooter] should have been stopped a lot sooner and I am keeping the affected families in my thoughts. I hope [the families] can find peace through this tragic occurance.”

It is, however, thought that the gunman had meticulously planned the shooting. This was confirmed by investigators: the gunman did have an escape route if needed; however, as Police approached the room, the shooter ended up killing himself.

After the shooting, it was announced that nearly 59 were dead (including the gunman), and upwards of 500 innocent civilians injured. Nevada governor Brian Sandoval released, “We’re angry. We’re grieving. Confused. People are hurting.”

In the wake of this violent act, it was determined by the Los Angeles Times that out of the 59 dead, some included teachers, police department workers, family business workers, and more sprinkled across the United States and Canada.

This dramatic representation of bloodshed and evil is considered the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history. The motive is currently unknown; however, what was meant for evil was graciously turned around in a positive light.

Avoiding commenting on terrorism or gun-violence, President Donald Trump released a statement mentioning, “We cannot fathom their pain; we cannot imagine their loss. To the families of the victims: we are praying for you and we are here for you.”

Although many were injured, there were numerous souls willing to contribute to those affected. One survivor tells her story of allowing the transportation of victims of the shooting to the hospital in her truck. “We realized there were people everywhere that needed help and on stretchers. People saw that we had a truck, so we . . . started to pack everyone in,” she told ABC.

Random acts of heroism were displayed that night. From civilians to the police force, everyone was on board to do the right thing.

Hundreds of participants lined up the morning after the shooting to donate blood at local blood drive destinations. In addition to those not in the area, willing citizens gave back through a verified GoFundMe page created by Clark County commissioner Steve Sisolak. The page in itself has earned a total of $10.2 million in donations from over 82,000 contributors in nearly a week’s time.

Sisloak added a statement on the page stating, “Our community is grateful for the outpouring of support from folks all across the nation and all around the world… Tens of thousands of people have made their voices heard and are standing up to hate and standing together to support the victims and their families during this difficult time.”

The Las Vegas community was also collecting material donations, such as water, canned food, and other non-perishable items to provide for victims and their families.

In addition to physical and direct assistance, community members opted to create a healing garden, a place of peace, for those affected by the tragedy. Community members like Jay Pleggenkuhle hope the garden will “bring the community together to work and do something that will create joy and beauty instead of destruction.”

The generous citizens in our everyday life are the ones that help push us, as a nation, forward through a beacon of light. As Trump mentioned, “We can not be defined by the evil that threatens us or the violence that incites such terror. We are defined by our love, our caring, and our courage.”

In moments of horror, there are always those who put others first to achieve the greatness of America.

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Shedding Light on the Las Vegas Shooting