A Tragedy in Sin City

Concert goers fleeing for cover during tragic shooting. (Photo by Qz.com)
Shooter, Stephen Paddock (Photo by USA TODAY)

By JONATHAN SANDERS
For The Florida/Georgia Star

The Las Vegas shooting on Sunday was the worst massacre in recent United States history.

On Thursday, Las Vegas sheriff Joseph Lombardo detailed the timeline of the mass shooting at a Route 91 Harvest country music festival on the Strip that occurred Sunday night.

The first shot was fired at 10:05 p.m. from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay by a shooter identified as Stephen Paddock.

The shooting continued for 10 minutes, ending at 10:15 p.m.

The first officers arrived on the 31st floor at 10:12 p.m., and officers arrived at the 32nd floor at 10:17 p.m. Lombardo said it was “phenomenal” they reached the 32nd floor within 12 minutes of the first shots.

It wasn’t until 11:20 p.m., 75 minutes after the initial shots were fired, and that SWAT officers were able to locate the assailant’s room after being alerted hotel security.

The SWAT officers used an explosive to breach the door to Paddock’s suite and discover him dead on the floor, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound according to CNN reporters.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department identified Paddock as a 64-year-old white male from Mesquite, Nevada

Lombardo said 58 people were killed and 489 injured in the shooting. Las Vegas police say 317 of those people have been discharged from the hospital.

According to News 1130, authorities say the Las Vegas shooter had 1,600 rounds of ammunition and 50 pounds of an explosive commonly used in target shooting in his car.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters Wednesday that he didn’t know what Paddock was planning to do with the explosives.

Lombardo also said none of the cameras Paddock put up in the hotel room where he unleashed gunfire onto a concert crowd were recording. Authorities say he set up cameras in the peephole of the door and outside the room to watch for police closing in on him.

Police say the shooter sprayed 200 rounds of gunfire into the hallway when a security guard approached his hotel room, but the guard was only hit in the leg. The wounded guard is said to have then helped a group of police officers clear out rooms on the 32nd floor of the hotel.

Lombardo says Paddock planned to survive and escape but didn’t say how.

Investigators are still trying to identify a motive for the attack.

Although, the motive is not a main concern to some victims of the attack as they mourn the loss of their loved ones.

Heather Melton told CNN reporters that “she doesn’t know the name of the man who killed her husband in Sunday’s shooting spree. She does not want to know it. It won’t bring back her husband, Sonny Melton, or the dozens more killed.”

An attack of this magnitude inevitably summons the question concerning gun control in America.

Does the sale of firearms need to be restricted?

When President Trump was asked by CNN officials about restrictions on gun control, he responded, “At some point perhaps that will come. That’s not today.”

Marilou Danley, girlfriend of Stephen Paddock, was sent out of the country by Paddock during the time of the attack to visit her family in the Philippines.

While she was there, he wired her money and told her to buy a house for her and her family, sources from the New York Times state.

It seemed to Danley that Paddock was using that as a strategy to end their relationship.

“It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone,” she said Wednesday in her first public comments since the shooting according to the New York Times.

A memorial of 58 crosses has been created by Greg Zanis at the “Welcome To Las Vegas Sign”. Each cross has the name of a victim taken during the mass shooting sources reported from the Las Vegas Sun.

 

 

 

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