Political Editors / Oct. 2, 2017

An Atrocity in Las Vegas — What We Know So Far

America’s worst mass shooting leaves 58 dead and more than 520 wounded, many in critical condition.

Americans awoke to the shocking and horrific news Monday morning of a mass-shooting attack in Las Vegas. Early reports are that at least 58 people were killed and more than 520 people injured, making it the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history. The suspect, who has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of nearby Mesquite, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel down into a crowd of concert-goers across the street. Police officers responding to the scene eventually located Paddock, who reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the hotel room from which he had launched his attack.

As with any sudden chaotic event, initial details can often be conflicting and confusing before a more thorough investigation takes place. This is what we know so far.

At approximately 10:00 p.m. local time Sunday night, rapid gunfire broke out during country music singer Jason Aldean’s performance at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, with over 22,000 in attendance. Police reported that there were in “excess of 10 rifles” found in the room. Police have yet to identify the weapon(s) used, although audio footage of the attack suggests that the attacker was using a fully automatic rifle, not an easily obtainable weapon.

The motive for the crime is currently unknown. However, federal officials have said that at this time they do not see any international terrorist connections, despite claims to the contrary. That leaves mental illness as the most likely culprit.

Finally, President Donald Trump tweeted, “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” We echo his message, and add a call to our fellow Americans: Please pray for those affected by this terrible atrocity. Pray for Las Vegas.

(Updated.)

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