Our thoughts and prayers are everyone in Las Vegas and the music community.
Photo credit: Loccisano/Cindy Ord/Getty Images
The country music community, and the rest of the country, was shaken when a lone gunman chose a music festival to carry out a senseless act of violence. 59 people have been confirmed dead and more than 500 injured after a shooting took place during Jason Aldean's set at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Sunday night (October 1).
In the hours since, social media has been flooded with heartbreaking stories of survival and messages of prayer and hope. For country singer Maren Morris, she knew of one way that she wanted to reach out to all those affected.....through song.
In a post made to Facebook, Morris revealed that 3 years ago she wrote a song and last year recorded it with Vince Gill. Not knowing when would be the right time to release "Dear Hate," she saved it. But after last night's events, Morris knew the time had come.
"I realized today that there's never a right time," Morris said of releasing the song. "Hate is everywhere, and I'm sick of not doing enough. In the darkest tunnel, there is still love & music. That's what it's here for. Here is Dear Hate. Any cent I see from this I'm donating to the Music City Cares Fund. Link for everything below. #LovesGonnaConquerAll"
Hear Maren Morris and Vince Gill sing "Dear Hate" in the video below.
You can help victims of the shooting by donating to the official GoFundMe page by clicking here. Or, you can contribute to the Music City Cares Fund set up by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee by clicking here. 100% of the proceeds will go to Las Vegas to help with the immediate and long-term needs of victims in the shooting.
Shooter’s brother: ‘It’s like an asteroid just fell on top of our family’
By Jeff German, Arthur Kane, Wade Tyler Millward and Ben Botkin Las Vegas Review-Journal
October 2, 2017 - 6:12 am
Updated October 2, 2017 - 3:57 pm
The brother of Strip killer Stephen Paddock wept Monday morning as he reacted to the news of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
“We have no idea how this happened,” said Eric Paddock, 55, of Orlando, Florida. “It’s like an asteroid just fell on top of our family.”
Police said Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on an outdoor music concert from a Mandalay Bay hotel room late Sunday, killing at least 59 people and injuring more than 525.
“There is no reason we can imagine why Stephen would do something like this,” his brother said. “All we can do is send our condolences to the people who died. Just no reason, no warning.”
From quiet retiree to killer
The younger Paddock repeatedly described his brother as “just a guy” with no serious health or money problems.
“As far as we knew, he had enough money to live the rest of his life in comfort,” he said.
Eric Paddock said he was on the phone all morning with Las Vegas police trying to figure out what happened.
“We’re lost,” he said. “We don’t get it. This is like someone else did this.”
Eric Paddock said his brother lived a quiet life as a retiree in Mesquite, frequently coming to the Strip to play video poker.
The last time the two brothers talked was a couple of weeks ago, when Stephen called to see how their mother was doing after Hurricane Irma swept through Orlando, he said.
Eric Paddock said he was surprised to learn that his older brother had an aresnal of 16 firearms at his Mandalay Bay hotel room.
“He might have had a gun or two, but he didn’t have a huge stock of guns,” Eric Paddock said.
A pilot and gun enthusiast
His brother was a customer of Guns and Guitars, a Mesquite gun store, said Jan Sullivan, the retired owner. She added that her son now runs the shop and “knew him,” but she didn’t have other information about him, including his purchase history.
Federal Aviation Administration records show Stephen Paddock obtained a private pilot’s license in November 2003.
He rented a hangar for his Cirrus SR20 from the Mesquite Metro Airport from 2007 to 2010, when he ended his lease without any explanation, according to Cynthia Godfrey, the airport’s director.
Godfrey said he always paid on time and never gave them any problems. She did not know why he needed the aircraft.
The Cirrus SR20 can seat up to five people with about a three-hour flight time. Used Cirrus online go for well over $100,000, according to websites selling used planes. The Cirrus website notes the plane is “easily manageable for the newer pilot and perfectly suitable for business use.”
Paddock was not listed in FAA records as owning an airplane at the time of his death.
No criminal history
A spokeswoman for Lockheed Martin Corp. said Paddock worked for the aerospace giant from 1985 until 1988.
Eric Paddock told other news organization’s that his brother, who moved to Las Vegas from Florida, was a former accountant, but records show he was not licensed in Nevada or Florida.
Court records show that Stephen Paddock does not have a criminal record in Las Vegas.
In September 2012, Stephen Paddock filed a negligence lawsuit in Clark County District Court against The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas over a fall at the Strip resort.
He claimed that he “slipped and fell on an obstruction on the floor” and suffered injuries as a result of the “dangerous condition.”
The lawsuit, however, was dismissed in October 2014 after both sides agreed to drop it.
Attorney Jared Richards, who prepared the lawsuit for Paddock, declined to be interviewed. But he issued a statement saying his firm was “horrified” by the deadly shooting.
A mysterious safe
Paddock bought a home in Mesquite in January 2015 for $369,000. His girlfriend, Marilou Danley, once considered a person of interest in the shooting investigation, lived with him in the 2,018-square-foot home, records show.
He also bought a $238,000 home in a Del Webb Community in the Reno area in June 2013, records show.
Dee McKay lived next door to the shooter’s Reno home until she moved in July. She said Paddock kept to himself.
“He just kept his head down and would go to the clubhouse and come back,” she said Monday.
Neighbors told her that Paddock was a professional gambler.
Danley, his girlfriend, sometimes helped McKay remove long weeds at her home, she said.
One thing that struck McKay as odd was the large safe in his two-car garage.
“When you open the garage door, you can see it,” she said. “You shouldn’t let people see your safe. It seemed bigger than me, you know like a small refrigerator.”
McKay said she never saw what was in the safe.
“It was the strangest thing,” she said. “We’d say: ‘How much money was in it?’ and after this I’d say: ‘How many guns were in it?’”
Not well known to neighbors
In Mesquite Monday morning, box-shaped SWAT vans drove past an immaculately clean golf course and on the quiet streets of the 55-and-older Sun City community.
Mesquite police spokesman Quinn Averett said his department was assisting Las Vegas police.
Officers executed a search warrant at the house looking for evidence tied to the Strip shooting, and they performed forensics work.
Stephen Paddock lived in one of the newer subdivisions in Sun City. His greenish brown single-family home was one of about four in the subdivision blocked by police to passers-by.
Neighbors had been evacuated, Averett said.
Investigators, he said, found some weapons and ammunition in the house.
He said Mesquite officials had no contact with Stephen Paddock or Danley, and he did not know how long the couple had lived in the area.
Some Sun City retirees on morning walks woke up to the news that a neighbor was the country’s deadliest mass shooter.
Ken Heinly, 73, said he saw the news on President Donald Trump’s Twitter account before a regular walk with a friend.
“It’s unbelievable,” Heinly said. “This place is just so quiet.”
Theresa Eastman said she passed Stephen Paddock’s house often on morning walks.
She recalled pool work getting done at the house last spring.
Wade Millward reports from Mesquite where police found weapons and ammo in the shooter's home.
In Mesquite, only questions
Elsewhere in Mesquite, Hank Thropp, 72, rode into a fast-food parking lot on a motorcycle and with a jacket of expletive-laden patches.
He sat at a table in McDonald’s and discussed the day’s events with three of his friends, all local residents who said they can’t afford to live in Sun City. They mostly had questions.
How did he get a gun into Mandalay Bay?
What brought Paddock out to Mesquite?
None of them knew the man but said they were concerned about the influx of new residents to their community. Who really were their neighbors? Had Paddock planned his carnage from a house minutes from their own?
“What kind of person could do this?” Thropp said. “Sounds like someone I’d never want to meet.”
Contact Jeff German at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4564. Follow @JGermanRJ on Twitter. Contact Arthur Kane at email@example.com. Follow @ArthurMKane on Twitter. Contact Ben Botkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2904. Follow @BenBotkinon Twitter. Contact Wade Tyler Millward at email@example.com or 702-383-4602. Follow @wademillward on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Alex Cohen contributed to this story.
Okotoks mother Tara Roe is third Albertan killed in Las Vegas attack
Published on: October 3, 2017 | Last Updated: October 3, 2017 12:36 PM MDT
Tara Roe of Okotoks is one of 59 people killed in Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas. FACEBOOK
An Okotoks mother was one of the victims killed in a shooting attack in Las Vegas Sunday night, family members have confirmed.
Tara Roe, 34, and her husband were at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when they got separated in the confusion of the attack, family say. Family members were notified Monday night of her death.
Roe was a mother of two young boys, a model for Sophia Models and an educational assistant with the Foothills School Division.
Her aunt, Val Rodgers, said the victim was “a beautiful soul.”
“She was a wonderful mother and our family is going to miss her dearly,” Rodgers said when contacted at her home in Brandon, Man., on Tuesday.
The Foothills School Division issued a statement about Roe’s death.
“It has been a challenging time for our division yet we continue to stand together and support one another,” superintendent of schools John Bailey said.
“We have put our crisis response team in place and they will remain as long as is needed to assist students and staff…Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those affected by this unimaginable attack.”
An online fundraising page has been set up for Roe’s family.
“In a time of overwhelming emotions, sadness, and pain, the last thing the Roe/Smith families need to be worrying about are the financial obligations associated with this tragic loss,” the GoFundMe page reads.
“He’s not the kind to ask for help, but Zach would give you the shirt off his back, even if you weren’t the kind to ask for help either.”
More than 22,000 people were gathered for the three-day music festival when a gunman, identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, opened fire from inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel. SWAT officers using explosives stormed the gunman’s hotel room and found he had killed himself, authorities said.
Roe is the third Albertan and the fourth Canadian confirmed killed in the attack. Calla Medig of Jasper, Jessica Klymchuk of Valleyview, Alta., and Jordan McIldoon of Maple Ridge, B.C. also died in the attack. In total, 59 people were killed and at least 527 people were injured.
More to come.
- Calgary man shot in leg while helping others escape mass shooting in Las Vegas
- Jasper woman killed in Las Vegas mass shooting
'Almost beyond comprehension': Alberta woman killed in Las Vegas mass shooting
Published on: October 2, 2017 | Last Updated: October 2, 2017 5:50 PM MDT
Jessica Klymchuk was killed in a mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Facebook)
An Alberta woman who travelled to Las Vegas with her fiancé to revel in a country music festival was among the more than 50 concert-goers killed Sunday when a gunman mowed down the crowd from a 32nd-floor vantage point.
Jessica Klymchuk was one of two Canadians confirmed dead. At least 59 people died and more than 515 were injured, shortly after singer Jason Aldean took the outdoor stage.
Klymchuk, a mother of four from northern Alberta, was remembered Monday as a friendly, outgoing member of the Valleyview community, about 110 km east of Grande Prairie. She worked as an educational assistant, librarian and bus driver for St. Stephen’s School.
“She did so much for her children, she went over and above for them,” said Tina Moore, a former preschool teacher who worked with Klymchuk for more than two years.
“She was pretty talented … She wore lots of different hats,” Moore said Monday. “Never complaining … always smiling.”
About 22,000 people were gathered for the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival when Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, opened fire from inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. SWAT officers using explosives stormed the gunman’s hotel room and found he had killed himself, authorities said.
Klymchuk and her fiancé were “a match made in heaven,” Moore said.
“She just finally found the person that made her incredibly happy.”
The flag at St. Stephen’s School was at half-mast Monday, Moore said, explaining the somber mood in Valleyview, a town of less than 2,000 people.
“Somebody from our community, really?,” she said. “She was just an amazing person.”
Premier Rachel Notley paid her respects to Klymchuk’s family on social media Monday.
“Our hearts go out to the loved ones of Jessica Klymchuk, an Albertan who was killed in the Las Vegas attack. We are so sorry for your loss,” Notley tweeted.
“Albertans join the United States, Canada and the world in mourning those killed and in prayers for their loved ones, the more than 400 wounded, and the survivors of an act of violence that is almost beyond comprehension in a time of peace,” Notley said in a statement.
“Our thoughts also are with the police, first responders and always the brave citizens who rushed to aid the victims. We thank them for their courage andcompassion.”
A second Canadian killed in the attack was identified by family as Jordan McIldoon, 23, of Maple Ridge, B.C.
With files from CP and AP
- Video shows chaos and fear in Las Vegas after gunman kills 58, injures more than 500
- B.C. man among those murdered in Las Vegas shooting
'People were running and screaming': Calgarian injured in Las Vegas attack
Published on: October 2, 2017 | Last Updated: October 2, 2017 4:51 PM MDT
The rising sun is reflected in the Mandalay Bay Casino as seen from the Thomas & Mack center where people took refuge, following a mass shooting in which dozens were killed at the Route 91 music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017. YASMINA CHAVEZ / AP
At first, Duncan Thorp thought the staccato sounds he was hearing over the music of the concert were from firecrackers.
But within seconds the Calgarian realized that something was very wrong.
“Everyone was so caught up in enjoying the music and when the first few shots were fired, people thought it was firecrackers,” Thorp recalled.
“But when it kept happening, people realized it was gunfire.”
Thorp joined a throng of panicked concert-goers that were running for a gate at the left of the stage.
“People were scared out of their minds. They were really terrified,” Thorp said. “I’ve never been in a situation like that.”
Thorp was one of a number of Calgarians who spent a tense night in Las Vegas after a gunman opened fire on an outdoor music festival Monday killing more than 50 people, including two Canadians.
At least 400 people were injured Sunday night in what is being described as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Postmedia has learned a Calgary man was also among the injured and is now being treated in hospital. The man, identified by friends and colleagues as Steve Arruda, was shot in the leg while helping others to get over a fence on the concert grounds.
“When the shooting started Steve ran with Elaine (his wife) and he helped push her over the fence so that she could escape and told her to keep running to safety,” said a John Grace, a friend of Arruda’s.
Steve Arruda, of Calgary. (Facebook)
“Then Steve stayed at the fence and kept helping others over the fence. That was when he was shot in the leg.”
“He is just the man that would come to anyone’s aide in a time of need regardless of his own safety,” Grace said.
A crowd of more than 22,000 were gathered for the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival when a gunman, identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, opened fire from inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. SWAT officers using explosives stormed the gunman’s hotel room and found he had killed himself, authorities said.
Calgarian Lynette MacDonald was at dinner with friends nearby on the strip when police vehicles, tactical units and fire trucks went speeding past.
“The manager had come up to us and said, ‘sorry we’re going to have to evacuate off the strip, there is an active shooter’,” MacDonald told Postmedia.
“It was pretty chaotic. People were running and screaming. We were hurried into a sports store and just kind of hunkered down and hid there for a bit until we figured out it was safe to come out.”
Dale Oviatt spent hours in lockdown at his hotel room across the street from the Mandalay Bay after guests were told to shelter in place.
“All you could hear were the helicopters overhead and sirens. From where I was at the Luxor, when I looked north on the strip, everything was all dark,” Oviatt said.
“It was kind of an eerie feeling.”
A woman from Alberta and a man from British Columbia were among the nearly 60 dead after the horrific attack that also left more than 500 others injured.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson both expressed sympathy over the death of Jessica Klymchuk, a mother of four from Valleyview, Alta, north of Edmonton. She was in Vegas with her fiance.
“Our hearts are all broken,” Iveson said in a tweet. “We will rally for Jessica’s children and family.”
A family member, who did not want his name used, identified Jordan McIldoon, 23, of Maple Ridge, B.C., as also being among the dead in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
“It’s a terrible thing,” he said. “I don’t handle it very well.”
McIldoon would have turned 24 on Friday and was a month shy of completing a course to qualify as a heavy-duty mechanic. His parents were travelling to Nevada to retrieve his body, the relative said.
In a Facebook posting that could not immediately be verified, Heather Gooze of Las Vegas said she was outside the festival grounds when the Canadian passed away.
“I am with a young man who died in my arms! RIP Jordan McIldoon from British Columbia,” Gooze wrote. “I can’t believe this just happened!!!”
In a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government was following up on reports of Canadian casualties and denounced the “senseless and cowardly act of violence.
“Our hearts break for our American friends and neighbours today,” Trudeau said.
Las Vegas is a popular tourist destination for Canadians. Visitors from Canada made up nearly half of international tourists who arrived in the city by air last year, according to the Las Vegas Visitor Authority. Residents of Toronto and Vancouver and Calgary account for about one third of all visitors arriving by air.
Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting Leaves At Least 58 Dead, 515 Injured in Largest Mass Shooting in U.S. History
- At least 58 people are dead and 515 injured after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, where the Route 91 Harvest country music festival was taking place as headliner Jason Aldean was performing. The death toll makes this the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, surpassing the 49 killed during the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.
Police say an active shooter situation began at 10:08 p.m. at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino with reports suggesting hundreds of rounds were fired from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay.
Dozens of patrol vehicles descended on the Strip after authorities received reports of a shooter near the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
Officer Aden Ocampo-Gomez said deputies were heading to the scene Sunday near the hotel, located on the southern part of the Las Vegas Strip. Authorities shut down part of the strip and Interstate 15 as they pursued the shooter (or shooters), who was reportedly firing from a balcony at the hotel on Sunday night, aiming at those attending the Route 91 country music festival nearby.
Concert-goers reported seeing muzzle flashes from the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay across Las Vegas Boulevard from the country music festival and the sound of what they described as automatic gun fire.
Witnesses said they saw multiple victims as they fled the gunfire raining down on the concert venue. Some later huddled in the basement of the nearby Tropicana hotel-casino.
Some officers took cover behind their vehicles while others carrying assault rifles ran into the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
On a live feed of the Las Vegas police scanner, officials said witnesses were reporting shotsheard at other hotels, including New York-New York, Tropicana, Bellagio and Caesars, but those turned out to be false reports. (As this is an active investigation, police are still confirming various reports from witnesses, so not all information may be accurate.)
KTNV Las Vegas reported that many people ran to McCarran International Airport once the shots began. Flights in and out of the airport were temporarily halted, the airport said in a tweet.
Around 11 p.m., police were saying on the scanner that at least 20 people were dead. The suspected shooter was "down," according to police, though his identity has yet to be revealed.
Twenty-six people were admitted to the hospital, University Medical Center spokeswoman Danita Cohen said. Of those, at least two died, 12 were in critical condition and the rest were being evaluated, she said. Later on Monday morning, a LVPMD spokesperson updated the victim count to at least 58 dead and more than 515 wounded.
At around 11:25 p.m., police were saying on the scanner that they had a suspect down on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. Just before midnight, they confirmed via Twitter: "Confirming that one suspect is down. This is an active investigation. Again, please do not head down to the Strip at this time."
About an hour later, LVPMD tweeted: "At this time we do not believe there are any more shooters."
Among those playing the Route 91 festival on Sunday night were Jason Aldean, Jake Owen, Luke Combs, Dylan Scott and Big & Rich. Scott, Owen and Combs all tweeted that they were safe. Witnesses say Aldean was playing near the end of the concert when gunfire rang out; he was scheduled to take the stage at 9:40 p.m. His rep told ABC News that he's OK.
Kodiak Yazzi, 36, said he and his girlfriend were watching Jason Aldean's performance when he heard what sounded like fireworks. The music stopped temporarily and started up again before another round of pops sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage. Thousands fled as bursts of gunfire could be heard for more than five minutes, Yazzi said.
Aldean was reportedly singing "When She Says Baby" when the shooting began.
The Route 91 Harvest Festival began in 2014 as a co-production between Live Nation and MGM Resorts International. Among the acts who have played the outdoor festival in the past are Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Florida Georgia Line. The three-day festival is held at the MGM Resorts Village, just steps away from Mandalay Bay and The Luxor. More than 20,000 people attended the inaugural festival in 2014.
President Trump Calls Las Vegas Shooting 'An Act of Pure Evil' in National Address: Read the Full Transcript
10/2/2017 by Andrew Unterberger
President Trump delivered a national address today on the subject of Sunday night's (Oct. 1) horrifying shooting attackat the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
Taking the podium at 10:50 a.m. ET -- 20 minutes after originally scheduled, due to his speech being updated with new information -- Trump called the shooting "an act of pure evil," and declared that the American flag would be flown at half-staff in honor of the tragedy's victims. He also shared his plans to travel to Las Vegas on Wednesday (Oct. 4) to "meet with law enforcement, first responders and the families of the victims."
As of press time, casualties of the Las Vegas attack have been reported to number as high as 50, with hundreds more injured. Read the full transcript of President Trump's comments on the tragedy below. (Update: President Trump also addressed the nation from the Oval Office, just before 1:00 p.m. ET, to clarify his plans for his upcoming visits to Puerto Rico and Las Vegas. You can also read those comments in full below.)
Pres. Trump's national address:
My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock and grief. Last night a gunman opened fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. He brutally murdered more than 50 people, and wounded hundreds more. It was an act of pure evil. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are working closely with local authorities to assist with the investigation, and they will provide updates as to the investigation and how it develops.
I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and all the first responders for their courageous efforts, and for helping to save the lives of so many. The speed with which they acted is miraculous, and prevented further loss of life. To have found the shooters so quickly after the first shots were fired is something for which we will always be thankful and grateful. It shows what true professionalism is all about.
Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one. A parent, a child, a brother or sister. 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, and we ask God to help see you through his very dark period. Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.
To the wounded who are now recovering in hospitals, we are praying for our full and speedy recovery, and pledge to you our support from this day forward. In memory of the fallen, I have directed that our great flag be flown at half-staff. I will be visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with law enforcement, first responders and the families of the victims.
In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has. We call upon the bonds that unite us: our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity. Our unity cannot be shattered by evil. Our bonds cannot be broken by violence. And though we feel such great anger at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens, it is our love that defines us today, and always will forever.
In times such as these, I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness. The answers do not come easy. But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light, and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope.
Melania and I are praying for every American who has been hurt, wounded or lost the ones they loved so dearly in this terrible, terrible attack. We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace, and we pray for the day when evil is banished and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear. May God bless the souls of the lives that are lost, may God give us the grace of healing, and may God provide the grieving families with strength to carry on. Thank you, God bless America.
Pres. Trump's message from the Oval Office:
We are going to be seeing all of the first responders, the military, FEMA, and frankly most importantly, we are going to be seeing the people of Puerto Rico [on Tuesday, Oct. 3].
It’s amazing what’s been done in a vey short period of time, on Puerto Rico. There’s never been a piece of land that we’ve known that was so devastated -- the bridges are down, the telecommunications was nonexistent, and it’s in very, very bad shape. The electrical grid, as you know, was totally destroyed. But we’ve gotten tremendous amounts of food and water, and lots of other things -- supplies, generally speaking -- on the island. So we’re going to be going tomorrow morning first thing, very early.
We’re also going to be meeting with Governor Mapp of the U.S. Virgin Islands. He’s going to probably -- because of the difficulty getting into the Virgin Islands -- he’s going to meet us in Puerto Rico. And then very importantly, also, on Wednesday morning very early, we’re going to be leaving for Las Vegas. We’re going to be seeing the Governor, who I just spoke to, the mayor of Las Vegas, who I just spoke to, the sheriff, who has done such a great job. The police department has done such a fantastic job, in terms of the speed. And we all very much appreciate it.
So we’re going to be going to Puerto Rico tomorrow, and on Wednesday we will be going to, as you know, as I just said, we’ll be going to Las Vegas on a very, very sad moment for me -- for everybody, for everybody, no matter where you are. No matter what your thought process, this is a very, very sad day. So we’re going to be doing that on Wednesday, and we’ll be spending the full day there, and maybe longer than that. So thank you very much, everybody, appreciate it.
At least 58 dead, 400 injured after shooting on Las Vegas Strip
At least 58 people are dead and hundreds are injured after a gunman opened fire at a country music festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 (Elyse Samuels, Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)
LAS VEGAS — A gunman in a high-rise hotel overlooking the Las Vegas Strip opened fire on a country music festival late Sunday, killing at least 58 people and injuring hundreds of others in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
The gunman, identified by police as Stephen Paddock, was later found dead by officers on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said during a news briefing Monday.
The massacre marked the nation’s latest outbreak of gunfire and bloodshed to erupt in a public place, again spreading terror in an American city transformed into a war zone. The carnage in Las Vegas surpassed the 49 people slain in June 2016 when a gunman in Orlando, who later said he was inspired by the Islamic State, opened fire inside a crowded nightclub.
Lombardo said the death toll in Las Vegas had reached at least 58 by Monday morning, a number that could rise, as police are still investigating the scene. Lombardo also said an additional 515 people were injured, though he did not specify how many of the people were wounded by gunfire or injured in the chaos that followed.
Paddock, 64, was found dead in his hotel room by Las Vegas SWAT officers, police said. They believe Paddock, who had checked in on Thursday, took his own life.
Under the neon glow and glitz of the Vegas Strip, thousands of concertgoers who had gathered for a three-day music festival dove for cover or raced toward shelter when the gunfire began about 10 p.m. Sunday. Police said more than 22,000 people were at the concert when Paddock began firing round after round, shooting from an elevated position that left those on the ground effectively helpless.
Police believe Paddock, a local resident, was a “lone wolf” attacker. Lombardo did not give further details on Paddock’s background and possible motivation, saying that police “have no idea what his belief system was.”
“I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath,” Lombardo said during a later briefing Monday. He also said that given what police belief about Paddock being a lone wolf who opened fire, “I don’t know how this could have been prevented.”
Police believe Paddock smashed the window of his room with something similar to a hammer before he began firing at the people below. The gunman was found with more than 10 rifles, Lombardo said, and he brought them all inside himself.
Relatives of Paddock’s said they were stunned by what happened. His brother, Eric, said their mother spoke to the FBI.
“She said, ‘I don’t understand why my son did this,'” Eric Paddock said Monday morning outside his home in Orlando. While his brother had some handguns, Eric Paddock but was shocked by the weaponry police described in Las Vegas.
Eric Paddock said he did not know of his brother having any mental illness, alcohol or drug problems. When he spoke to the FBI, Eric Paddock said he showed FBI agents three years of text messages from his brother, including one that mentioning winning $250,000 at a casino. Stephen Paddock played “high stakes video poker,” Eric said, adding that he did not have any information suggesting the 64-year-old gunman had gambling debts or financial issues.
A former neighbor of Stephen Paddock’s recalled that his home in a 55-and-over community in Florida looked like it was home to college freshman, with nothing on the walls and only a few pieces of furniture.
“One of the first times we met him, he told me he lived there, in Vegas,” Don Judy, his next-door neighbor in the community until two years ago, recalled. “He explained that he was a gambler, and a prospector. He said he was buying this house to check it out for his mother … and that if she liked it, he planned to buy another next door with a floor-plan like ours.”
Just as quickly as he appeared, Judy said, Paddock put up a for-sale sign and was gone, saying that he was moving back to Las Vegas.
As Las Vegas police investigated the horror that had unfolded on the Strip, they also faced a tragedy within their own ranks. The dead included an off-duty city police officer, the department said Monday morning. Two other officers who were on duty were injured, police said; one was in stable condition after surgery, and the other sustained minor injuries.
“It’s a devastating time,” Lombardo said at one of the news briefings he held.
In the initial chaotic aftermath of the shooting, authorities had searched for a woman named Marilou Danley, described only as Paddock’s “traveling companion.” Lombardo said during a briefing that investigators spoke with Danley, who was found outside the country, and do not believe she was involved in the shooting.
Danley’s relationship with Stephen Paddock was not immediately known, but they lived at the same address in Mesquite, Nev., according to public records. Lombardo said police in Mesquite were entering Paddock’s home to conduct a search Monday.
Police in Las Vegas had only minimal interactions with Paddock before the shooting, Lombardo said. “We have no investigative information or background associated with this individual that is derogatory,” the sheriff said. “The only thing we can tell is he received a citation several years ago; that citation was handled as a matter of normal practice in the court system.”
Few details about Paddock’s background were immediately known Monday. He was retired and lived in Mesquite, Tex., for several yearsbefore moving to the Nevada town with the same name. Relatives said Paddock was a quiet man. They said he was licensed pilot who owned two planes and often went to Las Vegas to gamble and see concerts. A spokesman for defense giant Lockheed Martin said in a statement that Paddock worked for the company for three years in the 1980s.
“Stephen Paddock worked for a predecessor company of Lockheed Martin from 1985 until 1988,” the statement said. “We’re cooperating with authorities to answer questions they may have about Mr. Paddock and his time with the company.”
On Monday President Trump praised the “miraculous” speed with which local law enforcement responded to the shooting, which he decried as an unfathomable attack on innocents gathered for a concert.
“It was an act of pure evil,” Trump said during remarks from the White House. “We cannot fathom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss.”
Trump ordered flags flown at half-staff and said he would visit Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Federal authorities responded to the shooting scene to assist local law enforcement officials with the investigation. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it dispatched agents to the scene, while FBI criminal investigators — rather than those in the bureau’s National Security Branch — are helping local police in the case, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on Monday, releasing messages through its Amaq News Agency stating that the shooter was one of its “soldiers” and had recently converted to Islam, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks extremist groups. The group, also known as ISIS, often claims responsibility after such attacks, even in cases where it is unclear whether the group motivated them or was involved. Law enforcement officials on Monday disputed the claims from ISIS.
“We have determined, to this point, no connection with an international terrorist group,” Aaron Rouse, the special agent in charge of the FBI in Las Vegas, said at a news briefing.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he met with FBI Director Christopher A. Wray on Monday morning and spoke with Lombardo, to whom he “expressed my gratitude for the courageous work of his officers through the night and offered him the full support of the FBI, the ATF and the entire Department of Justice as he takes the lead investigating this incident.”
“The investigation into the horrific shooting last night in Las Vegas is ongoing,” Sessions said. “To the many families whose lives have been changed forever by this heinous act, we offer you our prayers and our promise that we will do everything in our power to get justice for your loved ones.”
Federal homeland security officials said there were no specific, credible threats to other public venues around the country.
The shooting occurred at the end of the Route 91 Harvest festival, a three-day country music concert held over the weekend. The concert grounds are adjacent to the Mandalay Bay, a sprawling casino on the southern end of the Strip.
The shots began as Jason Aldean, one of the final performers, was playing. Aldean posted an Instagram message that he and his crew were safe. The scene, he wrote, was “beyond horrific.”
Videos posted from people who said they were at the scene showed people screaming and running for cover amid the sound of gunshots that seemed unending. “We thought it was fireworks at first or trouble with the speakers,” said Kayla Ritchie, 21, of Simi Valley, Calif. “They had been having technical difficulty all weekend. Then everything went dark.”
Ritchie traveled with Megan Greene, 19, for the concert, and the two were separated when people began fleeing. They found each other hours later. “Everyone started running for the exit,” said Greene, who hid behind a truck before running into the MGM Grand. “We were in the street, and they told us to get down, get down.”
Taylor Benge, 21, was at the concert Sunday night and said he heard a round of pops that lasted for 10 seconds, as if someone was holding down the trigger. When a performer ran off the stage and the lights came on, Benge said, he realized that “about five feet to the left of me there was a man with a bullet wound to his chin.”
“He was just lifeless on the ground,” Benge said.
Benge said he and his sister threw themselves on the ground as the gunfire continued and then ran for the exit. “My jeans are covered in someone’s blood, my T-shirt is covered in someone’s blood, my sister’s whole leg was covered in blood,” Benge said.
At least some people were injured in the frenzied effort to flee the gunfire. Tracy, 55, a California woman who declined to give her last name, said she was “trampled” trying to flee.
“We thought it was fireworks,” she said, a dazed look on her face and a bandage on her injured knee and shin. “I looked up at the Mandalay Bay. I could see the green light every time the gun fired. We ran for our lives. We went into Hooters and hid in the bathroom. We felt like sitting ducks there. We went to the second-floor conference room and stayed there.”
A friend came with a mini bus, so Tracy and another friend ran out to the vehicle, terrified to go out on the street again. “Who thinks people would do something like this in America?” Tracy said.
Vanessa and Philip Dyer came from Lowestoft, England, and got married Sunday in Las Vegas. They were out celebrating after the wedding, waking the Strip, when they first heard gunfire.
“I turned to Philip and said, that sounds like machine gun fire,” Vanessa Dyer said. “Then it went again.”
Philip Dyer added: “We’ll never forget the night we got married, but for all the wrong reasons.”
Corianne Langdon, 58, a cabdriver in Las Vegas for the last 6 ½ years, said she was about seven cars back in the taxi line at Mandalay Bay when the gunfire began.
While driving away, she saw police officers crouched down in the streets facing the hotel. Then, turning a corner at Las Vegas Boulevard, she saw what she believed were hundreds of people running away from the concert — some jumping the fence on the side of the venue. A young couple jumped in her cab, and then another three or four people begged to get in.
“I had people hanging out of my windows,” Langdon said. “They were screaming, they were so upset, and it just wasn’t getting to me yet the severity of what was going on.”
The moment a gunman opened fire on a Las Vegas country concert
A gunman killed at least 50 people and injured at least 200 during a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday, Oct. 1. The shooter began firing during Jason Aldean's performance, prompting the crowd to panic and the singer to sprint off stage. (Hannah Dorfman)
Those injured in the shooting also included an off-duty officer with the Bakersfield Police Department in Southern California, who was taken to a hospital for nonlife-threatening injuries, according to a news statement. Several of the department’s officers were off duty and attending the concert when the gunfire erupted.
The shooting came as security measures at many music venues have been boosted in recent years after concerts were targeted in terrorist attacks. In May in northern England, a bomb exploded at a concert by American singer Ariana Grande in Manchester, killing 22 people; in November 2015, Islamist attackers opened fire at a rock concert in Paris as part of coordinated attacks that left 130 dead. In both of those cases, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.
In Manila in June, a 42-year-old Filipino gunman armed with a rifle and a bottle of gasoline burst into a casino and set a fire, killing 37 people. Police said the attack was motivated by gambling debts and other personal problems facing the gunman, who fatally shot himself. The Islamic State also claimed responsibility for that attack, but officials repeatedly denied it was terrorism-related.
Berman reported from Washington. Travis M. Andrews, Brian Murphy, Wesley Lowery, Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky, Julie Tate and Aaron C. Davis in Washington and Barbara Liston in Orlando contributed to this report, which will be updated throughout the day.
Heather Long is an economics correspondent. Prior to joining Wonkblog, she was a senior economics reporter at CNN and a columnist and deputy editor at The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Mark Berman covers national news for The Washington Post and anchors Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and stories from around the country.
Derek Hawkins is a reporter with The Washington Post's Morning Mix.
Who is Stephen Paddock? 'Nothing secret or strange' about retiree behind Las Vegas shooting
Before he opened fire late Sunday, the gunman Stephen Paddock lived a quiet life for years in a small town outside Las Vegas
Published on: October 2, 2017 | Last Updated: October 2, 2017 12:26 PM MDT
Before he opened fire late Sunday — killing at least 58 people at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip — the gunman Stephen Paddock lived a quiet life for years in a small town outside Las Vegas, gambling and taking luxury cruises.
A 64-year-old retiree, Paddock often visited Las Vegas to gamble and take in concerts, his relatives said. Public records show he was a licensed pilot, who owned two planes. And he had a hunting license from Alaska.
For several years, he appeared to live in Mesquite, Texas. But property records show he chose to move to another town named Mesquite in Nevada, where he bought a home in 2013 and has been living there ever since.
“We have no idea how this happened,” Paddock’s brother Eric, who lives in Florida, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s like an asteroid just fell on top of our family.”
Stephen Paddock. FILE
“When you get a phonecall that says your brother just killed a bunch of people,” he told reporters gathered in his driveway, before breaking off, trying to hold back tears.
Eric told CNN that he last heard from his brother when Paddock checked in to see how their mother was doing in Florida after Hurricane Irma wiped out power in the area. After they spoke, Paddock sent his mother a new walker, “because she was having trouble walking,” Eric said.
“We’re f—d up. I mean, I’ve got a 90-year-old mother whose son just killed 50-plus people and now is dead,” he said. “He’s just a guy who played video poker and took cruises and ate burritos at Taco Bell. There’s no political affiliation that we know of. There’s no religious affiliation that we know of.”
Drapes billow out of broken windows at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on Monday, on the Las Vegas Strip following a deadly shooting at a music festival. JOHN LOCHER / ASSOCIATED PRESS
Paddock’s family said there was nothing in his past that would suggest violence.
“We are in complete shock bewilderment and horror. We have absolutely no idea how in the world Steve did this. Absolutely no concept,” said one relative, who spoke anonymously to avoid hurting other relatives. “There was nothing secret or strange about him.”
Family members said that Paddock spent much of his retirement in recent years staying in hotels in Las Vegas and gambling. They said he listened to country music and went to concerts at Vegas hotels.
Las Vegas police said authorities were in the process of searching Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nevada, on Monday morning. Quinn Averett, a spokesman for Mesquite Police in Nevada said Paddock was unknown to local authorities in the city where he owns a home 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Mesquite police have no recorded interactions with Paddock. Las Vegas police said this about Paddock:
“We have no investigative information or background associated with this individual that is derogatory,” Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said. “The only thing we can tell is he received a citation several years ago, that citation was handled as a matter of normal practice in the court system.”
After the shooting, Paddock was found dead by officers on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, Lombardo said during a news briefing. Authorities said he killed himself.
Police believe Paddockwas a “lone wolf” attacker. Lombardo did not give further details, however, on Paddock’s background or possible motivation.
“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo said. “Right now, we believe he was the sole aggressor.”
The FBI said Paddock was not connected to an international terror group on Monday after the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. But the group, which has repeatedly made false or exaggerated claims, gave no proof to its assertion that Paddock was “a soldier” who had converted to Islam months ago.
Recordings of the attack suggested that Paddock used an automatic weapon. Paddock, who arrived at the hotel on Thursday, was found with more than 10 rifles, Lombardo said. Relatives said they knew Paddock owned guns, but believed they were legal. When
“No, not an avid gun guy at all,” Paddock’s brother Eric told reporters. “The fact that he had those kind of weapons is, just – where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background or anything like that.
“Like I said, he’s a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite; drove down and gambled in Las Vegas. He did stuff, ate burritos.”
People assist a wounded woman at the Tropicana during an active shooter situation on the Las Vegas Stirp in Las Vegas on Sunday. CHASE STEVENS / LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL VIA AP
Monday morning, police said they had searched for and found a 62-year-old woman, Marilou Danley, whom they called a person of interest.
Authorities called her a companion of Paddock. Relatives said she had ben his girlfriend for some time and lived with him in Mesquite, Nevada. She was a “nice lady” who sent cookies to Paddock’s mother in Florida, Eric Paddock said.
The shooting on Sunday was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, killing at least 58 people and injuring hundreds of others.
—With files from National Post staff
Canadian Jordan McIldoon among the 58 killed in Las Vegas mass shooting
McIldoon was from Maple Ridge, B.C. He was with his girlfriend at the time, but a family member says she was not hurt
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published on: October 2, 2017 | Last Updated: October 2, 2017 12:40 PM MDT
Jordan McIldoon would have turned 24 on Friday FACEBOOK
Two Canadians have now been confirmed killed in Sunday night’s Las Vegas music-festival massacre.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says Jessica Klymchuk, an Albertan, was among those who died.
Notley expressed sympathy for the loss.
Earlier, a relative confirmed Jordan McIldoon, 23, of Maple Ridge, B.C., was also killed in the horrific attack.
The family member, who did not want his name used, said McIldoon was in the crowd when a gunman opened fire from a hotel across the road on Sunday night.
McIldoon’s parents were travelling to Nevada to retrieve his body, the relative said.
Around 60 people are now confirmed dead and more than 500 others hurt.
“It’s a terrible thing,” McIldoon’s relative said. “I don’t handle it very well.”
McIldoon would have turned 24 on Friday and was a month shy of completing a course to qualify as a heavy-duty mechanic.
In a Facebook posting, Heather Gooze of Las Vegas said she was outside the festival grounds on Sunday.
“I am with a young man who died in my arms! RIP Jordan McIldoon from British Columbia,” Gooze wrote. “I can’t believe this just happened!!!”
Her account could not immediately be verified.
McIldoon was among many Canadians attending the country music festival when the mass shooting occurred but it was only when the performer on stage dropped his microphone and ran that the true horror of what was unfolding dawned on those in the crowd.
Their first thoughts as the sound of automatic gunfire resounded through the area turned to fireworks, many said.
“We heard the shots get fired, we saw the smoke,” Ashley Fowler, who was with friends, told the K-Rock radio station in St. John’s, N.L. “Everyone thought it was fireworks at the show until Jason Aldean dropped his mic and ran from the stage.
As the panic- and fear-stricken crowd of more than 22,000 at the Route 91 Harvest Festival scrambled for their lives, some found themselves running into a wall of people, or an electric fence around the airport. A local with a truck attached a rope to the fence and pulled it down, allowing access to a runway, Fowler said.
“We’re all standing on the runway and they literally have to divert any planes landing in Las Vegas to Arizona because we’re all standing on the runway running from the shooters,” said Fowler, who got separated from her friends in the panic. “I’m in so much shock.”
At least 58 people were killed and 500 injured in what’s being called the U.S.’s worst mass shooting.
Police said a man opened fire from the 32nd floor of a hotel across from the concert and identified him as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev., less than two hours from Las Vegas. SWAT teams using explosives stormed his room in the Mandalay Bay hotel and found he had killed himself, authorities said. He had as many as 10 guns with him, including rifles, they said.
Jody Ansell, of Stonewall, Man., was among the injured. She said in a Facebook message from her hospital bed that she was recovering.
“I was shot in the right arm and the medical staff are taking care of me,” Ansell said.
Another Canadian, Monique Dumas of British Columbia, was six rows from the front of the stage when the shooting erupted.
At first she thought a bottle had smashed, and then, like so many others, thought the popping of automatic gunfire was fireworks. The shooting, she said, continued for the minutes it took for her to get out to safety.
Mikey McBryan, of Hay River, N.W.T., and his girlfriend were just leaving the casino at Mandalay Bay when officers with guns drawn began yelling at them to get out because there were shooters in the building. McBryan said they ran across the road to take shelter behind a large electrical transformer outside a gas station.
“It now seems like a foolish idea but we didn’t know what was going on,” McBryan said in an interview. “Everyone was kind of in a daze.”
McBryan said he didn’t hear any gunfire, but remembers waves of screaming as hundreds of people from the concert began descending on the area and police set up roadblocks.
In a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced the “senseless and cowardly act of violence.” Earlier, he tweeted out a message of support.
“Words fail this morning. The friendship & support of Canadians is with the victims in Las Vegas & the people of the US.”
In Ottawa, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale called the incident “horrible” but was unable to discuss Canadian casualities.
“We’re obviously anxious to identify the victims and have the identification to see if there were Canadians,” Goodale said.
Las Vegas is a popular tourist destination for Canadians. Visitors from Canada made up nearly half of international tourists who arrived in the city by air last year, according to the Las Vegas Visitor Authority. Residents of Toronto and Vancouver and Calgary account for about one third of all visitors arriving by air.
With files from the Associated Press
Gunman Opens Fire on Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas
LAUREN JO BLACK • OCTOBER 2, 2017 - 2:31 AM
People carry a peson at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
**This post has been updated**
A gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Sunday evening (Oct. 1), killing at least 20 people and injuring 100+. The mass shooting occurred around 10:30 pm during Jason Aldean’s headlining set, which was closing out the popular three-day festival.
Dozens of patrol vehicles responded to the incident after receiving reports of shots being fired. The Las Vegas Police Department urged people to avoid the area as the active shooter situation was being investigated.
Concertgoers fled the scene to take cover as gunfire rained down on the concert venue. Witness said they heard “nonstop gunfire” as fans fled.
One witness recalled the events to ABC News, saying he initially thought he heard fireworks.
“My buddy’s like I just got hit. He got hit three times. Then people started diving for the ground and it just continued. It was pretty much chaoitic. Lots of people got hit,” he said. “It took a while to get him out. We had to get him over the fence and hiding under the stage for a while to be safe. Finally, we had to move him because he got three chest wounds.”
The man helped his friend and others get to an ambulance across the street.
“The one guy ended up dying in my arms,” he told the reporter.
Las Vegas PD later confirmed that one suspect was down. Although initial reports suggested that there was more than one shooter, the police department later shared an update on Twitter saying that they “do not believe there are any more shooters.”
Flights in and out of nearby McCarran International Airport were temporarily halted due to the incident.
Aldean, Jake Owen, Luke Combs, Big & Rich, Dylan Scott, Kane Brown, Adam Craig, Josh Abbott Band, Dylan Schneider, Tyler Reeve, Muscadine Bloodline, Jordan Mitchell, and Dee Jay Silver were on the concert lineup for Sunday.
After the shooting, Owen shared an update via Twitter writing, “Gun shots!!! Vegas. Pray to god. Love you guys. Love you Pearl.”
The singer later shared another update, calling it “the most unimaginable event” and asked his fans to “please pray.”
Combs, Big & Rich, and others at the festival took to Twitter to update fans on their well being.
**UPDATE: As of 11:30 a.m. CST, the death toll has risen to at least 58, with 515 victims injured.
Jason Aldean and Pregnant Wife Safe After Mass Shooting in Las Vegas
LAUREN JO BLACK • OCTOBER 2, 2017 - 3:50 AM
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: Recording artist Jason Aldean performs during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival at the Las Vegas Village on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
Jason Aldean was on stage at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday (Oct. 1) when a gunman opened fire on concertgoers, killing at least 20 and injuring at least 100.
The singer was headlining the final night of the three-day festival when gunshots erupted and fans began to flee the chaotic scene. In videos captured by concertgoers, Aldean can be seen running from the stage as dozens of rounds of gunfire echoes in the background.
After the Las Vegas Police Department cleared the area and confirmed that one gunman was down, Aldean took to Instagram to share a heartfelt update with his fans.
“Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still dont know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe,” he wrote. “My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night. #heartbroken #stopthehate“
His pregnant wife Brittany also shared an update writing, “We are safe… our angels were definitely watching over us tonight. No words for what happened… Just horrific. Praying for everyone💔”
Jake Owen, Luke Combs, Big & Rich, Dylan Scott, Kane Brown, Adam Craig, Josh Abbott Band, Dylan Schneider, Tyler Reeve, Muscadine Bloodline, Jordan Mitchell, and Dee Jay Silver were on the Route 91 bill on Sunday. Several artists took to Twitter to update fans on their well being after the incident.
After the shooting, Owen, who had performed just before Aldean, shared an update via Twitter writing, “Gun shots!!! Vegas. Pray to god. Love you guys. Love you Pearl.”
The singer later shared another message, calling it “the most unimaginable event” and asked his fans to “please pray.”
UPDATE: At Least 20 Dead, 100 Wounded After Mass Shooting in Las Vegas
LAUREN JO BLACK • OCTOBER 2, 2017 - 4:22 AM
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
More than 20 people were killed Sunday (Oct. 1) after a gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
Initial reports suggested that two were dead and more than 20 people were injured, however, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo later told reporters that more than 20 people died and more than 100 people had been injured.
Gunfire erupted while Jason Aldean was on stage closing out the three-day festival. Police responded to the incident, later killing the suspected gunman.
Police say the gunman was a local resident. Authorities are currently on the hunt for an unknown female who was traveling with the suspect.
“We heard what sounded like firecrackers going off,” concertgoer Meghan Kearney told MSNBC. “Then all of a sudden we heard what sounded like a machine gun. People started screaming that they were hit… When we started running out there were probably a couple hundred [people] on the ground.”
“People kept dropping and dropping… People were getting shot one foot away from us,” she recalled. “People were trying to save their friends. There were gunshots everywhere. Helping them would’ve meant that we got shot too.”
Police are asking for the public’s assistance in finding two vehicles associated with the suspect. “We’re searching for two vehicles associated with the shooter: Hyundai Tucson Nevada/114B40 and a Chrysler Pacifica Nevada/79D401,” the Las Vegas Police Department shared on Twitter. Anyone with information should contact the Las Vegas PD immediately.
Las Vegas Shooting is the Deadliest Shooting in Modern US History
LAUREN JO BLACK • OCTOBER 2, 2017 - 8:15 AM
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: People take cover at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
At least 50 people are dead and 400 are wounded after suspected gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday (Oct. 1).
The horrific incident has become the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
According to witnesses, “nonstop gunfire” began after 10pm during Jason Aldean’s headlining set, which was set to close out the three-day festival. Concertgoers scrambled for their lives as bullets came pouring down from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel where 64-year-old Paddock reportedly fired shots for “about 10-15 minutes,” according to one witness.
Paddock is believed to have checked into the hotel as a guest before opening fire on the festival. He reportedly turned the gun on himself before police arrived.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo described the incident as a “lone wolf” attack and said police had “no idea what his belief system was.”
Las Vegas Police are asking anyone with videos or photos from the scene to contact the Las Vegas FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI.
Jake Owen, Chris Young Give Chilling Updates from Backstage at Route 91 Harvest
LAUREN LAFFER • OCTOBER 2, 2017 - 8:47 AM
Jake Owen; Photo by David Becker/Getty Images
“Why?” Why is one of the questions Chris Young tweeted after a gunman took aim at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, NV on Sunday night (10/1), killing more than 50 and injuring more than 400. The gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, allegedly rained down bullets from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort while panicked country music fans tried to escape. During his attack, several country stars hunkered down backstage in hopes that their crew, fans and family were safe.
Young took to Twitter to let fans know he was safe, albeit shaken. The “Losing Sleep” singer was trapped on the floor of a trailer while he waited for safety.
“I’m not gonna say anything else other than I’m lucky to be alive. As are many others… and so many people are gone… this is heartbreaking,” he updated fans early in the morning.
Jake Owen was also in Vegas when the shooting occurred. The Florida native had just finished his set before Jason Aldean took the stage for the final headlining slot. Standing side stage, Owen had a first hand glimpse at the devastation as he ran for cover.
Owen first updated fans as to the status of the situation, adding “Pray to god. Love you guys. Love you Pearl"
In an interview with TODAY, Owen revealed that he took cover behind a police vehicle.
“I was crouched down behind a cop car. There was blood on people and you could see a couple of people in the streets that looked like they had been shot,” he recalled.
The “American Country Love Song” singer went on to thank first responders at the festival for doing everything to could to keep people calm and as safe as possible.
“They did everything they could to get out here quickly as possible and take care of these people,” he told TODAY host Matt Lauer.
While Las Vegas Metro police and the FBI continue to piece together what happened during the shooting, the number of those dead and injured continues to rise. Police have reported that they are confident that there is a lone shooter involved in the incident, Stephen Paddock. Paddock allegedly shot from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino, later shooting himself before a SWAT team arrived.
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo announced that multiple firearms were found in Paddock’s room, including more than 10 rifles. He checked into the hotel on Sept. 28 using his roommate, Marilou Danley’s, name. PEOPLE reports that Danley was located outside of the United States and does not seem to have had any involvement in the shooting.
The shooting has become the largest in modern U.S. history.
If you are trying to locate a loved one, police encourage you to call 1-866-535-5654.
Storme Warren Recalls Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting Incident
KELLY BRICKEY • OCTOBER 2, 2017 - 11:29 AM
Out of the thousands of witnesses to Sunday night’s (Oct. 1) tragic events, SiriusXM’s Storme Warren recounted exactly what he saw occur at the Route 91 Harvest Festivalin Las Vegas.
Calling in to HLN to talk about the incident with host Robin Meade, Warren remembered not much of what he saw but rather the bone-chilling sounds of the gunfire coming thousands of feet away from a Mandalay Bay Hotel room window.
“They were hitting the stage deck. You could actually hear the shells hitting the stage deck. I was standing onstage when this first started to happen. When we all realized, Jason’s crew very professionally rushed Jason and his band off the stage and got them safe. Then we all realized we had to get safe. We saw the chaos of the crowd. It was very surreal. As soon as the gunfire had ceased for awhile, at least what we thought was going to be awhile, I wanted to go up and try to go out into the grass of the arena and see what was going on. There were bodies. There were bodies in the grass. There were people hurt, and bloody, injured people. Not just a couple. It was a lot of people that we witnessed. I tried to help as many as we could. We all chipped in and everybody’s racing around. We had panicked relatives and girlfriends and boyfriends saying ‘I need a medic over here!’ It’s tough to imagine that could happen minutes before such a festive event,” he recounted for the news program.
Warren then went on to detail the spontaneous medical help given out by those in attendance, as well as the brave first responders who came on the scene despite being in the middle of what seemed like a warzone.
“Everybody who had medical experience was chipping in. I want to say something fantastic about the humanity at this festival. Everybody chipped in. Everybody was trying to help one another to get out, to be safe. Everybody came together. Anybody’s like, ‘I’m a medic. I have first aid experience. Who needs help?’ Everybody was really chipping in. It was amazing to see. Also, the breadth of the devastation came true as you’re walking around. I checked on a couple who were dead. You had to move onto people who were still okay, or just injuries that you could help. That was a traumatic for everybody. In that adrenaline rush, everyone wanted to help and be safe at the same time. We didn’t know if the shots were going to continue again,” the SiriusXM host said.
Like many seeing the events play out on the news, Warren evaluated the future of music festivals and safety at concert venues worldwide after the shooting took place on what outlets are calling a ‘soft target.’
“We’ve had those talks with Chris [Young] and Tyler [Reeve]. It’s not going to stop you from performing. It’s not going to stop you from entertaining. It’s not going to stop you from doing anything. It’s a horrible, horrible reality, this new reality we’re living in. You don’t stop the world for this stuff. It’s going to take a few days to decompress. The news keeps playing the sound of those gunshots. It’s too hard for us to hear it. We’ve been watching the news trying to keep up on it, but we have to keep the sound down because we can’t hear the sounds anymore. It’s too real,” Warren hoped, optimistically.
Gunfire began during Jason Aldean’s headlining set to close out the Route 91 Harvest Festival held annually in Las Vegas. 58 people were killed, with a reported 515 others injured from the attack. Updates continue to come in, including news that the confirmed suspect was a 64-year-old man named Stephen Paddock and is dead. The attack was classified as the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, with President Trump deeming the incident as an “act of pure evil.”
Many country stars, from the festival and elsewhere, sent out messages of love on social media. Sharing prayers and kind thoughts with everyone affected by the incident, condolences resonated throughout the community as a whole.
The shooting will continue to be investigated by police and other authorities—stay tuned for more details to come.
Dee Jay Silver’s Son Was Three Doors Down from Vegas Gunman’s Hotel Room
KELLY BRICKEY • OCTOBER 2, 2017 - 12:40 PM
As Dee Jay Silver and his wife were among the thousands of attendees protecting themselves at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, their baby boy was merely doors down from the gunman’s hotel room in the Mandalay Bay.
Expressing her gratefulness for their son’s wellbeing as well as thanking the protection of her family over their child, Dee Jay Silver’s wife, Jenna Straub, took to her Instagram to post a heart-wrenching yet emotional story about how close to home the horrific shooting truly was to their family.
“Wake is our whole soul & reason for living. He was in our room at Mandalay Bay last night, 3 doors down from the shooter on the 32nd floor. While John & I were at the festival, ducking behind buses, not knowing what was happening & fearing for our lives, our sweet baby slept through the horrific sounds coming from just down the hall that have now forever changed us. Thank you to the first responders who beat the door in & to my Aunt Mary who was watching him & protecting him all the way to safety. We were separated for the most traumatic several hours of my life while John & I & everyone from Jason’s camp did what they could to reunite our family & help those who weren’t nearly as lucky as us. My mom was also separated from us but was safe & is back with us,” Straub captioned the picture of their boy, Wake.
Admitting herself that she still isn’t over Sunday night’s (Oct. 1) horrific events, Straub stressed how important it is to continue to love one another and squeeze your family members a little tighter with life being such a precious gift.
“I’m still in shock & having a hard time gathering proper words for those who didn’t make it & their families. I can’t fathom the pain. Thank you to everyone who helped the injured so selflessly. Not everyone, including myself, is that brave. We are holding each other tight today & everyday. It’s time to just love each other. 💙,” she continued.
As of 12:30 p.m. CST, at least 58 are dead and more than 500 injured following the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night during Jason Aldean’s headlining set as the closer for the country music festival. Marking itself as the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, many industry professionals and country stars sent out their deepest condolences and prayers to all those affected.
Stay tuned to Sounds Like Nashville for additional updates and details surrounding the tragedy.
City of Nashville to Host Vigil for Las Vegas Shooting Victims
LAUREN LAFFER • OCTOBER 2, 2017 - 12:56 PM
Candles; Stock photo
Following the devastating attack on hundreds of country music fans attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, NV, the city of Nashville will be holding a vigil on Monday night for the victims of the heinous act.
In a joint statement from Mayor Megan Barry, CMA CEO Sarah Trahern, and President/CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. Butch Spyridon, the three write:
“Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the tragic event in Las Vegas, especially the victims, their families and friends, and the fans, artists and crews from our Country community in Vegas. This festival brought together people from all backgrounds united in enjoying life through music.
Safety at all of our events is and will remain our top priority. We are constantly adjusting our event security measures year-round, partnering and consulting with experts at the federal, state and local levels through our full-time security team and the Metro Police Department. We will continue our efforts to provide the most comprehensive security possible.”
The vigil will be held at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater at 6 p.m. Parking will be available for free in Lot R at Nissan Stadium. Additional details will be released throughout the day.
More than 50 people are dead and more than 500 injured after 64-year-old Stephen Paddock fired rounds of bullets from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino towards the Route 91 Harvest Festival nearby. The shooter allegedly fired for nearly 10 minutes from broken windows in his hotel room. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound before the SWAT team arrived.
Jason Aldean was onstage for the final night of the three-day festival when the shots began. Aldean, Jake Owen, Chris Young and the other country stars on the bill, as well as their crews, friends and family, have all been accounted for.
If you are trying to locate a loved one, police encourage you to call 1-866-535-5654.
Josh Abbott Band Guitarist Calls for Gun Control Following Las Vegas Shooting
Josh Abbot Band; Artist publicity photo
After the tragic events following a mass shooting Sunday night (Oct. 1) at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, a couple musicians are voicing their opinions on the status of gun control in America.
Caleb Keeter, guitar player for Josh Abbott Band, posted a lengthy rant regarding gun control and how the laws need to adjust to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. As a self-proclaimed proponent of the 2nd Amendment detailed in his digital note, Keeter expressed that he and his band crew didn’t use their weapons to stop the violence in fear of getting acknowledged as part of the problem.
“We actually have members on our crew with CHL licenses, and legal firearms on the bus. They were useless. We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think that we were part of the massacre and shoot us. A small group (or one man) laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of access to an insane amount of fire power. Enough is enough,” Keeter wrote passionately.
The guitarist continued to chronicle how he and his fellow band members began to write out their wills and last goodbyes to loved ones thinking they wouldn’t survive an attack such as that. Marking the moment as an unfortunate call to action, Keeter pleaded that something needs to change for gun control before some other incident gets out of hand just as that at Route 91 Harvest Festival.
“We need gun control RIGHT. NOW. My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it. We are unbelievably fortunate to not be among the number of victims killed or seriously wounded by this maniac,” he finished.
Will Hoge, a songwriter and artist, also stood up for the idea of gun control reform to come to the forefront of the political agenda after seeing what occurred in Las Vegas
“We make it as easy as possible for people to obtain tools built to maximize harm on fellow humans. Until we fix that we’re all stained,” Hoge tweeted.
During the last performance of the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, a gunman opened fire from his hotel room overlooking the grounds of the fest as Jason Aldeanplayed the headlining finale. At this time, at least 58 are confirmed dead and more than 500 victims are injured in some capacity, which marks the incident as the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. More details continue to come out as the investigation remains open.
Stay tuned for more updates regarding the Las Vegas shooting.
58 Dead, 515 Injured in Mass Shooting at Las Vegas Country Music Festival
BY MATT ALPERT7 HOURS
David Becker/Getty Images
In what is now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, a gunman killed at least 58 people and injured 515 at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
Shortly after 10 p.m., the gunman opened fire on the crowd of nearly 30,000 from his room on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel. Eyewitnesses say the shooting lasted for 10-15 minutes. The Route 91 Harvest festival took place on a 15-acre plot on the Las Vegas Boulevard across from the Mandalay Bay.
Jason Aldean was performing the last show of the night when the shooting began. Aldean confirmed on social media that he and his crew were uninjured in the attack.
Police have identified the shooter as Stephen Paddock, 64. He was found dead by police in his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay hotel. According to CBSDFW.com, police found at least 10 rifles in Paddock’s room. He broke the windows of his room to get a shooting position. Police do not yet know his motivation for the attack, but said that he was a solo shooter.
Paddock was a resident of Mesquite, Nev. CBSDFW reports that he had previously lived in Mesquite, Texas and Grand Prairie, Texas.
Authorities were searching for Paddock’s roommate Marilou Danley for questioning, but she has since been located out of the country. She is returning to the U.S. for questioning.
This story is developing, and we will continue to update you with more info as we learn more.
Country Artists Share Firsthand Accounts of Las Vegas Shooting
BY LORIE LIEBIG5 HOURS
At least 58 people were killed and 515 were injured during a mass shooting at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas last night (Oct. 1). The gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel down onto the crowd of concertgoers while Jason Aldean performed the night’s headlining set.
The country star was in the middle of his performance when the shooting began. In an Instagram post, he shared the following message to fans:
“Tonight has been beyond horrific,” Aldean stated. “I still dont know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe. My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”
Route 91 is one of the largest country music festivals in the country, and some many of the genre’s biggest names performed at the three-day event. Chris Young was another of the first performers to share his account of what happened via his Twitter account
In an early-morning interview with Bobby Bones, Jake Owen described the chaos of the moments when the gunfire first started.
“This sounded like a full-on, automatic rifle just unloading at that point,” he explained. “Jason was out on the catwalk, he just pulled his guitar up in the air and started running back towards the drum set to get off the stage, and that’s when you knew. People started fleeing. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Owen also tweeted about the shooting as it was happening.
Josh Abbott Band were in the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel when the shooting began.
Luke Combs was performing on a stage on the opposite end of the field where Aldean was performing. Combs thought the initial bursts of fire were pyrotechnics. He shared his account of the events with TODAY.
Thousands of concertgoers tweeted and recorded what happened at the festival and are sharing their stories this morning. Attendee Rachel De Kerf told CNN that the shooting lasted several minutes.
“The gunshots lasted for 10-15 minutes. It didn’t stop,” she said. “We just ran for our lives.”
Another witness, Meghan Kearney told MSNBC that the shooting first sounded like “firecrackers going off.”
“Then all of a sudden we heard what sounded like a machine gun,” she said. “People started screaming that they were hit… When we started running out, there were probably a couple hundred [people] on the ground.”
How You Can Help Victims of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival Shooting
BY LORIE LIEBIG41 MINS
David Becker/Getty Images
The country music community has been rocked by the mass shooting at Las Vegas’ Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. The attack occurred during Jason Aldean’s headlining set at the festival, and left 58 people dead and 515 injured. He and his crew were able to flee the stage and safely escape from the gunfire. Jake Owen, Chris Young and many other performers from the festival rushed to safety as the gunshots began.
Hundreds of country fans are currently hospitalized with injuries from the attack. The news has saddened country fans across the globe, and many of us are searching for ways to help. Here are the verified organization that you can donate to help the survivors and families of this devastating attack.
Music City Cares Fund
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has established the Music City Cares Fund, which sends 100% of donations directly to victims of the shooting. Donate here.
Las Vegas Victims Fund
This GoFundMe was created by Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak and has raised over $800,00 in a matter of hours. Donate here.
Southern Nevada Red Cross
The Southern Nevada chapter of the American Red Cross has pledged to help those affected by the attacks. Donate here.
National Compassion Fund
This fund was created to give money directly to victims of mass shootings and terrorist attacks. Donate here.
Hundreds of Nevada residents are currently lined up to donate blood to victims hospitalized in Las Vegas. You can contact your local donation center to find out how to give blood that will can be transported to the shooting victims. Learn more here.
Hundreds Line up to Donate Blood After Las Vegas Shooting
BY LORIE LIEBIG1 HOUR
Hours after a gunman attacked hundreds of concertgoers in Las Vegas, local residents are lining up to donate blood to victims of the mass shooting.
58 people were killed and 515 others were injured in the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas last night (Oct. 1). The gunman has been identified as Stephen Paddock, 64. He was found dead in his Mandalay Bay hotel room after shooting down onto the crowd of festival-goers from his window. The attack took place while the festival’s headliner, Jason Aldean, was performing. He and his crew were able to flee the stage and safely escape from the gunfire.
As news of the attack spread overnight and early Monday morning, hundreds of Las Vegas residents began lining up to donate blood to the shooting victims. Images of the long lines outside of donation centers quickly went viral across Twitter and Facebook. Many of the donation centers anticipate
If you are not in the Las Vegas area, you can still donate blood to help those injured in the attacks. Visit your local donation center for more information on how you can donate to those in need.
Shooting Breaks Out At Route 91 Harvest Festival
Posted By Matt Bjorke on Monday October 02, 2017 at 06:42AM PST
Over 50 people killed, hundreds more injured in the worst mass shooting in USA history. See what we know now, including what country stars and teams have been deemed safe.
Chaos. Pandemonium. Terrifying. All these adjectives describe the scene outside the Mandalay Bay Casino and resort last night when a shooter unleashed holy terror on a crowd gathered for the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. Just as superstar and reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean was set to hit the stage for the headline spot on the final night of the weekend festival, fans started hearing rat a tat sounds ring out and that’s when the terrifying scene began. People shot from an unknown location, hundreds trampled and a man with military grade weapons perched in the 32nd floor of the hotel making it a grisly scene out of a war movie, not a peaceful and fun concert event.
What We Know:
- at least 50 dead
- over 400 injured
- shooter took his own life
- Jason Aldean band and crew
- Live Nation's Brian O'Connell
- BMG/Broken Bow staff
- KWNR's Big D
- KCYE's Paul Knight and Mike "Mad Dog” West
- Jake Owen band and crew
- Keith Gale, Good Company Entertainment
- Kane Brown band and crew
- Luke Combs band and crew
- Sony staff
- Curb staff
- Dylan Scott band and crew
- BMLG staff
- Adam Craig and crew
- Josh Abbott Band and crew
- Big & Rich band and crew
- Radio personality Kris Daniels
- SiriusXM personalities and crew
- The Big Time's Jackie Stevens
- Dee Jay Silver
- Tyler Reeve
- Josh Abbott Band
- Kane Brown
- Big & Rich
- Jake Owen
- Jason Aldean
Next From Nashville Stage
- Jordan Mitchell
- Muscadine Bloodline
- Dylan Schneider
- Adam Craig
- Dylan Scott
- Luke Combs
We will keep you up to date as more news emerges. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.
How Las Vegas shooting could impact outdoor concerts in Nashville
Nate Rau, USA TODAY NETWORK - TennesseePublished 2:31 p.m. CT Oct. 2, 2017
(Photo: Josie Norris / The Tennessean)
Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. President and CEO Butch Spyridon said Sunday's deadly shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival emphasizes that security for outdoor concerts must be expanded to include buildings around the event.
In addition to co-promoting CMA Fest, the CVC operates and promotes Nashville's July 4 and New Year's Eve celebrations, which are free outdoor events attracting hundreds of thousands of fans.
Las Vegas shooting: Dozens dead at country music show
A state law allows restaurants and bars to ban firearms, but doesn't require it. In conversations with Nashville Mayor Megan Barry's office on Monday, Spyridon said discussions focused on how to enforce the ban at places that don't allow weapons.
In Las Vegas, a single gunman is believed to have killed at least 58 people and injured more than 500 others by firing from the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel.
"You have to point to building access around the event," Spyridon said. "What’s the protocol? Most of the bars ban weapons, but what’s the measure to make sure that’s being enforced?"
The July 4 celebration attracted over 240,000 people to the downtown riverfront last year. The New Year's Eve bash moved to Bicentennial Park and brought in over 100,000. Crowds north of 80,000 fill the lower Broadway district during CMA Fest.
Visitors to Vegas recount where they were during shooting after arriving at the Nashville International Airport Larry McCormack / The Tennessean
In a joint statement between Barry's office, the CMA and the CVC, concert security was highlighted.
“Safety at all of our events is and will remain our top priority," the statement read. "We are constantly adjusting our event security measures year-round, partnering and consulting with experts at the federal, state and local levels through our full-time security team and the Metro Police Department. We will continue our efforts to provide the most comprehensive security possible.”
Reach Nate Rau at 615-259-8094 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @tnnaterau.