AN ACT OF PURE EVIL IN VEGAS
WRITTEN BY TAYLOR RENEE AYERS
On Sunday night, near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, a shooter on a high floor in a neighboring hotel opened fire on the attendees of the Route 91 Festival. There are currently at least 59 confirmed fatalities along with 527 among the injured in one of the most deadly mass shootings of modern American history. The shooter began his violent rampage during the set of popular singer, Jason Aldean, who was performing that night at the three-day country music event. The sound of gunshots rang out and the attendees of the show scattered; fearfully running and ducking for cover as others had fallen from being shot. Not long after the horrific attack began, police discovered the position of the shooter.
The shooter was identified as 64 year old retiree, Stephen Paddock, who was found deceased. In his hotel room, at least 17 firearms were present, including a handgun and rifles equipped with scopes. When his home was searched, 18 more firearms were retrieved, along with explosives, thousands of rounds of ammunition and electronic devices. The general manager of Guns & Guitars, a gun shop in Nevada, confirmed that three of the guns in Paddock’s possession were purchased at his store within the last year. Paddock had no criminal record or any history of mental illness. He was described as a man who drew little attention to himself and enjoyed to golf and gamble. According to his neighbors and family members, he would put out large sums of money when he gambled. ISIS, a known terrorist group, claimed the violent incident and even political motivation was suggested. So far in the investigation, there is no evidence to support association with any terrorist organization and his relatives claim he expressed no strong political beliefs. Paddock’s motives remain unknown at this time. But the F.B.I is continuing their investigation to uncover his potential motive. The investigators are looking into Paddock’s financial history in an attempt to pin point any clue of financial distress, which is a common and possible motivation to commit a crime.
President Trump, at the White House, commented on the atrocity and deemed it “act of pure evil”. He encouraged unity and for the country to come together as one by stating, “Our unity cannot be shattered by evil, our bonds cannot be broken by violence.”