SAMI BREE ORTEGA
On Oct. 1 in Las Vegas, first responders responded to several calls about a shooting that took place at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, where Jason Aldean was performing for concert goers who wanted to see live country music.
This was the fourth year the Harvest Festival took place. The Route 91 Festival said more than 22,000 country fans had come to see new artists perform. Big country artists such as Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert and Dwight Yoakam performed at the festival in the past. The festival was said to feature some of genre’s biggest stars from Sept. 29 through Oct. 1.
“I’ve always heard about this concert and I’ve always wanted to because it’s Las Vegas,” senior communication major Megan Martinez said. “To think that I almost went is very crazy.”
Around 10 p.m. that evening, Gunman Stephen Paddock opened fired on the concert crowd from his 32nd floor room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Billboard news said the Mandalay Bay sat about 400 yards away from the festival. Staying on the 32nd floor gave Paddock a clear view of the concert audience.
“I first heard the about this when I was walking in the UC and stopped to read it,” junior kinesiology major Mario Carrete said. “I don’t know if it could have been prevented because it’s a concert and from what I know, this guy came from a distance and started shooting people. Sometimes in this world people do wrong things for terrible reasons.”
According to Billboard, at least 58 victims were killed and 515 were wounded, which labeled this massacre as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Las Vegas police said they believe Paddock acted alone on this. However, CNN also said Paddock had multiple firearms in his hotel room that were purchased legally.
“I just wish this didn’t happen,” sophomore marketing major Iris Longoria said. “All these innocent people died and I feel like the world in general just needs to get better.”
Paddock was a 64-year-old retired accountant who had several government jobs previously and owned properties in multiple states across the country. He had been divorced twice and according to news sites such as CNN and Billboard, Paddock had a love for gambling and playing poker.
“I feel like people are more united in this situation,” Carette said. “However, after every national crisis is when people come together, which is amazing but the real goal should be this unified country without having to have something so tragic as a shooting.”
To help the families of victims from this tragic shooting, a go fund me account www.gofundme.com/dr2ks2-las-vegas-victims-fund has been made. At the time of this article’s writing, the account has raised $10,601,333 to keep Vegas strong.