Vegas Strong: With One Another, For One Another
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Politics and Activism

Vegas Strong: With One Another, For One Another

The resilience through the devastating attack on our home.

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Vegas Strong: With One Another, For One Another
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If you are from Vegas, chances are you woke up like me to a bunch of text messages and notifications regarding last night's tragic events. You were probably confused, trying to process how something so horrible can happen and yet so close to home. You scrolled through Facebook to see who had "checked in" that they were safe. You probably called your family members and closest friends. Maybe even someone you haven't spoken to in awhile to make sure they and their loved ones were safe. You may have cried instantly or taken awhile to gather your thoughts, like me.

Last night, the community of Las Vegas suffered the deadliest mass shooting in United States modern history. Around 22,000 country music fans were watching country singer Jason Aldean perform at the outdoor Route 91 Harvest Festival. Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, from Mesquite, Nevada, used multiple rifles to shoot from a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Three rounds of gunfire erupted, the first being mistaken for fireworks or a motorcycle sound by some. At least 59 people are confirmed dead and 527 others are injured. By Nevada state law, the mass shooting is classified as domestic terrorism.

Rapid fire started around 10pm and chaos and terror soon erupted. While artist Jason Aldean realized what was happening and ran off, other people also starting running or trying to hide. People were screaming, trying to call their loved ones, and bustling to figure out where to go. People were rushing behind a concert barrier to hide as well as to other hotels nearby. Those confirmed dead include a nurse who was protecting his wife with his body, a special education teacher, a police officer, high school secretary, and a kindergarten teacher.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Paddock was found dead with a self-inflicted shot, appearing to be suicide. Paddock has no criminal history and has passed around 30 background checks considering he has purchased that many firearms. However, his father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, was on the Federal Bureau of Investigations's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list for robbing banks. Paddock's home in Mesquite, NV and second home in Reno, NV were investigated today.

Around 2pm today, Clark County, which covers Las Vegas, has declared a state of emergency. The resilience of the Las Vegas community has been incredible during this devastating time. Doctors and nurses from all over the city have been helping and words don't describe the amount of effort and courage the police officers and first responders have given. People have been donating blood, resources, and financial support all day. Clark County Commision Chair Steven Sisolak started a GoFundMe page to fundraise money for the victims and families of the victims. He started with a $1 million goal then raised it to $2 million after it was reached within 8 hours and now the goal is at $2.5 million. People from all over the country are praying for Vegas and calling for stricter gun policy. Allegiant Airlines has also offered to provide free flights for the families of victims. Lyft is providing two free rides to and from donation centers, hospitals, or relief centers. The Ronald McDonald House as well as citizens of Henderson are providing shelter and resources for family members. Doctors and nurses have been donating their time, and words don't describe the amount of effort and courage the police officers and first responders have put in. I am proud and thankful of everyone who has supported in one way or another.

People may have been asking how I feel and I'm not even in Vegas at the moment. I can't even begin to imagine what it was like at the scene or how the survivors will return to their "normal" life. It's a weird, surreal feeling and I've seen that many of my friends who are off at school or have moved away feel the same way. Everyone knows each other in Vegas so this feels really personal and just sad. It's sad to see so many tragic events occur in the news so often but you never really feel so vulnerable until it happens to the place you grew up in. It gives us a reality check on life and we find ourselves getting over the little things and reaching out to help in any way we can. We will get through this with one another and for one another.

Here is information that may prove useful:

If you are looking for a loved one, call 1-866-535-5654 or try the Family Reunification Center at Metro HQ 400 S Martin L. King Jr. Blvd, Building B, Las Vegas, NV 89106

Donate blood with United Blood Services at 6930 W Charleston or 601 Whitney Ranch Dr, Henderson, NV 89014

Donate food at Ronald McDonald House alongside the Red Cross at 2323 Potosi St, Las Vegas, NV 89146




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