Sam Hallanger ‘18,Student Life/Sports Editor
What was meant to be a fun-filled country music festival in Las Vegas that was nearing an end turned into a living nightmare for 22,000 concert goers on Oct. 3. A gunman opened fire on several thousand festival attendees from a 32nd floor window in Mandalay Resort and Casino killing almost 60 and wounding several hundred. “The incident was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history”, according to CNN. Junior Faith Taliaferro said “It’s a real tragedy that this had to happen to so many good people who just were there to have fun”.
The gunman was 64 year old retired accountant, Stephen Paddock, son of notorious bank robber Benjamin Paddock, who once made the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most wanted list in 1968. Stephen Paddock opened fire on Route 91 Harvest Festival around 10 p.m. and continued to fire several thousand rounds of ammunition into the crowd at singer Jason Aldean’s set for several minutes after. After the shooting stopped, police stormed Paddock’s hotel suite at 11:20 p.m. to find that he had taken his own life, according to Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of LVPD.
The suite had 23 firearms that Paddock had collected over several years. Many had been modified with bumpfire stocks to simulate automatic firing. Many still wonder how the shooter was able to bring in such weaponry without causing alarm. Hotel staff said that they visited the room twice only to notice that Stephen Paddock had a lot of suitcases. This raised no questions in his several day stay at Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort.
The gunman, whose motive is still unknown had no history of run ins with police, and no history of mental illness or addiction. Stephen Paddocks girlfriend Marilou Danley was out of the country at the time of the shooting and claims to have had no idea of the attack or his motive. So far, the shooting has driven more calls for gun control and mental health awareness. Paddock has caused the suffering of many and left behind more questions than answers for the investigation into the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.