LAS VEGAS, NV – In a night of horror, mass injuries and death, in which at least 58 people were killed and more than 500 injured in the shooting, which began late Sunday night, NV Governor Brian Sandoval said at a news conference Monday morning that it was the first responders’ “finest hour”. He and other local officials praised first responders, saying they saved scores of lives.
Gov. Sandoval said that he visited some of the victims in the hospital and that, “We’re angry, we’re grieving, we’re confused, people are hurting.” Sandoval called the shooting “a cowardly, despicable act.”
Pres. Trump called the first responders’ work “courageous”. He added, “the speed with which they acted is miraculous and prevented further loss of life. To have found the shooter 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.” The President called the shooting “an act of pure evil”.
Police have identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock, who was found dead by officers on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Police believe that Paddock, a 64-year-old local resident, was a “lone wolf” attacker, and they have not yet released any information about his background or possible motivations. Paddock, armed with more than a half-dozen firearms – at least some of which were high-powered automatic weapons – opened fire Sunday night from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino at a crowd gathered for a music festival.
The suspected gunman was killed following what has now become the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
The Los Angeles Times reports that many off-duty police officers and deputies from Los Angeles and Orange counties, Bakersfield, and other areas were at the Las Vegas show. One Orange County sheriff’s deputy was severely wounded by gunshots to the abdomen and thigh, according to the Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs. The wives of two deputies were also reported wounded in the attack. A Bakersfield police officer was wounded in the gunfire and was taken to a hospital for treatment, said Bakersfield police Lt. Jeff Burdick.
Two employees with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were struck by gunfire, the agency said. One was critically injured while the other is stable.
Ontario Police Officer Michael Gracia, 24, was among the wounded and underwent surgery Monday morning, officials said. He is listed in critical but stable condition, said Ontario Police Sgt. Jeff Higbee.
Jules Griggs, Editor-in-Chief of SUN News, and President/CEO of our parent company, Safety Unlimited, Inc., who is a former captain with the Ventura County, CA, Fire Department, and 20-year veteran with the department, said: “We are very fortunate that over the past several years, First Responders have been extensively trained and retrained on active shooter incidents.”
Griggs added: “There are a number of things responders must consider when responding to this type of incident, including is the scene safe, is the shooter still around? Once we get past that, then they have to organize the incident. In addition to the active shooter training, responders also get training on dealing with MCI (Mass Casualty Incidents), which allows them as quickly as possible, to assess the scene, including the number of victims and triage (sort) and prioritize the victims for treatment and transport.
“All responders are trained using the START system (Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment). There is a tremendous amount of coordination that occurs including advising hospitals of the incident in order to allow them to prepare for those being transported as well as those who self-transport.”
A former Las Vegas police officer said Monday the amount of time the shooting went on interfered with the ability of first responders to get to the area. “The shooting went on for somewhere in the area of 15, 20 minutes, so that interfered with getting the first responders into the area,” Randy Sutton said on CBS “This Morning.”
Sutton said the gunman planned the “horrific shooting immaculately.”
Investigators entered Paddock’s home in Mesquite early Monday morning. The motive for the shooting is not yet known.