By Ian D Scofield
Las Vegas is usually known as the place where people go to have fun. In fact, people had gone to the Route 91 Harvest Festival expecting to have a day of fun while listening to some of the best country artists out there. At around 2208 hours on Sunday October 1st, 2017, the first shots rang out.
According to multiple news sources, the gunfire continued on for up to 15 minutes with very little pause.
At first, some people reported what they believed was just fireworks, but then it erupted into continuous gunshots and people realized it was gunshots. People dove for cover and multiple heroes were discovered that day.
SWAT team officers made entry into the hotel room to find the shooter dead after street officers had to back off due to the situation. In the standoff, a security officer received a gunshot to the leg. Officials believe that the shooter took his own life before police could make entry.
Currently, the shooter (Stephen Paddock) is currently believed to have been a lone wolf shooter. That means that he is not believed to have been associated with any criminal or terrorist organization. This is despite the fact that ISIS has attempted to claim responsibility for the Las Vegas Mass Shooting. ISIS did not provide any evidence into their claim of responsibility and the only details they provided was that Paddock converted to extreme Islamic practice several months ago.
So far 59 people have died from the shooting and over 500 were injured. This makes the Las Vegas mass shooting the deadliest modern mass shooting in American history.
Stephen Paddock did not have a criminal record, in fact, the only thing on his record was vehicle ticket according to multiple news releases and sources. However, Paddock’s father has a history with law enforcement. Including being on the FBI’s most wanted list.
It was determined that Paddock went from gun store to gun store in the Las Vegas area buying guns until he had the ones that were found in his room (somewhere around 19 guns were found in the room). So far a total of 30 guns have been found on property owned by Paddock or in the hotel room.
Some concertgoers reported an unknown woman entered the concert before the shooting started and began telling concertgoers that they were going to die. This person was escorted out of the concert by security but has not been publicly identified.
From here we know that the scene is now secure and that an investigation needs to be conducted into the reasons behind the shooting. So far there has been no releases about any notes or information left behind by Paddock. Psychologists and criminal profilers will play a major role in determining the exact nature of the shooter.
A little more on Paddock: He is a former accountant who reportedly made a fair amount of money working in that profession. Using his money, he has gone to various gambling cities and spent time staying in hotels and risking his money. Family members say that he once spent up to 4 months in a casino hotel.
Las Vegas casinos knew Paddock and were familiar with him due to the amounts of money he has spent at casinos in the past. This has led to him previously having comped rooms and other benefits at Las Vegas casinos. It also means that he was very familiar with the Las Vegas area.
Paddock has been through two divorces in his life. One divorce was in 1980 and another in 1990.
However, as I was writing this article, it was released by the FBI that Paddock had sent a “significant” amount of money overseas to his girlfriend, Marilou Danley. Danley’s exact location isn’t know but she is suspected to be in either the Philippines or Japan.
Law enforcement agencies have been made aware that the FBI would like to speak with Danley in connection to the Las Vegas attacks. While immediately dismissing ISIS’s claims of responsibility for the attacks, the connection to the Philippines could mean that Paddock had visited an ISIS training camp there. A picture of Paddock in the Philippines has been located so it is confirmed that he has traveled there before.
There are reports that Danley was found on 10/2 but these have not been publicly confirmed. These family members have described Paddock as unstable and someone that has made Danley’s family uncomfortable.
It is also important to keep in mind that this information all comes from what we know at THIS time. The situation is continuing to develop and facts will continue to solidify overtime.
John Rich from Big & Rich had just recently finished performing and was at his bar, Redneck Riveria. Rich was carrying his concealed handgun as he was licensed to when the shots rang out. A Minneapolis Police Officer approached Rich stating that he was an off-duty officer but had left his gun at home for the first time.
He then asked Rich for his gun so that he could defend the bar. Rich handed the officer his gun and the officer posted at the door in case a shooter were to attempt to enter the bar. For hours, the officer stood vigilant over the bar.
Travis Haldeman, a firefighter, was enjoying the Route 91 Festival with two of his friends when the shots rang out. Being an experienced firefighter, he rescued multiple people with injuries and assisted them to the medical tent where he eventually began working on triaging of patients.
Want to read Haldeman’s story first hand? Take a look at it here.
Other concert goers and people at the venue showed the true American spirit by helping each other. One concert goer remembers seeing people being pulled to safety. It is at these times when the true caring nature of Americans comes out.
This attack reminds us that even those activities that we believe fun and safe can be a potential hazard. Make sure that you keep an eye on your surroundings and always have an escape plan for getting out of any situation that may arise. Our friends and family may hate it but it is something that any professional in the security, policing, and military worlds learns to develop.
Stay safe out there! Our hearts go out to those who lost their lives in the Las Vegas attack.
About The Author:
Ian is a staff writer at APTI and hospital security officer at a major medical center who has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Specialization in Administration of Justice. He has held multiple positions in the security industry from patrol supervisor to auxiliary public safety officer. At APTI he brings his writing skills to help further the careers of others and provide quality content. Feel free to visit his freelancing site or his creative writing site.
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