by Kelly Langevin
Once known primarily for gambling, shopping and a wild nightlife, the name Las Vegas now sets a drastic new tone in everyone’s hearts, leaving heavy chests and saddened eyes behind.
The devastating shooting that took place on Oct. 1 at the Route 91 Music Festival across the Las Vegas Boulevard killed 58 people and injured over 500, according to CNN.
It has been called the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, according to NBC News.
The gunman has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada.
The Route 91 Music Festival is a three-day country music concert that about 22,000 people attended this year.
The deadly act was planned out, and Paddock acted alone, according to CNN.
It is hard for people to understand why someone would commit such a horrific crime.
“The manner by which human beings perceive information varies. Some might see something and be able to readily ‘connect the dots,’ and realize that a person is at risk,” said Central Connecticut State University psychology professor Jason Sikorski. “Perhaps we dismiss some of the things we see to save time or to focus on what we think is more important.”
The mass shooting left those impacted forever wounded by one man’s choice. It has evoked change within the country. The United States’ gun lobby has expressed willingness to put a restriction on bump-fire stocks that allowed Paddock to fire into the crowd at an unbelievably fast rate.
“I think that older generations refuse to see the real problems we have just because they might not have it, or because it would require a huge change that they don’t want to see,” said CCSU freshman and SGA Senator Johanna Zukowski. “I think there is a lot of room for reform and change, and it’s going to take a strong leader with a stronger Congress behind them to make this change for the better.”
People who knew Paddock knew him as antisocial man who liked to avoid people as much as he could. He was rich, took many cruises and spent most of his time in casino hotels, sometimes weeks at a time. He loved to gamble and take high risks, according to CNN.
“If you told me an asteroid fell into the earth, it would mean the same to me. There’s absolutely no sense, no reason he did this,” said brother Eric Paddock, according to The Washington Post. “He’s just a guy who played video poker and took cruises and ate burritos at Taco Bell. There’s no political [or religious] affiliation that we know of.”
Stephen Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, was unaware her boyfriend had an evil side. She stated that he sent her on a trip to the Philippines because he wanted her to visit family. He then wired her money and told her to buy a house. Danley took his behavior as a way of potentially breaking up with her, not setting up for a mass murder, according to CNN.
“He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of, that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen,” said Danley in her statement, according to The Washington Post.
Paddock’s motive is still unclear, and police are still investigating the life of the mass murderer. During the horrific event, it took about an hour and 15 minutes from the initial gunfire to the time a SWAT team burst into Paddock’s room and found him dead, according to CNN.
“While it is really difficult to prevent these things from happening sometimes, maybe we can all do a little better to check in with those we care about and be sure to ask them if everything is okay,” Sikorski said.
Paddock brought about 10 suitcases up to his room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino over the course of his stay. He set up about 23 weapons inside his hotel room, including multiple rifles, some of which had scopes. He attached 12 bump-fire stocks to his guns, which allow shooters the ability to fire bullets at a faster rate, according to CNN.
At around 9:40 p.m., country singer Jason Aldean took the stage. By 10:05 p.m., Paddock opened fire at the crowd, lasting for nine to 11 minutes, which people originally thought were fireworks, according to CNN.
The devastation in Las Vegas has broken many hearts across the country. While many people are unsure how to feel, one can only hope a mass shooting like this can finally prompt change in the U.S.