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The what and the who of the Las Vegas Massacre

Morgan McGrath, Staff Writer

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On Sunday, Oct. 1 at exactly 10:08 p.m., concert-goers at Las Vegas’ Harvest Festival went from rocking out to music to running for their lives. Why? It all occurred because of the late miscreant Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old male, who, with no currently known motive, single handedly became responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the U.S. What do we know about the story so far, and what does Paddock’s family think? Additionally, who are the victims that lost their lives due to this most horrid terror attack? The answers to these questions, and more, are as follows…

To begin with, what information about this developing story is known so far? Here are the essential details: Jason Aldean, a country singer, was onstage at the time of the shooting. This was the fourth and final day of the festival, so everything was coming to a peaceful close. And then Paddock struck. He was located on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, directly across from the festival, and began violently shooting at the innocent audience down below.

One of the survivors, 21-year-old Brandon Clack, recalls the scene. In an interview with LA Times, Clack said: “We thought it was some kind of fireworks. But then we could tell that it was multiple, multiple rounds.”

Clack explained that the gunfire lasted for about 10 minutes in total, and that people were running for cover left and right. There were 22,000 attendees at the festival that night.

Another survivor Mark Gray spoke on his personal experience, saying that at first, “It was just as normal as can be.” Then, he heard the firework sounds, and two women by him said that something had hit each of them on the leg, which were likely “tiny bits of shrapnel,” according to people.com.

Then, things took a turn for the worst as Stephen Paddock’s gun began to ring out. Gray and many others ran into a nearby suite, where they found themselves squeezing together to make room. And, thankfully, Gray made it out alive, but at least 59 people did not, and some 500 have been injured from this appalling occurrence.

Gray also commented on the matter with a more general statement, saying that “When you go to a concert, you don’t think anything like this could possibly be happening. We all knew it, but we were kind of trying to process it. It’s hard to know what to think or do.”

Stephen Paddock’s brother is still in absolute shock. According to an article written on usatoday.com, brother Eric Paddock claimed that it’s “Like an asteroid just fell on top of our family.” Eric also claimed that Stephen was an intelligent, successful man, leaving Eric baffled as to Stephen’s motive.

In contrast to Eric’s claims, some neighbors said that Stephen was “extremely standoffish,” according to foxnews.com.

“My heart is destroyed, for all these people, but I can’t tell you why Steve did what he did,” Paddock said, according to cbsnews.com. That part of the story, Paddock’s sickening motive, still remains up in the air. There’s a fighting chance, though, that his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, has more information. She is currently overseas in Asia, but police and other authorities plan to interview her as soon as possible.

And, it should be mentioned, the Mandalay Bay hotel and area of the Harvest Festival are currently being searched and examined.

Who are some of the victims who lost their lives in this tragedy? Their names are as follows, though not all are discussed in this article: 33-year-old Rachael Parker, a records department worker for the Manhattan Beach Police Department of California; Jordan McIldoon, a 25-year-old man who died holding hands with a stranger (survivor Heather Gooze) who bravely “didn’t want him to be named nobody;” and Denise Salmon Burditus, a 50-year-old mother and grandmother who was visiting Las Vegas with her husband, Tony. On Facebook, Tony wrote that “My wife passed in my arms. I LOVE YOU BABE,” according to cnn.com.

At least 59 people are now no longer alive, and at least 500 more are injured because of one evil man’s violent rampage. Click here to see photos of the massacre.

“Heal the world, make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race. There are people dying. If you care enough for the living, make a better place for you and for me.” ~Michael Jackson, Heal the World

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The what and the who of the Las Vegas Massacre