Las Vegas becomes newest addition to the deadliest mass shooting list


Anika Akbar, Editor in Chief of operations

Virginia Tech, 2007: 32 dead and 17 injured. Sandy Hook Elementary, 2012: 27 dead, 2 injured. Pulse Nightclub, 2016: 49 dead, 53 injured.  Every year, the hearts of Americans get heavier and heavier as the loss of lives become greater. And more recently, a new event has been added to the annual “Deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history” list: Mandalay Bay Resort 2017, 58 dead and over 500 injured. Where this is the newest and the worst at this time, it surely won’t be for long, given the pattern.

For the past four years, Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada has been the center of the annual, three-day country music festival, Route 91 Harvest. However, on October 1st, the very last night of the festival, gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire with reportedly 23 weapons from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Hotel.

With the first few shots fired, many believed fireworks were being unleashed as part of the performance, according to survivor Kelly Moore, telling TIME, “The first round of shots I heard, I thought they were fireworks. I turned towards Mandalay Bay thinking, ‘I’ll see sparks pretty soon.'”

But after the shots halted momentarily, and the screams of some attendants rang as an alarm to others, everyone understood the situation: they were under attack. And once Paddock reloaded, another round sprang through the crowd, letting everyone know that the worst has yet to come.

The motives of the domestic terrorist are currently unknown as SWAT was quick to lockdown the hotel and clear each level until the perpetrator was discovered and subsequently killed. However, ISIS has currently claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that the attacker converted to Islam for the militant group six months prior to the festival, according to a SITE Intel Group’s translation of ISIS’s propaganda outlet, Amaq News Agency.

According to NBC News, however, there is no evidence of these claims and by making such false statement, the terrorist organization maybe portraying themselves as “desperate” and a “laughing-stock” to incite terror into their Western enemies.

Still the motives can never justify the killing of more than fifty lives. Many Americans are concerning themselves on why Paddock did what he did, but senior Nada Panjwani believes that they should be more attentive towards how he was able to execute such an attack, explaining, “I understand, everything was legal…but still there should be more control.”

Paddock was able to unleash part of the attack within ten minutes as all he left in his room was a note calculating the trajectory he needed for mass murder, so he was able to make use of that 600 seconds. Unfortunately Route 91 Harvest Attendants received the tragic end of it when Paddock unleashed hate onto a festival simply celebrating love for a genre.