Las Vegas shooting rampage takes 58 innocent lives


Concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival desperately duck for cover as bullets rain down on them from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel.

Megan Tran, Santa Fe Managing Editor

On the night of Oct. 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Las Vegas strip in Nevada, leaving 58 people dead and 546 injured.

The gunman was identified as 64 year old retired accountant Stephen Paddock. Between 10:05 and 10:15p.m., he fired hundreds of rifle rounds from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel. About an hour after Paddock fired his last shot, he was found dead in his room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound (CNN).  

No one knows exactly how Paddock went from being a retired accountant, living a quiet life gambling and enjoying country music, to becoming the deadliest mass shooter in the history of the United States. Paddock had no prior criminal history and no known affiliations with terror groups. His motive remains unknown and several students at Santa Fe have even questioned if Paddock is truly the only person behind the shooting.

“I watched several videos from the scene and it definitely sounds like there is more than one gun going off,” senior Logan Rust said. “When I looked more into different theories about the shooting, I found live footage during the event when you could see flashing lights also coming from the fourth floor of the hotel. There is no way this is just a coincidence.”  

The fact that Paddock had what seemed like a completely normal life prior to this incident also leaves people questioning: was Paddock truly the person behind the shooting, or is the government just blaming it on a single person in order to cover up something even bigger?

“It makes complete sense to me that the government would just blame the crime on a random guy who they claim is crazy,” senior Samuel Huang said. “Even if the man had mental issues, crazy people don’t just buy 20 guns and shoot up a bunch of people. I believe that there is much more to the story than what we currently know.”

Despite the ambiguous opinions on the mastermind behind this tragedy, one fact that remains undeniable is that the aftermath of this shooting left thousands devastated and unsure of how to cope with this. Although many normal citizens and strangers ran back into the scene in the hopes of saving lives, the impact of constant bullets raining down on a crowd of over 22,000 was too much to prevent countless injuries via gunshot wounds and stampeding.

“I honestly could not imagine what it would be like to be in that situation,” junior Breanna Lee said. “I would like to think that I’d help others take cover and save them but who knows what would run through my mind if I was  in a giant hectic crowd just trying to stay alive.”

However, trying to make light of the tragic situation, a Clark County commissioner started a GoFundMe page by the following Tuesday evening and raised more than $8.1 million for the hospitalized victims. Strangers also donated flights, housing, food and transportation to victims’ relatives coming to Las Vegas (FOX News).

When so many people come together to help lessen the blow of such a terrible event, it shows that sometimes it takes the worst of America to reveal the best of America.