June 18, 2024

Shots were fired at concert goers in Las Vegas this past Sunday, leaving more than 50 dead and over 500 injured or in critical condition.

According to the New York Times, shots were fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino located across the street from the concert venue. Las Vegas P.D. quickly identified the shooter as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, who shot himself before police could perform an arrest. Upon searching both the hotel room from which Paddock shot and his home, police found over 30 different firearms along with several bombs that appeared to be in the making.

This attack has yet to be claimed by any terrorist group and whether the shooting was an act of terrorism or not still remains unclear. Late Monday morning, President Trump referred to the incident as “pure evil” making sure to avoid the word “terrorism.”

Called the deadliest mass shooting in American history, the act devastated people all over the country, including right here at Wittenberg.

“These sorts of tragedies, Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Pulse and others, while still shocking, seem to be less surprising,” Michael Frandsen, Wittenberg President, said. “My thoughts are with the victims and their families.”

Senior Alexa Murrietta also has a personal connection to the shooting.

“The area of the shooting is about 30 minutes away from my home, but I am familiar with the area,” Murrietta said. “The Mandalay Bay is a huge tourist attraction and a place I have been many times. To think that something so tragic could happen in a place so beautiful is mind numbing.”

Hearing about a shooting so close to home, with such high casualties was quite a scare for Murietta to wake up to Monday morning.

“The shootings did not directly affect my family, thankfully, but I will never forget the feeling of not knowing whether or not my family was safe after the attack,” Murrietta said. “None of my close friends from home were injured, but some of my friends knew people who were and the stories they have, of fleeing the scene and seeing other people injured, are terrifying and eye-opening.”

Ultimately, the increased frequency of shootings in the past five years has been unsettling for many. Celebrities including Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga immediately spoke out against gun control on Twitter.

Gaga tweeted, “This is terrorism plain and simple. Terror bares no race, gender or religion. Democrats & Republicans please unite now #guncontrol.”

Murrietta was equally as disturbed by the shooting.

“The incident has ultimately left me feeling angry that the shooter is being portrayed with a certain level of backwards sympathy, trying to make him out to be just another human who makes mistakes,” Murrietta said. “The sooner the public realizes that the real issue here isn’t hotel security, the sooner I will believe the sincerity of everyone’s ‘thoughts and prayers.’”

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