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Las Vegas, a West Coast Tragedy

TKN would like apologize for the publication error. The last three lines were not included in the printed edition of Issue 2. 

Americans woke up to horrific news last Monday October 2nd. Radio stations and News channels tried updating the morning audience on the ongoing story of the horrific tragedy that took place the night before – Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old man from Nevada opened fire with semi-automatic weapons on more than 20,000 concert-goers at the Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.

The news creeping out of Las Vegas on Monday morning reported about 20 casualties, and a few more than 100 injured.

However, as the morning progressed, the only update to News reports regarding the mass-murder were the numbers of deaths and reported injuries. Reports and investigations about the worst mass-shooting in US history had remained stagnant, as progress was slowly made by investigators and police evaluating the scene.

Ultimately, 59 people were murdered, including the gunman, and over 400 people seriously injured.

Injuries still coming out of reports in Las Vegas Hospitals include bullet wounds, people trampled on by the stampeding crowd, and some cases of pedestrians who were hit by cars in the chaos.

The worst mass-shooting in modern US history took place on Sunday night, October 1 after 10:00PM.

The gunman, Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old retiree from Nevada shot on a crowd of 22,000 people from his hotel suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

A chilling photo from the New Yorker released on October 6, shows Paddock’s wide-range view through the smashed hotel window which looked over the Route 91 Harvest Festival, an annual 3-day Country Music Festival off the Vegas Strip.

Paddock used a semi-automatic weapon which had automatic weapon capabilities credited to a piece of equipment known as a “bump stock.” According to the New York Times article “What is a Bump Stock and How does it Work?” published on October 5, a bump stock “frees the weapon to slide back and forth rapidly” mimicking an automatic weapon.    

It is illegal for US citizens to own an automatic rifle produced after May 1986. However, the bump stock addition is not illegal under federal law.

At least 23 rifles and semi-automatic weapons were found in Paddock’s hotel room. The “Wall Street Journal’s” cover story on October 5 was From Broken Home to Real-Estate Riches: The Life of the Las Vegas Shooter. The multiple page article covered Stephen Paddock’s childhood in a single parent household, and his career as a successful accountant and real-estate investor. The article concluded that Stephen Paddock did not fit the profile of a typical mass killer.”

The “Wall Street Journal” cover story on Paddock’s life also included a copy of Paddock’s yearbook picture, which chillingly makes the reader feel like Paddock more-and-more related to the American public.

The story and scene of the mass-shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival by news reports and eyewitnesses is described as almost being directed, pulled from a Hollywood film.

YouTube videos posted by concert goers at the concert when Paddock unleashed on the large crowd shows the chaos that slowly erupted as people began to grasp what was going on.

One video shows the very beginning of the rapid gunfire on the crowd as Jason Aldean, a performer at the Harvest Festival runs off stage. Suddenly gunfire is heard in the video, and people appear to get scared, not realizing that the shots are coming from above, rather than from outside the festival field.

Videos show people running to meet 8-foot fences, panicking to escape from the concert unknowing where the shots are coming from. In one video people piled over each other to protect one another from cross fire.

In another YouTube video, people at first believe that the firing noise is coming from the concert PA system, but soon after they catch what is really going on.

Some videos recorded gunfire for more than fifteen-minutes on the concert crowd.

The big question that troubles investigators and news sources is Paddocks motives.

Paddock seemed to have unleashed his pure evil on a distinct symbol of American culture – a country music festival. Entire families, couples and groups of friends attended the warm event looking to celebrate the time of year when the “harvest is ready,” and the turn of a new beginning in the year sets in.

The story of the worst mass-shooting in US history is not over. The “New York Times” wrote on October 9, in Trauma, and Red Tape, in Las Vegas by John Eligon, “Decorative lighting still hangs from a stage on the festival ground, and it’s illuminated at night. It’s as if the event is still going on- and indeed, the tragedy will stick in our collective consciousness for a while.”

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