By Elizabeth Snyder
Gunshots ring through the air. Panic is everywhere. What began as a night of fun turned tragic. This was the atmosphere on Oct. 1, when 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
According to Reuters, Paddock shot a security guard six minutes before opening fire on the crowd. The security guard had come to Paddock’s floor in the Mandalay Bay hotel to investigate an open door. The security guard, Jesus Campos, was shot in the leg at 9:59 p.m.
According to CNN, Campos immediately alerted the rest of security on his situation. Many attribute Campos’ action with how the police so quickly tracked down the shooter.
However, according to Fox News, the police had no idea that Campos was shot until they met him in the elevator eighteen minutes later, after Paddock had already opened fire. Fox also reports that over 200 shots were fired in the volley that struck Campos.
After the shooting of Campos, CNN reports Paddock opened fire from the 32 floor of the Mandalay at 10:05 p.m. He fired until 10:15. By 10:17, the police were at the door of Paddock’s room.
Fifty-eight people lost their lives that night. The New York Times reports 36 women and 22 men were killed. One of the youngest victims was 20-year-old Angela Gomez, a nursing student who, according to the New York Times, was described as “one of the most genuine and loyal people you could ever meet.” The victims were parents, spouses, siblings, and children, all at the festival for different reasons.
In the midst of the tragedy, NPR reports on a story of hope. 16-year-old Nick Campbell was shot in the shoulder protecting his girlfriend during the shooting. He was but feet from the stage that night, and is quoted as saying of his girlfriend, “if she gets hit, that’s a problem. If I get hit, I’m fine.” NPR focused their story of Campbell on his tenacious spirit. Campbell is an example of light and hope in the face of this horrific event.
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Image source: www.nytimes.com
Image Description: Candles rest as a memorial to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.