Local authorities, artists respond to Las Vegas shooting

Photo courtesy of ABC News

A gunman opened fire into a crowd of approximately 22,000 during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival Sunday night in Las Vegas, Nevada. At least 58 people were confirmed dead, and 515 other attendees were injured, according to reports by The New York Times. The shooting has been named the deadliest in modern U.S. history.

Nevada resident Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, according to authorities. Paddock was found dead in his room by police.

Chris Young, a country music singer and MTSU alumnus, was one of the performers at the event. Young released a series of tweets in the aftermath of the shooting. His first tweet regarding the incident read,

“Spent I don’t know how long on the floor of a trailer behind the stage… know multiple people are dead. Listening to that gunfire…”

His subsequent tweets can be read below. 

Young, who attended MTSU in 2005, created an annual scholarship in November 2016 for recording industry majors.

Another Route 91 performer, Sam Hunt, attended MTSU in 2003 and 2004 and played as a quarterback for the Blue Raiders before transferring to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Hunt has made no social media posts regarding the incident.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry released a statement Monday morning via twitter. The statement read,

“An unimaginable scene of terror has shocked and saddened our nation. This tragedy hits especially close to home as so many of the artists and crew represented at this music festival are Nashvillians seeking to entertain and bring joy to country music fans around the world. My heart goes out to the friends and family members of the victims of this deadly shooting, and we pray for a speedy recovery for those injured.”

Shortly after the release of her statement, Barry announced a vigil that will be held in honor of the shooting victims and will take place at the Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville at 6 p.m. Monday.

MTSU Police Chief Buddy Peaster stated that, in some circumstances, events such as the Vegas shooting can lead to changes in threat assessments.

“It is too early to know whether or not there are any developments from the Las Vegas incident that could lead to better assessment or training practices for law enforcement,” Peaster said. “Sometimes these types of events lead to changes in processes or plans; other times, they do not. As is our custom, our department constantly strives to identify excellent training opportunities for our officers in all manners of law enforcement services, including emergency response. We will continue to do so in order to do our best to help protect the campus community.”

Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak from Las Vegas is raising funds via Gofundme for relief and financial support of the shooting victims. The fund has reached almost $1 million in seven hours. Those in the Vegas area are encouraged to donate blood at various locations throughout Nevada.

To contact News Editor Andrew Wigdor, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

For more news, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

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