Shooting in Las Vegas kills 59, injures more than 500

Chase Karacostas

A gunman opened fire on an outdoor country music concert in Las Vegas on Sunday evening, killing at least 59 people and injuring more than 500 others, according to Associated Press.

The attack, now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, came from the 32nd floor balcony of a Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino hotel room.

J.B. Bird, UT director of media relations, said the University is not currently aware of any students who were near the attack in Las Vegas. He said the University does not currently plan to release a statement on the attack but supports a comment made by Chancellor William McRaven on Monday morning via Twitter. 

“Heartbroken to awake to a horrific act of violence on the innocent,” McRaven said in a tweet. “Pray for Las Vegas.”

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, suspect Stephen Paddock shot himself as police entered his hotel room Sunday night.

The Associated Press also reported that 23 firearms were found in Paddock’s hotel room and that he checked in on Sept. 28.

In a press conference Monday morning from the White House, President Donald Trump called the attack “an act of pure evil.” He also said the FBI and Homeland Security are working on assisting local authorities with the investigation into the massacre.

“My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock and grief,” Trump said. “Hundreds of our citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one…. We cannot fathom their pain. We cannot imagine their loss. To the families of the victims, we are praying for you, and we are here for you.”

Trump also directed the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff today and said he plans to visit Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with first responders and families of the victims.

“In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one, and it always has,” Trump said. “Our unity cannot be shattered by evil. Our bonds cannot be broken by violence, and though we feel such great anger at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens, it is our love that defines us today and always will.” 

Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement Monday calling the massacre “senseless.” He also had the Nevada state flag hung from the balcony of the Texas Governor’s Mansion in a show of support for Las Vegas and the victims of the attack.

“The news of this senseless act of violence in Las Vegas overnight is heartbreaking,” Abbott said. “Texas mourns and prays for the victims of this tragedy, and the entire Las Vegas Community, in this time of unimaginable pain.”

Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, which owns the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, also released a statement Monday morning regarding the massacre.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of last night’s shooting, their families and those still fighting for their lives,” Murren said. “We are working with law enforcement and will continue to do all we can to help all of those involved.”