Vegas unites in grief following 59 deaths

Vegas unites in grief following 59 deaths
Students from University of Nevada Las Vegas hold a vigil following the shooting. AP Photo: Gregory Bull

PEOPLE in Las Vegas are 'queuing to give blood, water and food' in the wake of yesterday's mass shooting, according to a Mayfield man living in the city.

Paul Walsh, a bar manager in Las Vegas, said that locals are picking themselves up and trying to give back after the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

59 people were killed and 527 more injured when gunman Stephen Craig Paddock opened fire on revellers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip.

The 64-year-old retired accountant from Mesquite, Nevada, killed himself before officers stormed into his room.

Police reported that Paddock had 23 guns in the hotel room and a further 19 in his home, as well as explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Speaking to the Evening Echo this morning, bar manager Paul Walsh said that the community in Las Vegas is small but strong. He said locals are desperate to do something to help.

Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. AP Photo: John Locher
Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. AP Photo: John Locher

"People kicked into action mode: they are donating blood and doing water and food drives for the emergency responders," he said.

"Everyone wants to do something or give something. They are a little bit defiant. That patriotism has kicked in and they are trying to do something.

"The atmosphere was sombre. People didn't know to react and the strip was quiet."

Mr Walsh has lived in Las Vegas for seven years, having previously been in New Jersey beforehand. He originally comes from Mayfield.

"I am just so grateful that nobody close to me was hurt," he said.

"You would know people in the area, the staff in the hotels and bars - it's a small city."

Speaking from Las Vegas yesterday, fellow Corkman Gavin Byrne described the situation as 'pandemonium.'

Mr Byrne was staying nearby.

"It's terrifying," he said, speaking to Neil Prendeville on RedFM.

"We heard bangs and screams. It was pandemonium, nobody knew what was happening.

"We didn't see anybody being hit but you could see blood and body bags. We just wanted to keep moving, to get out of it."

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