In-Depth Coverage of the Las Vegas Massacre, Deaf Couple Experiences Panic on Las Vegas Strip, World News Briefs, Sports Updates, and D.C. Event to Benefit Deaf Puerto Rican Survivors of Hurricane Maria and Deaf Survivors of Mexico Earthquakes
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, October 2. Ready for news?
There was a terrible mass shooting last night in Las Vegas — at least 50 people died and more than 400 people were injured when a gunman, on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, opened fire at a music festival/concert with 22,000 across the strip.
The suspected gunman has been identified as Stephen Paddock (64) — from Mesquite, Nevada (one hour away from Las Vegas).
He killed himself in his room before police arrived. There were at least 10 rifles in his room, some with scopes.
He was staying in the hotel room since Thursday, September 28.
With at least 50 dead, this is the most deadliest shooting in the U.S., which surpasses last year’s shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida last year.
There are multiple videos on the news of people panicking and running for cover when the bullets started to rain down around 10:00 pm last night.
The shooting started when country singer Jason Aldean was on stage. There is a video of him performing, then when the shooting started, he looked confused — then ran offstage.
There was an interview on CNN with a person who was onstage — he said when they took cover backstage, they could hear bullets hitting the stage area again and again.
People said the shooting lasted for 10 to 15 minutes with pauses in between. They could see muzzle flashes coming from a hotel room.
People at the concert either dropped down for cover or tried to run in different directions to take shelter. Many were injured in the chaos. People said they saw bodies on the floor as they ran away.
More than 400 people were transported to local hospitals. Some died on arrival. Some were injured from the gunshots, some from trying to escape.
The Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said they can’t label this shooting as terrorism yet, as they have to establish what his motivation was. He said it could be a distraught person wanting to cause mass causalities. But many have said this is indeed terrorism. We’ll see what they find during the investigation.
The FBI is now taking over the investigation. The gunman’s home is being searched.
He had a female partner, but she was out of the country — and she is not an suspected accomplice as of now.
This morning a Fox News news helicopter showed two broken windows at the Mandalay Bay hotel where the gunman fired from. It’s not clear if the gunman used both windows or just one of them — and whether the second one was broken by returning gunfire.
People who went in the room said his guns were long-range rifles and that he had two different platforms set up — showing that he planned this shooting.
Terrible news. I’ll do another report with more updates later today.
Las Vegas Shooting Updates #2:
This is the second video about the Las Vegas shootings. I’ll share several updates.
The number of people dead and injured from last night’s Las Vegas shooting has increased to at least 58 dead and 515 wounded.
President Trump gave a televised speech from the White House saying the shooting was “an act of pure evil.” He said he would go to Las Vegas on Wednesday, the day after his planned visit to Puerto Rico tomorrow. Later in the afternoon Trump and his wife, as well as VP Mike Pence and his wife took a moment of silence outside of the White House.
The gunman Stephen Paddock’s brother — Eric — who lives in Orlando, Florida — told news that he had no idea that Stephen would do this. He said he feels like an asteroid fell out of the sky.
He said his brother a retired accountant, was wealthy, a big money gambler who played $100-a-hand video poker, had a pilots license, and was a legal gun owner.
He said their father was a bank robber and was once on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list. He died several years ago.
Local police in Mesquite, Nevada — where Stephen lived in for a year — said they found more weapons and ammo inside, but did not describe it.
Officers said Stephen did not have a criminal history — that there was a single citation that was resolved within the courts. Officers didn’t know him.
At the Mandalay Bay hotel — Stephen booked two rooms — which explains the two broken windows seen outside of the Mandalay Bay hotel. He had 18 to 20 guns and two platforms to shoot from, they were long-range rifles, AR-15 or AK-47 type rifles, both automatic and semi-automatic. There was a large cache of ammo. He used a hammer-type tool to break the windows.
In Nevada, it is allowed to buy a rifle, shotgun, or a handgun without a permit and to own machine guns with federal registration. This shooting is sure to do two things — increase sales of guns and to re-ignite political debates on gun control.
ISIS released a statement saying they were responsible for the shooting. But there has been no evidence that Stephen was a follower of ISIS or that he was affiliated with any international terrorism organization.
Now, about the term, “terrorist” — there’s a lot of debate online on why the gunman was not labeled a “terrorist” — since he is responsible for the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Some thought it was because he was a white American that the word was not immediately associated with him.
A Google dictionary lookup of the word, “terrorist,” describes it as when a person uses violence or intimidation, especially against civilians, for political aims.
Federal law says a terrorist is when someone tries to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence government laws and actions by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.
Nevada law says terrorism is when someone causes great bodily harm or death to the general population.
So — he is a terrorist under Nevada law, but under federal law it seems more ambiguous. Las Vegas police has called him a lone wolf attacker and did not say he was a terrorist, saying
A similar debate was brewing in two other recent incidents — whether to label the gunman who shot at Rep. Scalise at a baseball practice in June as a terrorist — and also on how to label the man who drove his car into a crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia.
What makes the term confusing is that America has, since 9/11, seen a steady dose of organized international terrorism organizations such as Al-Qaeda or ISIS — and often the word, “terrorist” means someone from those groups.
So, is Stephen Paddock a terrorist? Popular opinion seems to say yes. We’ll see how the legal system classifies him.
In Las Vegas, there were long lines of people donating blood to help survivors.
There have been some victims identified, they are coming out one by one. I’ll have more information on those who died tomorrow. It’s a very sad day for America and for the world.
There was a Deaf couple that was at the Las Vegas strip when the shooting happened — but they were at a different hotel & casino — the Bellagio. I was able to interview with them — they will share their experience.
There were many news that happened last weekend around the world. Here are some briefs:
— Yesterday in Spain there was chaos in the Catalonia region (northeast part) as local residents battled with Spanish riot police to vote for independence. Catalonia has for some time wanted to “exit” and become independent from Spain, but the Spanish government says they can’t break up and that it is unconstitutional.
Catalans went ahead and scheduled a vote for yesterday anyway. But judges said this voting was not allowed, so that’s why the riot police were called in. There were bloody clashes with many people injured yesterday, but at the end of the day, it seems like Catalans overwhelmingly voted to separate themselves. The official announcement will be on Wednesday.
There’s now a political crisis between the leader of Catalonia and the Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy. We’ll see what happens.
— On Saturday night in Edmonton, Canada — outside of a Canadian Football League match — a man drove a car into a police officer who was standing in front of his police cruiser, sending him flying in the air as the car crashed into the cruiser.
The man then gets out, stabs the police officer, who wrestles back. The man then ran away. There was an ISIS flag in the car.
Several hours later the man drove an U-haul truck and stopped at a DUI checkpoint, but then escaped when police saw his name was similar to the registered owner of the car that attacked the policeman. When police chased the truck — it tried to hit people walking on the street, injuring four people, then it flipped over.
The man was tased and arrested. He has been identified as Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, a refugee from Somalia. The attack has been classified as terrorism and it is believed he was working alone.
Those who were injured, including the officer, are expected to recover.
— Yesterday afternoon in Marseille, France, a man with a knife stabbed two young women to death at a train station. They were 17 and 20. One’s throat was slit and another stabbed in the stomach.
The knifeman, still unidentified, yelled, “Allah akbar” before the attacks. He was shot dead by French police.
He is described as being in his 30’s and having a North African appearance. There is now a terrorism investigation.
Ready for sports news? Here you go.
Russell Westbrook and Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed to the largest contract in NBA history with a contract extension — a five-year, $205 million deal. Westbrook posted a picture on Instagram to confirm it after the news broke. Last August, one month after former OKC player Kevin Durant announced his decision to leave and sign with the Golden State Warriors, Westbrook agreed to a three-year extension with the Thunder that was a “two-year” deal since he could opt out after the 2017-18 season. Now he’s decided to stay with OKC for other 5 years after this season. What’s more? It was Kevin Durant’s birthday on that day when Westbrook signed the contract. Also Westbrook’s final extension (ending of contract) would give him $569,512 per each game. Yes, it’s just one game — he will make the same kind of money to what Michael Jordan made during his entire rookie season — MJ was paid only $550,000.
The NBA has sent a memo to players warning them not to follow in the NFL’s footsteps. If any players in the NBA are looking to copy what the NFL players did during the national anthem — kneeling in protest — they may get consequences. The memo says: “The league office will determine how to deal with any possible instance in which a player, coach, or trainer does not stand for the anthem.” The memo didn’t mention about not allowing players, coaches and owners to locking arms before the anthem — just as long they stand up while the anthem is going on.
The NFL suspended Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan two games for his Thursday night hit that left Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams hospitalized and gave him a concussion. Adams was released from the hospital Friday and tweeted that he was "feeling great." Trevathan has the right to appeal his suspension.
Yesterday, there were some players that broke NFL records. Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson tied the NFL rookie touchdown record with five scores (4 Passing TD, 1 Rush TD) in his team's 57-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans, in which Watson led Houston to a franchise-record 57 points. Cam Newton also extended his NFL record that he broke in Super Bowl 50 with 44 career rushing touchdown by a quarterback — he has 50 now with his rushing touchdown yesterday as his team beat the Patriots.
There is a movement in the D.C. Deaf community to fundraise and help people who were impacted by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and earthquakes in Mexico.
The Latino Deaf and Hard of Hearing Association of Metropolitan DC (LDHHAMDC) is working with Leah Katz-Hernandez, who worked in the White House under former President Obama, and other community leaders to host an ASL Poetry Night at a venue named, “The Fridge” on 8th Street SE this Friday night (October 6).
Here are comments from Leah about the event.
Leah: Hello my name is Leah. We are having an ASL Poetry Night from 6:30pm-9pm this Friday at an art gallery in Washington, D.C. to show Latino culture and to support those who were impacted by disasters from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico.
Recovery and resilience is important because often when disaster strikes, like a hurricane or an earthquake, it collapses buildings, roads, and communications. Therefore, it is hard for accessibility and it can become dangerous for deaf community.
These two organizations, International Deaf Emergency and Off the Grid Mission will help the deaf in communication and assistance to the deaf community after the hurricane and earthquakes.
Alex: Why are you focusing specifically on Puerto Rican/Mexican disaster victims?
Leah: Because there is an opportunity to do this and we are doing it. There was not a network in the past to do this kind of work, but now there’s an organization named International Deaf Emergency — they’ve done work with the deaf community in Haiti. Also in the past we did not have social media to quickly disseminate and share information — but now we do, and we have media sources like yours to help us understand better what is going on and the seriousness of the situation. Deaf people are more likely to be adversely impacted or die from those types of situations. In the U.S. there are organizations like FEMA that step in to help after disasters, but in Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. territory (not a U.S. state), it means there are different procedures and more challenges in this, so our support has a lot of impact. It is also the Hispanic Heritage Month so it is a good opportunity to show our culture and support for those who were impacted.
Alex: How can we help?
Come to the event! Buy your tickets online for $25 or donate to support the effort. Tell others about this. We will have a silent art auction. 100% of the money will go to organizations that will support survivors with resources and advocacy services in both places. If you know of others who were impacted, encourage them to make vlogs to share their experience and spread awareness.
Alex: Do you want to add anything?
Leah: Whatever amount you can give, even though you might think it is small, it is very helpful and means more than you think. Deaf survivors from both places will feel impacted at the though that we have helped them — the support is from one Deaf community to another. This is a very positive effort and will help with giving them strength for recovery efforts. Thank you so much.
Thank you, Leah for your time.
Tickets are $25 each and all proceeds will go towards disaster survivors. If you’re not in the DC area, you can donate money towards their fund.
There is a vlog on the LDHHAMDC Facebook page by their president Lisa about the event. Link is in transcript: http://bit.ly/2yDJ203
Representatives from Gallaudet University’s administration, staff, and students also made a vlog supporting the event. Link also in transcript: http://bit.ly/2xT5AMO
On the event website, you will see a green button that says, “Tickets.” You can buy an admission ticket (there are only 50 left). There you can also donate any amount of money or become a sponsor or a co-host. Link is in description and transcript: http://bit.ly/2xNqRFX
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!