The story of the year is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history right here in Las Vegas. But the real story of the year should be the remarkable reaction to this terrible, heinous act of terror.
We are “Vegas Strong.”
At this moment, as I meet my deadline, we don’t know why the mass murderer committed this atrocious crime. We may never know. My law enforcement pals with a combined 100-plus years of experience are all concerned about his girlfriend. A 64-year-old man with no military experience doesn’t just wake up one day and become Rambo.
But let’s put all that aside. What really matters now is our reaction as a community. I call it “Vegas Strong.” Like the amazing eight-hour lines filled with Vegas residents waiting to donate blood. Then there’s the GoFundMe account that has already raised more than $8 million for the victims. Remarkable.
In addition, we have Dana White and the UFC donating $1 million to the victims and the Fertitta brothers and Station Casinos donating $1 million. Our Vegas CEOs are heroes.
And then there are the first responders. They are the true model for “Vegas Strong.”
Keep in mind while the shooter turned out to be a lone wolf and there was only one target (the concert outside Mandalay Bay), that was not the initial picture facing police. I was in direct contact with police sources, first responders and UMC trauma doctors from the start. I know the initial diagnosis.
Many cops in this town believed (as did I) that we were facing a coordinated Islamic terror attack. The first reports described multiple shooters at multiple properties. It described a mass casualty scene at Mandalay Bay. While the media were reporting two dead for hours into the night, I heard from my sources at the scene that there were dozens dead and more than 100 wounded. Every Vegas cop knew that.
The initial reports described terrorists loose at the Bellagio, Tropicana, New York-New York, Luxor and MGM Grand. This appeared to be the real thing. Terror cells loose on the Strip.
But it turns out there was only one shooter involving only one property. But no cop knew that at the time. And yet they raced to the Strip. While the rest of Vegas ran for our lives or sheltered in place, our Vegas cops raced toward what they thought was a casino-to-casino street battle with heavily armed terrorists.
Not one cop backed down. Not one.
Every one of them raced toward the sounds of machine gun fire. Many cops and off-duty cops helped people to escape and tended to the wounded at the concert site, while bullets whizzed past them. They were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe. God bless them.
Our Vegas police are heroes. Our cops, firefighters, paramedics and UMC trauma surgeons are the bravest and best Vegas has to offer.
They are, and we as a community are, “Vegas Strong.”
Contact Wayne Allyn Root at Wayne@ROOTforAmerica.com. Hear or watch the nationally syndicated “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” from 3 to 6 p.m. daily at 790 Talk Now and at 5 p.m. on Newsmax TV.