Monday will marks one year that Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas. The former post office worker and tax auditor opened fire on the Route 91 concert on October 1st, 2017 in an attempt to murder as many of the 22,000 people in attendance as possible. Paddock managed to murder 58 people and wound hundreds of others in the deadliest mass shooting on U.S. soil in recent history before finally committing suicide before police could neutralize him. The event will be marked by a 5k run, a memorial display at the Clark County Museum, a silent auction, a sunrise service, and a candlelight vigil to honor those who were slain in the shooting.
The Clark County Museum had, in July, built The Beautiful Lives Portrait Project which immortalizes all the fatalities of that day in portraits. The portraits will now be given to the surviving members of the victims’ families. The sunrise service will include 58 seconds of silence to commemorate the fallen. At 10:05pm (the time in which Paddock began firing), the names of those killed in the shooting will be read at the Las Vegas Healing Garden. The city will honor the lives of the fallen by shutting off the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign which was also done in the initial wake of the shooting.
In the year following the shooting at the Route 91 concert, questions surrounding its architect, Stephen Paddock, still persist. Following the shooting, the FBI launched an extensive investigation in why Paddock had decided to carry 23 rifles and a handgun to a hotel room in Mandalay Bay and fire upon unsuspecting concertgoers from his window. In the immediate aftermath, ISIS attempted to take credit for the shooting but ultimately police concluded he acted alone. An autopsy revealed no physical abnormalities in Paddock’s brain that might point towards a physiological motivation. Paddock seemingly had no extremist political affiliations or leanings. Reports have surfaced that he was taking Valium (which can elevate dangerous and suicidal behavior) and that he might have been heavily drinking during the final months of his life but no conclusive answer has been produced.
The Las Vegas shooting is the deadliest in the United States’ recent history of mass shootings. It alongside other high profile massacres such as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting has raised a debate in America on how to prevent these kinds of shootings, from gun control to mental health reform. So far, no national concrete solutions have been produced.