- The Washington Times - Monday, October 2, 2017

President Trump and other members of the administration offered support and condolences to those in Las Vegas after the deadliest mass shooting in history devastated the city on Sunday night.

“My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Las Vegas police say at least 58 people are dead and another 515 are injured at a concert outside of Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

Vice President Mike Pence also responded to the attacks thanking the first responders and offering the prayers of the American people.

“The hearts & prayers of the American people are with you. You have our condolences and sympathies,” he tweeted.

The shooter, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, fired several rounds of an automatic weapon from his hotel room at Mandalay Bay. Police say he turned the gun on himself prior to law enforcement entering his room.

SEE ALSO: Las Vegas shooting: More than 59 dead, 527 wounded after man fires on outdoor concert

Mr. Paddock was living with Marilou Danley, who was described as a “person of interest.” Police said they located her out of the country, but that she did not appear to be involved at this time. The two were reportedly romantically involved.

Country music singer Jason Aldean was performing when the gunfire began. Sunday was the final night of the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a large country music event, which was sold-out according to the event website.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders promised the support of the administration for those involved.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the senseless tragedy in Las Vegas. We are with you,” Mrs. Sanders tweeted.

First lady Melania Trump tweeted out her sympathies for the families and loved ones as well.

“My heart and prayers goes out to victims, families & loved ones! #PrayForLasVegas” she tweeted.

“1:2 America woke up this morning to the horrific news of a devastating mass shooting in Las Vegas,” Ivanka Trump tweeted.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a recent victim of gun violence who is still recovering from his injuries, tweeted that he was praying for the victims. Mr. Scalise, Louisiana Republican, was shot on a baseball field earlier this year by a left-wing activist.

Gov. Brian Sandoval called the Las Vegas shooting “tragic & heinous” as several other Nevada lawmakers also expressed their sympathies.

“A tragic & heinous act of violence has shaken the #Nevada family. Our prayers are w/ the victims & all affected by this act of cowardice,” Mr. Sandoval, Nevada Republican, tweeted.

Sen. Dean Heller said that he has been in touch with the White House and Mr. Sandoval, and is monitoring the situation.

“I’ve been in contact with the White House and Governor Sandoval, and I will continue to monitor the situation as this horrific event unfolds,” Mr. Heller, Nevada Republican, said in a statement.

Mr. Heller’s Senate colleague Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto released a statement thanking law enforcement for “taking down the gunman.”

“I thank the first responders for taking down the gunman and working tirelessly to treat the wounded. I am working with the City of Las Vegas and Clark County to ensure that local officials have the resources they need to support our community and investigate these tragic events,” Ms. Cortez Masto, Nevada Democrat, said in a statement.

Republican Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian said residents of Las Vegas had long feared an attack in the city, but assumed it would be terrorist related.

There is no indication this event has international terrorist ties, but police say it’s too soon to determine motivation or possible domestic terrorism.

“We were always very scared about this,” Mr. Tarkanian said on MSNBC.

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez urged action to prevent attacks like this from happening in the future.

“As Americans, we cannot give in to fear or hatred. We must be united against all those who perpetrate such terror, and do everything we can to ensure that vicious attacks like this become a thing of the past,” Mr. Perez said in a statement.

Calls for tougher gun control restrictions came quickly from Democrats.

Hillary Clinton said that it’s time for lawmakers to confront the National Rifle Association on issues such as loosening restrictions for silencers, which she said could make events like this even worse.

“Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again,” Mrs. Clinton, the former Democratic presidential nominee, tweeted.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley also called on congressional action.

“Congress must also come together to assess ways for us to prevent these heinous attacks. The onus is on us to bring it to an end and ensure the safety and security of all Americans,” Mr. Crowley, New York Democrat, said in a statement.

Sen. Chris Murphy criticized a lack of action on gun control and called for Congress to “get off its ass and do something.”

“It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren’t public policy responses to this epidemic. There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference,” Mr. Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, said.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Illinois Democrat, said in a statement: “My heart goes out to the victims of the tragic shooting in Las Vegas last night and their loved ones. Such senseless and horrifying acts of violence have no place in America or any other nation. The law enforcement officers and first responders who put their lives on the line to protect others deserve our solemn thanks for their bravery and courage in the face of the deadliest shooting in our country’s history.”

Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen tweeted thanked the first responders in her tweet for “coming together and risking their lives to save others.”

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz tweeted that flags in her city will fly at half mast out of respect for those in Las Vegas. San Juan is still recovering from Hurricane Maria that left the city, and entire island of Puerto Rico, without power or essential supplies.

Leaders from around the world expressed their sympathy for victims in the attack and the first responders.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted her condolences as well. The U.K. has been dealing with a series of violent attacks this year, including the Manchester bombing, which also occurred during a concert.

“The UK’s thoughts are with the victims and the emergency services responding to the appalling attack in Las Vegas,” Ms. May tweeted.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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