CBS Local — On Sunday evening tragedy and terror struck in Las Vegas as the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history unfolded at a country music concert attended by over 20,000 people from all over the world.
At least 58 people are dead and 500-plus injured as a result of the attack, which was perpetrated by 64-year-old Las Vegas resident Stephen Paddock, who shot down into the crowd of concert-goers from the 32nd floor window of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel.
While many are shocked that this could have happened in Las Vegas, some saw it as an eventuality in the bustling tourist hub, including CBS Radio’s Mix 94.1 radio host Shawn Tempesta, who discussed the incident at length this morning with Alan Stock on KXNT radio in Las Vegas.
“I hate to say it, but I think everybody in Las Vegas — when you look at the strip and see all the stuff happening in other places — you just wonder. I mean, it’s only a matter of time,” Tempesta said. “This big target, and it’s so open, and there’s so many people from so many cultures that come here that it’s just, it’s a matter of time.”
Stock would later agree with that feeling.
“I always thought the same thing and I never wanted to say it because it’s just a matter of time before it happens here. It happened in New York, it happened in Boston, it’s happened in a lot of places,” he said.
After discussing the perpetrator and possible motives he may have had, Stock and Tempesta tried to discuss possible answers to a question that has stumped everyone as terrorist attacks have become more deadly and prevalent nation wide: how can we stop something like this?
“Alan… you have the security checkpoints at the concert,” Tempesta said. “Even if you’re looking at a certain type of person. Even if you’re racially profiling, nothing catches this. How do you stop somebody shooting from 1/10th of a mile away, from a hotel room window, and picking off people… this is unstoppable. And it’s awful.”
Even though such an attack may be “unstoppable,” both Stock and Tempesta marveled at the preparedness and impressive nature of the SWAT and Las Vegas Police Department in this situation.
Police units were able to find the room the suspect was operating out of within 10-15 minutes, possibly saving countless more lives on the ground.
“If there’s anything good about it, the good news is that the Metro and the SWAT squad, they’re on top of it,” Stock said. “They’re on top of it, and within five minutes they knew where this guy was, and they took him down.”
Police were able to find the shooter as the smoke from his gun set off hotel smoke alarms, alerting them to his presence on the 32nd floor of the hotel.
Officers were able to track down his room and ultimately force their way inside. Police reports have indicated that Paddock killed himself before officers were able to confront him.
“This is something Metro’s been preparing for,” Tempesta said. “And they’ve been preparing for this because they flat out said, ‘we’re Las Vegas, and this is bound to happen,’ and their training went to good use.”