Utahns Offer Aid, Condolences After Deadly Vegas Mass Shooting
Utah's elected officials have offered assistance to Nevada authorities following the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. History. At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 injured when a shooter opened fire on people attending a country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday night.
Keith Squires, the commissioner of the Utah Department of Public Safety, says his department has been coordinating with the Las Vegas fusion center since the attack. But they haven't received any requests for assistance at this time.
Gov. Gary Herbert has ordered all U.S. and Utah flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Oct. 6 to honor the victims of the shooting. A number of other elected officials have also released statements or Tweets offering condolences.
Local Blood Donations
The Red Cross is among the first responders offering help to victims and their families after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history last night in Las Vegas.
Salt Lake Red Cross board member Stan Rosenzweig wasn’t surprised when he arrived this morning at the local blood center to see a lot of cars.
“I’m just pulling into the parking lot right now and it’s packed, so I see a lot of people,” he said. “You know, Utahns have big heart, so as soon as something like this happens, everybody comes to provide assistance.”
He said they’re focusing on helping families of the victims, and they’re still waiting for details on what’s needed.
“I hate to say this, but the best thing to do right now is to have good thoughts and prayers because we’re still in the process,” he said. “And so is the local government and the sheriff’s department - they’re still in the process of identifying exactly what is going to be needed.”
Rosenzweig recommends that those who want to give blood make an appointment.
“If they can’t make an appointment today, certainly they can make an appointment for tomorrow or the day after,” he said. “We’ll still be here, and we’ll still be trying to fill the need.”
For more information, go to recross.org/Utah.
Las Vegas officials have set up a hotline for those who are looking for family or friends. The number to call is 1-866-535-5654.
Police have also opened a reunification center at its headquarters at 400 S. Martin L. King Blvd. in Building B, Las Vegas, NV.
Two airplanes headed to Las Vegas last night were diverted to Salt Lake City International Airport. When the shooting started at 10 p.m. Pacific Time, McCarren Airport officials halted flights in and out of the city.
Jasen Asay, a spokesman for the airport, says he doesn't know how long the planes were on the tarmac, and said passengers did not disembark.
About two dozen flights at McCarren, the nation’s eighth busiest, were diverted, with limited operations overnight. Regular schedules in and out of Las Vegas resumed this morning.
This post will be updated.