October 1st, 2017 was a tragic day for US citizens as thousands of people were exposed to one of the deadliest mass shooting incidents in US history. A 64-year-old man, known as Stephen Paddock opened fire on the general public, particularly targeting individuals gathered at the function, packed with more than 22,000 people (Blankstein et al., 2017). According to a news report, Paddock hurled bullets into the crowd from a window at the Mandalay Bay Resort, claiming the lives of 58 innocent American citizens and injuring about 1000 people (Romo, 2019). Even so, the most distressing facts of the case are that the FBI found no motives behind his killings.
Nevertheless, Stephen Paddock took his time to plan his actions. According to evidence retrieved from his 32nd-floor suite, he possessed 47 firearms and hundreds of ammunition on the day he opened fire on innocent individuals (Corcoran et al., 2019). Moreover, investigations revealed that he had been researching the most current police tactics, ballistics approaches, their response time, and how they execute their operations (Romo, 2019). In addition, he had visited different sites for a location where he could inflict maximum damage. Seemingly, he had been planning for the massacre for more than a year. Still, the police did not have any idea as to why he perpetrated his acts of violence (Corcoran et al., 2019). The killer shot himself before law enforcement officers had the opportunity to restrain and apprehend him.
Although social scientists and researchers are yet to agree on a definition for a mass shooting, most resources classify these incidents according to the circumstances by which they occurred. A mass shooting is a single incident involving firearms or random attacks on the general public where four or more people are harmed (Taylor, 2019). The incident that occurred on October 1st, 2017 constitutes a mass shooting as a shooter opened fire on the Las Vegas strip from a distance where he could not target individual victims.
After the incident, the criminal justice system experienced unique challenges as they were obligated to answer several questions about the incident. The perpetrator carefully planned his movements and was successful in executing his mission using various strategies under the radar of law enforcement without raising attention (Corcoran et al., 2019). Thus, the incident discloses high levels of negligence on the part of the police. In addition, criminal prosecutors and individuals in the justice system experienced challenges deciding the case, obligating them to close down the investigation due to the lack of motive (Romo, 2019). Hence, the incident undermines the justice system and its role as the case’s complexity prevents justice for lost families and victims.
Mass shooting incidents in the United States are highly prevalent owed to the limited control law enforcement has on firearm possession and individuals’ access to high-powered guns. However, researchers attribute mass shooting massacres to social and structural reasons that interfere with individuals’ judgment and reasoning (Taylor, 2019). These incidents have severe implications on society as they interfere with individuals’ feelings of security and comfort. After the incident, most people dreaded attending such functions for fear of their lives and a similar occurrence. Moreover, these incidents show immorality in human society that needs to be eradicated. Otherwise, they might result in unavoidable crises in the future.
Blankstein, A., Williams, P., Elbaum, R. & Chuck, E. (2017). Las Vegas shooting: 59 killed and more than 500 hurt near Mandalay Bay. NBC News. Web.
Corcoran, K., Baker, S., & Choi, D., (2019). The FBI has closed its investigation of the Las Vegas mass shooting that killed 58 people and injured hundreds more. Here’s exactly how the nation’s worst modern gun massacre unfolded. Business Insider. Web.
Romo, V. (2019). FBI finds no motive in Las Vegas shooting, closes investigation. NPR. Web.
Taylor, H. (2019). Domestic terrorism and hate crimes: legal definitions and media framing of mass shootings in the United States. Journal of Policing, Intelligence And Counter Terrorism, 14(3), 227-244. Web.