MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The mass shooting in Las Vegas, now the deadliest in recent U.S. history, has shocked and saddened local leaders.
Late Sunday night, Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on a crowd of about 22,000 that had gathered to hear singer Jason Aldean, the headliner on the final night of the three day Route 91 Harvest Festival.
Firing from a room of the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, Paddock killed 58 people and injured more than 500 more. Police used explosives to blow the door to the room, inside they found him dead by his own hand.
Paddock’s brother Eric, who lives in Orlando, said he was completely shocked when he heard what had happened.
Governor Rick Scott, who is in town for the 2017 Latin American Summit, said the magnitude of the shooting is hard to ignore.
“I can’t imagine what happened last night in Las Vegas, I think back to families I talked to after the Pulse shooting, it’s so senseless, it’s clearly evil,” he said.
“When is Congress going to have the nerve, the backbone, the spine to finally address the issue of reducing people’s access to guns in this country,” said Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said.
“We have hit a new low in this country when it comes to gun violence, over 50 people dead, that’s a new record,” said Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo (who was also in attendance at the summit.
However, he said it’s too early to discuss guns in America, but that time will come.
“For now we need to focus on the investigation, figure out how this happened, why this happened, and then later we’ll have to have another discussion about gun violence in our country,” he said.
Republican lawmaker Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart agreed.
“The circumstances are unclear, but what is clear is that this is a horrific day,” he said. Whether it’s organized terrorism or not, it’s an act of terror.”
Democratic Senator Bill Nelson said the Las Vegas shooting would make an excellent new starting point for a nationwide conversation about guns in our society.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims of this horrific attack. As the investigation continues, we will learn more about what led to this tragedy in Las Vegas, but at some point we, as a society, have to stand up and say enough is enough,” said Nelson in a statement.
“Words cannot express the shock and sorrow I feel this morning. I offer my deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones, to those wounded, and to the people of Las Vegas. I commend Las Vegas’ first responders who acted valiantly to evacuate the injured,” said Democratic Congressman Alcee L. Hastings in a statement.
Hastings pointed out that it was just last year when we witnessed what at the time was the worst mass shooting in our history. Forty nine people were killed when gunman Omar Mateen opened fire in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
“It is beyond tragic that we are once again confronted by the unspeakable evil of mass shootings in America. As details of this tragedy emerge, there is no question that this shooting must reshape our nation’s conversation about guns,” said Hastings.
“Today, we come together as a nation to sadly mourn those who lost their lives in this tragic and senseless violence. Let us finally act with a unified voice and with the necessary resolve to stem the tide of gun violence in America once and for all,” he concluded.
Congresswoman Schultz reiterated that she agreed that something needs to be done.
The tragedy in Las Vegas is heartbreaking. Enough is enough. It’s time to do something about the scourge of gun violence in this country.
— D Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) October 2, 2017
The congresswoman also issued a statement which read in part:
“Now we have a new ‘worst-ever gun-shooting’ tragedy before us. Congress must send more than thoughts and prayers. It must act, and immediately adopt sensible gun control measures. Every Member of Congress has a moral obligation to take immediate action to prevent these senseless gun deaths from happening yet again.”
Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted out:
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 2, 2017
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez expressed his thoughts on Twitter.
— Carlos A. Gimenez (@MayorGimenez) October 2, 2017
As did Miami-Dade Public Schools Supterintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Whatever the shooter’s motive for this horrific assault on human life in #LasVegas, we must unite as a country in solutions to these attacks
— Alberto M. Carvalho (@MiamiSup) October 2, 2017