One Year Later, Las Vegas Honours 58 Killed in Mass Shooting

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First responders and others fold an American flag following a prayer service during the one-year anniversary of the October 1 mass shooting, in Las Vegas
First responders and others fold an American flag following a prayer service during the one-year anniversary of the October 1 mass shooting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Marcus TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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(Reuters) 

As white doves flew overhead – each tagged with a name of one of the 58 people killed a year ago on Monday when a sniper opened fire in Las Vegas – loved ones gathered at sunrise to remember victims of the largest mass shooting in modern American history

Governor Brian Sandoval commended his state for its struggle to heal and recover at the commemoration ceremony held at an outdoor amphitheatre.

“From that day of Nevada infamy, we have become #VegasStronger,” he tweeted after the ceremony.

 

Nick Fraser carries a cross, representing his father Brian Scott Fraser, one of the 58 victims of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting, during the one-year anniversary of the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas
Nick Fraser carries a cross, representing his father Brian Scott Fraser, one of the 58 victims of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting, during the one-year anniversary of the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

 

Gunman Stephen Paddock, 64, fired over 1,100 rounds from his 32nd-floor suite at the Mandalay Bay into a crowd of 22,000 people at an outdoor country music festival on Oct. 1, 2017, in the massacre that also wounded over 800 people. He then killed himself before police stormed his room.

At the daybreak ceremony one year later, friends and family members of those slain or wounded bowed their heads for 58 seconds of silence before a choral group sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and the air filled with the mournful strains of bagpipes.

 

Survivors of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting look at a Remembrance Wall at the Las Vegas Healing Garden during the one-year anniversary of the shooting in Las Vegas
Sisters Melissa Rehrer (L) and Jaime Rehrer, (C) and their cousin Emilie Farr, survivors of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting, look at a Remembrance Wall at the Las Vegas Healing Garden during the one-year anniversary of the shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

 

“On October 1st, our city was jolted into darkness,” Mynda Smith, whose sister Neysa Tonks, a 46-year-old mother of three, was among those gunned down, told the remembrance ceremony.

“None of us will ever be the same after that night. However, none of us were alone,” Smith said, recalling the massive response of citizens donating blood, aiding the injured and feeding families stunned by the violence. “We found love that came from so many that were there to help us.”

 

SYMPATHY FROM MGM RESORTS

MGM Resorts International, which owns the Mandalay Bay and drew criticism for countersuing victims to seek immunity from damage claims, expressed solidarity and sympathy on the anniversary of the gun violence.

 

 

Across the country, iHeartRadio’s country music stations held a moment of silence at 10:05 a.m. PDT. The shooting erupted a year ago at 10:05 p.m. PDT.

Country singer Jason Aldean, who was performing at the Route 91 Harvest festival when Paddock opened fire on the crowd, posted an image of a historic Las Vegas street sign and the emblem for the Route 91 festival. “Thinkin about our Route 91 family today. #vegasstrong,” Aldean wrote.

 

Photos of the 58 victims of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting are displayed during the one-year anniversary of the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas
Photos of the 58 victims of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting are displayed during the one-year anniversary of the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

 

An investigation into the shooting concluded in August without discovering a motivation for the shooting.

Paddock used “bump stock” devices to accelerate the rate of fire from his semiautomatic rifles, effectively turning them into machine guns, which are legal under U.S. law.

 

Shawn Williams, a survivor of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting, shows his tattoo at the Las Vegas Healing Garden during the one-year anniversary of the shooting in Las Vegas
Shawn Williams, a survivor of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting, shows his tattoo at the Las Vegas Healing Garden during the one-year anniversary of the shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

 

Within days of the shooting, National Rifle Association leaders urged the U.S. government to review the law, drawing criticism from some members who viewed it as a betrayal of the powerful gun lobby’s principles.

On Monday, the U.S. Justice Department said it had submitted a proposed ban on bump stocks to the Office of Management and Budget for review.

 

Route 91 shooting survivor Brian Ahlers carries a cross representing his wife Hannah, one of the 58 victims, during the one-year anniversary of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas
Route 91 shooting survivor Brian Ahlers carries a cross representing his wife Hannah, one of the 58 victims, during the one-year anniversary of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

 

President Donald Trump, asked about bump stocks at a news conference on Monday, said his administration would try to ensure the devices would be illegal within a matter of weeks.

“We’re knocking out bump stocks,” Trump said. “Bump stocks are done – I told the NRA.”

 

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg, Dan Trotta and Peter Szekely in New York and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney)

 

Sabrina Mercadante looks at photos on a tree dedicated to shooting victim Brian Fraser at the Las Vegas Healing Garden during the one-year anniversary of the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas
Sabrina Mercadante looks at photos on a tree dedicated to shooting victim Brian Fraser at the Las Vegas Healing Garden during the one-year anniversary of the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

 

A pair of cowboy boots is displayed in a Remembrance Wall at the Las Vegas Healing Garden during the one-year anniversary of the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas
A pair of cowboy boots is displayed in a Remembrance Wall at the Las Vegas Healing Garden during the one-year anniversary of the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

 

Sharon Mackrell adds photos of her friend Cameron Robinson, one of the 58 victims of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting, at the Las Vegas Healing Garden during the one-year anniversary of the shooting in Las Vegas
Sharon Mackrell adds photos of her friend Cameron Robinson, one of the 58 victims of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting, at the Las Vegas Healing Garden during the one-year anniversary of the shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

 

 

Keep reading (more images ahead) …

 

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