Vatican Radio is reporting on the telegram sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin to Bishop Joseph Anthony Pepe of Los Vegas saying that the Holy Father was “deeply saddened” to learn of “this senseless tragedy.”
The pope went on to commend the efforts of police and emergency service personnel who helped the victims.
He also offered “the promise of his prayers for the injured and for all who have died, entrusting them to the merciful love of Almighty God.”
As of this morning, the Las Vegas shooting is now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, surpassing the 49 people who were killed after The Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando in 2016.
Police say 64 year-old, Stephen Paddock, a resident of Mesquite, Arizona, opened fire on an estimated 22,000 people who had gathered for a three-day festival known as the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Paddock had a room on the 32nd floor of a hotel across the street from the event and opened fire around 10:00 p.m. last night with a high powered rifle.
Paddock is believed to have killed himself when police stormed the room where they found a large stash of rifles.
Thus far, 50 are confirmed dead but the number is expected to rise as another 400+ people have been taken to nearby hospitals in the wake of the attack.
Relatives of Paddock say they had no idea anything was wrong with Stephen.
Eric Paddock, the brother of the suspected gunman, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he was struggling to understand what could have motivated the attack.
“There is no reason we can imagine why Stephen would do something like this,” Paddock said.“We have no idea how this happened. It’s like an asteroid just fell on top of our family.”
Police are continuing to investigate the scene as well as Paddock’s home in Mesquite, which he shared with his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who was once considered a suspect in the shooting.
The Pope was not the only one to send condolences to the Archdiocese and the people of Las Vegas.
President Donald J. Trump sent his “warmest condolences and sympathies” this morning to victims and families affected “the terribly Las Vegas shooting.”
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston sent out a tweet offering support to victims, their families, and emergency workers as that “God grant strength and faith to families affected by last nights violence; Lord welcome the dead into your loving embrace.”
Let us keep the victims and their families in our prayers during this sad time.
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