Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Developing: Update on Las Vegas Mass Shooting

Today, America woke up to a somber morning after the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas. The information is developing as the response and recovery continues.

By the Numbers (updating)

Information is still being gathered as to what transpired. Here are the numbers that we know so far:

  • 58+: The number of people killed, making this attack the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history (this figure is as of 11:30 a.m., and could climb).
  • 515: Estimated number of people transported to hospitals (this fiigure is as of 11:30 a.m., and could climb).
  • 10+: Number of rifles found in the room where the perpetrator was firing from.
  • 22,000: Number of concert-goers attending the music festival.
  • 10:08 p.m.: The time when shots rang out.
  • 32: Floor number in the Mandalay Bay where the perpetrator was firing weapons.
  • 1,200-1,500+ ft.: Distance between perpetrator and musical festival.
  • 1: Reunification Center established (located at Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters.
  • 1: Missing persons hotline established for family or friends to report a missing or loved one connected to the incident.
  • 1: Investigations hotline established by the FBI for individuals with videos or photos of the incident.
  • 3: Number of pre-identified locations to donate blood across the greater Las Vegas area.
Map of Las Vegas Shooting
Map of Las Vegas Shooting (Source Map: Google)

Immediate Analysis

  • Firing from afar is not often seen in mass shootings. You need to look to the 1966 University of Texas Austin tower shooting (killing 15 and injuring 31), or part of the 2016 Dallas shooting where the perpetrator was firing from an elevated position down below for similar cases.  Most mass shootings occur in close distances.
  • The role of social media in immediate notification and coverage of the event is apparent. Individuals at the music festival and across the city were snapping, twittering, and FacebookLive the attack as it unfolded.  Rumors flared of other possible attacks, rumors which were quelled by the Sheriff.
  • It is difficult to overcome the “Normalcy” bias. Many individuals at the music festival spoke about how they thought there were fireworks going off.  Overcoming this bias can mean seconds more to act.
  • Responding to an active threat event in a large public event area is extremely challenging. In addition to the shooting, the chaos of the attack can cause stampedes as people take actions.  The sheer number of individuals at a large public event area can make response difficult, including the use of rapid deployment tactics to neutralize the perpetrator, as well as post-incident activities like reunification and witness management.  Potentially thousands of people will need immediate reunification assistance, which can be challenged even further when considering issues that individuals who are minors, or individuals with access and functional needs require attention to.

 

Commentary

The mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas is a tragedy.  More information will come to the forefront as the investigation continues, and stories from the scene are told.  Active threat events are not bound by rational human thought, and need a whole community approach to appreciate all of the many components of the prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery in play.  Whether a school, business, or large public event area, organizations need to be prepared.  You can learn more about these components on Hagerty’s microsite, Active Threat Ready.