When Las Vegas Strip casino marquees and the Las Vegas sign go dark Monday night at 10 pm PT, it will mark one year since 58 lives were taken — and hundreds more shattered, along with limbs and dreams — but despite many months of investigation, a motive for the tragedy remains elusive.
And as the names of the victims are read out loud at 10:05 pm — in a style that’s becomes all too familiar since 9/11 — at the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden in downtown Las Vegas, too many families and friends will continue to wonder “why them?” of the lives taken while watching a Route 91 Harvest music festival performance by country artist Jason Aldean.
Aaron Rouse, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s investigation of the October 1 massacre, pledged to discover why 64-year-old Stephen Paddock assembled an arsenal of weapons inside his Mandalay Bay suite and opened fire on the assembled crowd below. But while the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department wrapped up its own investigation into the shooting in August, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo has said they were unable to determine a motive.
What we have been able to answer is the questions of who, what, when, where, and how. What we have not been able to definitively answer is the why Stephen Paddock committed this act,” Lombardo said as the results of the intensive investigation were released to the public.
The FBI is still working on its review, and is expected to make its own findings available before year’s end.
MGM Resorts, parent company to Mandalay Bay, chose not organize any remembrance events on Monday, and business at the South Strip property appeared to be going on as usual. The gaming operator has come under intense scrutiny for a series of legal decisions that have had the effect of extending — rather than ameliorating — the suffering of victims and their families.
Numerous events around Las Vegas were held on Monday to remember the victims and survivors. Fifty-eight crosses with the names of each person who died were displayed near the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign about half a mile south of Mandalay Bay.
Metro Police and the Clark County Fire Department gathered with members of the public at 6:30 am PT at the county government center for a sunrise remembrance. Another tribute service was scheduled at the Las Vegas Healing Garden for 6:30 pm, prior to the 10:05 name-reading ceremony designed to symbolize the time the victims were hit one year ago today.
Paddock’s shooting spree began at 10:05, and lasted roughly 10 minutes before he committed suicide in his Mandalay Bay suite.
“The hate that was rained down on those individuals by a terrorist from the 32nd floor was met with an outpouring of love from this community,” Clark County Commissioner and Nevada Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak said on Monday.
For the survivors, the pain continues. Bridge Consulting CEO David Robeck told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that many are just now reaching out.
“We’re seeing more people who thought they had it under control, but now realize they need help,” Robeck said.
“Many people are very resilient and will say, ‘I can do it myself with self-medication and avoidance and distraction.’ Over time, those avoidance techniques don’t have the same influence,” psychologist Jordan Soper added.