Tag Archive: mark shuster health insurance for everyone


vegas shooting.jpg

 

On October 1st 2017, the deadliest mass shooting in the US occurred at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring 527.  The shooter, identified as 64 year-old Stephen Paddock, broke two windows in his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and sent more than 22,000 country music fans scrambling for their lives.  Between 10:05 and 10:15 pm, Paddock fired thousands of rounds at concert goers, turning the last day of the festival into a massacre.  The headlining performer, country music singer Jason Aldean was giving the closing performance when the first shots were fired.

Several videos of the attack show the terror as countless rounds of gunfire can be heard with intervals of just a few seconds in between.  Many concert-goers and performers still in the area initially thought the sounds were fireworks.  When the second round of gunfire is heard, Jason Aldean ran off the stage and fans realized it was automatic gunfire-but for many, it was already too late.  As terrified fans got down, many noticed people nearby who had already been shot.  Videos of the attack show fans running, and then dropping to the ground as another round of gunfire starts.  As people ran for their lives, many were separated and left not knowing if their friend or loved ones made it out.  The day after the attack, stories circulated of the many brave people helping people to safety, tending to those injured and loading wounded into their vehicles to get them to area hospitals.  Slowly, the identities of those lost were confirmed either through family confirming on social media or reaching out to news outlets.

Six minutes prior to the shooting, Mandalay Bay hotel security guard Jesus Campos was checking an alert for an open door in another guest’s room near Paddock’s room.  Paddock, who had placed security cameras outside his room, shot Campos through the door of his suite, which was outfitted with a camera to survey the hallway, as was a room service cart parked outside. Police said Paddock fired 200 rounds into the hallway, hitting Campos once in the leg.  Campos radioed the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department that the gunman was in room 32135 and began evacuating people from the 32nd floor, including a maintenance worker who entered the hallway moments after he was shot.

The first 911 call was at 10:08 pm but police officers were initially confused as to where the shooting was coming from.  Officers eventually spotted multiple flashes of gunfire on the northern side of Mandalay Bay and responded to the hotel.  At 10:12 pm, two officers on the 31st floor reported the sounds of gunfire on the floor above them.  Between 10:26 and 10:30pm, eight officers reached the floor but didn’t hear anymore gunfire.  They systematically searched and cleared rooms, evacuating any remaining guests using a master key provided by Campos.   At 10:55pm officers reported all guests had been evacuated and at 11:20pm, police breached Paddock’s room with explosives.  Paddock was found dead, having shot himself in the head before the police entered.

Police found 22 rifles and one handgun inside Paddock’s hotel room that he had occupied since September 28.  Police believe Paddock’s surveillance cameras and additional evidence found in the room suggest that Paddock intended to escape after the shooting.  Police, relatives, and neighbors described him as a wealthy, high-stakes gambler who kept to himself -with no political or religious affiliations.  They say he frequently gambled tens of thousands of dollars-earning him valuable comps from Vegas area casinos.  Paddock had no criminal record or known history of mental illness.  Police believed he acted alone but have not determined his motive.

 

Advertisements

The US Navy released the names and hometowns of the 10 sailors who went missing after the USS John S. McCain, a guided-missile destroyer, collided with a merchant ship near Singapore, east of the Malacca Strait on Monday.  Initial reports indicated that the destroyer sustained damage to her port side aft, the left rear of the ship, in the collision that left five injured and 10 sailors missing. Authorities said four of those injured were medically evacuated by a Singapore navy helicopter with non-life threatening injuries and the fifth injured sailor stayed on board with minor injuries.

The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time, while the ship was en route to a routine port visit in Singapore.   The ship headed to port under its own power after the collision.  The other ship, the Alnic MC, is a 600-foot oil and chemical tanker with a gross tonnage of 30,000 and is about three times the size of the McCain.    The USS McCain is based at the fleet’s homeport of Yokosuka, Japan. It was commissioned in 1994 and has a crew of 23 officers, 24 chief petty officers and 291 enlisted sailors, according to the Navy’s website.

The US Navy confirmed they recovered the remains of two sailors — Kenneth Smith, 22, and Dustin Doyon, 26 but suspended the search for the sailors who are still missing after “more than 80 hours of multinational search efforts,” the statement said.

Those lost in the collision have been identified as Kenneth Smith, 22 of Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Dustin Doyon, 26, of Suffield, Connecticut; Kevin Bushell, 26, of Gaithersburg, Maryland; Jacob Drake, 21, of Cable, Ohio; Timothy Eckels Jr., 23, of Manchester, Maryland; Charles Findley, 31 of Amazonia, Missouri; John “CJ” Hoagland III, 20 of Killeen, Texas; Corey Ingram, 28 of Poughkeepsie, New York; Abraham Lopez, 39, of El Paso, Texas and Logan Palmer, 23, of Decatur, Illinois.

The incident is the second serious collision for a Navy vessel in two months and fourth since January. The USS Fitzgerald collided with a freighter off the coast of Japan on June 17, leaving seven sailors dead.  The Navy last week relieved the Fitzgerald’s skipper and two top sailors of their command for losing “situational awareness” in the hours leading up to the collision. About a dozen sailors in all are facing some punishment, including all of the destroyer’s watch, the Navy said.

The Navy is preparing to conduct an extremely rare suspension of ship operations worldwide for a day or two in order to review safety and operational procedures. Navy officials are also investigating the role that training, manning and crew communications may have played in the accidents.  Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin, the head of the Seventh Fleet, the Navy’s largest overseas, was removed Wednesday in connection with the four accidents since January, according to a statement by the Navy.

Admiral Aucoin had been expected to retire in the coming weeks, but his superiors pushed up his departure date after losing confidence in his leadership.  Admiral Aucoin is being replaced by Rear Adm. Phil Sawyer, “who has already been nominated and confirmed for the position and promotion to vice admiral,” the Navy statement said.

 

Steve Stephens, the Cleveland killer who uploaded a video of himself shooting an elderly man on Easter Sunday-has killed himself after a police chase in Pennsylvania.  Stephens was on the run for two days after uploading a video of the senseless murder, as well as two other videos explaining why he committed the crime.  In a video made prior to the shooting, Stephens explains that he just snapped and that his ex-girlfriend Joy Lane was to blame for what he was about to do.  He mentions that he had lost everything he had to gambling debts and that he has tried to talk about his problems with friends and family but that they act like his problems aren’t that serious.

In the video of the killing, Stephens approaches Robert Godwin, a 74 year old grandfather of 14, as he is walking down the street.  Stephens asks Godwin if he knows Joy Lane and then makes the man repeat the name saying “Joy Lane is the reason this is about to happen to you”.  Godwin replies “Joy Lane, I don’t know any Joy Lane” as he raises his arms to protect himself-before being shot dead.  Godwin, 74, was shot while walking home from an Easter meal with his children in Cleveland.

After uploading the video on Facebook, Stephens posted a Facebook live video of himself driving in his car while talking on the phone and dubbing his crime spree “The Joy Lane Easter Massacre” while claiming to have already killed a dozen other people.  He claimed he would keep killing at random until Joy Lane or his mother called him.

Joy Lane, Stephens on again-off again girlfriend of a few years, told several news agencies that she tried to reach him shortly after the video surfaced but he did not pick up his phone.  She said she was overwhelmed by the tragedy and apologized for what had happened-wishing for prayers for the victim’s family.

After the video surfaced, Cleveland residents were left reeling in fear that an active shooter was still in the area killing innocent people at random.  For two days, authorities across the country scrambled to find Stephens, believing he may have headed east to family in New York.  On Sunday, Stephens’ cell phone pinged a cell tower 100 miles east of Cleveland, in Erie, Pennslyvania.

The manhunt came to an end shortly after an employee spotted Stephens’ white Ford Fusion in the drive-thru of a McDonald’s near Erie and called authorities.  The franchise owner said Stephens ordered chicken nuggets and fries at the McDonald’s drive-thru window in Harborcreek Township when employees recognized him.  Stephens was two cars behind in the drive-thru lane to pick up food as police were on their way.

The McDonalds employee’s tried to give police more time to arrive by telling Stephens the fries were not ready but he took the nuggets and left.  Authorities spotted him as he fled the area and gave chase.  Police said that an officer performed a “PIT” maneuver, a strategic way of ramming a car to disable it.  As the vehicle was spinning out of control from the PIT maneuver, Stephens pulled a pistol and shot himself in the head.

Authorities were uncertain how long Stephens was in the area and don’t believe he had any accomplices.  No other victims have been confirmed.