Pope Francis expresses grief over Las Vegas shooting
ROME - In a telegram addressed to the Bishop of Las Vegas, Pope Francis expressed his condolences with those wounded or killed from the shooting on Sunday night. The pontiff stated that he was “deeply saddened” to learn of the “senseless tragedy.” Above this, he “offers the promise of his prayers for the injured and for all who have died, entrusting them to the merciful love of Almighty God.”
The attack on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas is said to be the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States, with current statistics showing the death toll as 59, and 527 wounded. The gunman, 64 year-old Stephen Paddock, was pronounced dead at the scene by police. His position appears to have been on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, which overlooked the concert.
In his telegram to Bishop Joseph Anthony Pepe, Francis assured his “spiritual closeness” to those affected by the tragedy, and commended the efforts of the police and the emergency service personnel as the first responders. Reports have detailed that police officers were among the killed, and the emergency forces have been commended by many for their rapid response time. The Bishop Joseph Pepe himself has also released a statement expressing grief, and gratitude to the men and women who have supported the city since the tragedy.