BY Staff Reporter | October 2 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

LAS-VEGAS

Pope prays for victims after deadly Las Vegas shooting

Pope Francis has offered prayers for victims of a deadly terror attack after a gunman opened fire on festival-goers in Las Vegas, in what is the worst mass shooting in modern US history.

The attack left at least 58 people dead and hundreds more injured at the country music festival in Nevada.

“Deeply saddened to learn of the shooting in Las Vegas, Pope Francis sends the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all those affected by this senseless tragedy,” read a telegram signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, which was addressed to Bishop Joseph Anthony Pepe of Las Vegas.

It offers the Holy Father’s encouragement of police officers and emergency services, and promised his prayers ‘for the injured and for all who have died, entrusting them to the merciful love of Almighty God.’

64-year-old Mesquite, Nevada, native Stephen Paddock has been named as the suspected gunman.

He allegedly opened fire from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel onto the open-air musical festival below.

Mr Paddock is reported to have turned a gun on himself as police entered the hotel room, and he is believed to have acted alone with authorities unsure of his motivations.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston also spoke about the tragedy.

“God grant strength and Faith to families affected by last night’s violence; Lord welcome the dead into your loving embrace,” he said.

He also prayed for God’s blessing on the first responders as they tend to the victims of the attack.

50 people died and 200 were wounded at the sold-out Route 91 Harvest festival on the Las Vegas Strip where some of country music’s biggest names were performing. An estimated 406 people have been hospitalised.

It surpasses the death toll at last year’s deadly nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, which killed 49 people.

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