Flags ordered to half staff as Connecticut reacts to Las Vegas s - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Flags ordered to half staff as Connecticut reacts to Las Vegas shooting

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Police run to cover at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP) Police run to cover at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP)

Connecticut officials and residents alike woke up on Monday morning to news that at least 58 people were killed and more than 500 others were hurt in what's being described as the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

A gunman, identified by police as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, opened fire on a country music festival attended by 22,000 people on the Las Vegas strip.

Paddock was found dead on the 32nd floor of a hotel room across the street, police said.

Gov. Dannel Malloy announced on Monday that in accordance with a proclamation from President Donald Trump, flags will be lowered to half staff to honor the victims. The proclamation applies to both U.S. and Connecticut flags. It's in effect until Friday, Oct. 6 at sunset.

Malloy released a statement on Monday morning.

“Our hearts are breaking for the Las Vegas community," Malloy said. "This morning, our nation woke up to yet another senseless tragedy - one that we have seen repeated far too many times. While we do not know ?all the details of what took place in Las Vegas - we are incredibly grateful to the first responders and the everyday citizens who bravely risked their lives to save others. We send our sincerest condolences to those who have lost loved ones and we pray for the recovery of the survivors. To all those impacted by last night’s shooting - Connecticut stands with you."

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said the state joins the country in mourning.

"Our thoughts are with the injured, and with the families who were plunged into the horror of waiting for news on their loved ones," Wyman said. "I want to commend the first responders and other citizens who acted with bravery and courage despite the terrible events. Their actions saved lives and we thank them for what they did to protect residents.”

Sen. Chris Murphy took to Twitter to share his reaction.

"Not again," Murphy wrote. "My heart is with Las Vegas this morning. Sending prayers to the victims and their families."

Murphy said nowhere by America do large-scale mass shootings happen with regularity.

"Last night's massacre may go down as the deadliest in our nation's history, but already this year there have been more mass shootings than days in the year," he said. “This must stop. It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren't public policy responses to this epidemic. There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It's time for Congress to get off its ass and do something."

Sen. Richard Blumenthal also said his heart was broken.

"My heart breaks for Las Vegas, prayers to families and loved ones," Blumenthal said. "The nation's conscience must be galvanized."

He also sent in a statement to the Channel 3 newsroom.

“Although many details of this mass shooting remain unclear, one thing is certain: yet again, we are watching in horror as another American community is torn apart by the terrible devastation wrought by a gunman," Blumenthal said. "It has been barely a year since what was previously the largest mass shooting in American history – the deadly attack at Pulse nightclub. In the interim, thousands more have been lost to the daily, ruthless toll of gun violence. Still, Congress refuses to act. I am more than frustrated, I am furious.”

Congressman John Larson released a statement on Monday, saying “Once again, the nation is beset with a horrific mass shooting and Congress has done nothing. We are all heartbroken for the victims and their families, my thoughts and prayers are with them all. This December, it will be five years since the tragedy at Sandy Hook occurred. In that time, there have been over 1,500 mass shootings. Since that horrific day, the U.S. House of Representatives has not held a single vote on commonsense gun violence prevention measures. With each day that passes, Congress remains complicit in these acts of violence. Silence and prayers for the fallen are simply not enough. We need a vote on common sense solutions that not only address gun violence, but also focus on mental health and universal background checks. We will continue to demand action for the victims of gun violence. A Quinnipiac Poll in 2017, listed that 94% of Americans polled were in favor of universal background checks. My colleagues in the majority need to do something for a change and address this epidemic. How many more tragedies, how many more deaths need to occur until they are finally able to stand up to the NRA and do what is right?"

Erica Lafferty, daughter of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Dawn Hochsprung, also said her heart is in Las Vegas.

She said it's never too early to talk "gunsense," but it is way too late.

She also called out President Donald Trump.

"It's time for politicians to stop cowering behind the gun lobby and start standing with American families," Lafferty posted to Twitter. "Looking at you, [Trump]."

Hartford deputy police chief Brian Foley called it a horrific morning.

"As law enforcement, we prepare, plan and train," he said. "Some things cannot be predicted or prevented. When they happen, we must be ready to respond."

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League released a statement saying "CCDL expresses our sympathy for the victims and families of this horrible mass murder in Las Vegas. We are eager for more answers with regards to what might have motivated this mass murderer. We need to let investigators do their Job. There is no justification for anyone to commit mass murder. Unfortunately, the usual gun control entities are calling for knee-jerk reforms before all the facts are in. This is entirely the wrong approach in our view. Mass murderers simply will break whatever laws we have to commit atrocities. This fact is evidenced by the numerous cargo vehicle murders that occur in Spain, Germany, Sweden, France and multiple incidents in England. It seems to me that certain lawmakers like Chris Murphy very simply want to disarm citizens of the United States. If that is what he is seeking, then he should articulate his positions and simply say so. Americans will not stand for that actions such as this."

See photos from the scene of the shooting here.

Stay with Eyewitness News for continuing coverage of the Las Vegas shooting.

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