Tuesday, October 3, 2017

50 Things About the Las Vegas Mass Shooting

In a perhaps rambling, no particular order post...

  1. The first inking of a problem was a couple of Twitter posts and a Reddit post about a shooting.  Since there are shootings everyday here--usually gang or domestic-related--I didn't think it was a big deal.
  2. Pretty quickly there was a deluge of posts; people then realized that something big was happening.
  3. The Broadcastify and Scanner Radio apps went from 500 listening to 50,000 listening in minutes.
  4. The scanner apps gave the most up-to-date info on what was happening.
  5. You know that bad stuff was happening just by listening to the radio traffic from first responders.  In most cases their voices are "normal" but that night their voices were serious as a heart attack.
  6. Eventually the radio apps went down due to an overload of listeners.
  7. It took minutes for social media to go from zero to a hundred with posts about the event.  Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit were where I was getting my information.
  8. There were A LOT of false reports.  After the initial reports of a shooting at the Mandalay Bay, reports of active shooters in several other casinos were reported on the scanner and on social media.  All of the other shooting reports were proven false.  Crowd hysteria?  Maybe.  Someone said that a girl running in flip flop made a loud popping sound so people thought the sounds they heard were gun shots.
  9. The TV news media didn't break into programming for maybe 30 minutes after initial reports of the shooting hit social media.
  10. No emergency alerts about the incident were sent either via cell alert or emergency TV alert.
  11. People who were on scene responded with heroism and ingenious actions.  Barricade fences were used as make-shift stretchers, several civilian cars were used to transport patients to local hospitals, first responders in the crowd began treating and triaging patients at the scene.
  12. This sort of incident is why it's a good idea to have some medical training and carry some basic medical supplies.
  13. This sort of incident is also a good reminder that any time you are in a public place, it is a good idea to know where all of the exits are, where escape routes are, and where places for cover and concealment are.
  14. One problem with social media is that people were giving incorrect information (wrong number of shooters, wrong location of shooters, wrong information on where to go, etc).  It's also a risk that social media rumors can start a witch hunt for people who don't even have anything to do with the incident (remember the Atlanta bombing?).
  15. Another problem with social media is that people were posting reports and pictures about what law enforcement was doing--a bad idea as the bad guy can be monitoring social media and you don't want to give away tactical positions of the officers.
  16. People were posting on social media that they were going to the scene to help.  This is not what the police wanted--they needed to clear and contain the scene--so the police needed to request that people not come to help.
  17. Of course some people went anyway but couldn't get far as all of the roads around the scene were immediately locked down.
  18. One guy became 'internet famous' for a moment because he said he was going home to get a gun so he could hunt for the assailant.  Note that unless there is no law enforcement on scene and you have a clear shot of the assailant and can stop a mass shooting, roaming about with a gun will lead law enforcement to mistake you for the shooter and kill you.
  19. Patients were taken to any hospital people could find (note to future rescuers, serious patients need to go to a Level 1 trauma center, not an urgent care).
  20. That being said, patient surge through the hospital system was pretty well organized.  As was triage by hospital staff.
  21. And the hospital, according to interviews, were practicing what is considered battlefield medicine--do surgery to stop the bleeding, put that patient aside, do the same with the next patient. etc.  When all patients were stable then patients were taken back into surgery to finish fixing the problem.
  22. A GoFundMe was set up by city officials and it has raised an incredible $4.2 million dollars so far.
  23. Reuniting families of the dead and injured (nearly 600 in total) was a huge job.  There are still three people in the hospital who are unidentified as of now.
  24. A number for family members was set up to help reunite people, unfortunately this line soon went down.  It took a bit of time to get another contact number set up.
  25. Many people were calling all of the hospitals and coroner's office looking for family members, this overloads the system and takes staff away from more important jobs which is why it was important for all people looking for loved ones to go to one source (the phone number set up for their calls).
  26. The city quickly set up a shelter for victims and their family members.  
  27. They also set up a family reunification center at the large convention center on the Strip (this center started out at the police headquarters but it was quickly overrun with the family members of all 600 victims so it needed to be moved to a larger facility).
  28. Arrangements needed to be made for people to retrieve their stuff that was left at the concert venue as well as from their hotel rooms on closed off floors.  Also to get back to their vehicles left at the concert venue.  This took days, not hours.
  29. So much stuff was donated to hospitals, blood banks, the convention center...all by locals and tourists alike.  Logistics was an issue.
  30. Many victims who ended up in the hospitals needed donations of clothing and shoes as theirs were too bloody to put back on.
  31. Eventually blood banks were so overwhelmed with donations that they needed to schedule people in order to keep the lines under control.
  32. The conspiracy theorists are having a field day of course.
  33. From the first report of shots fired to breaching the door of the shooter it took nine minutes.  That's a remarkably fast response.
  34. Machine guns and full-auto firearms are legal in Nevada.
  35. The FBI was requesting that anyone with video, photo, or other evidence submit it to their office as it could help with their investigation.
  36. The FBI also offered victims services for people impacted by the shooting.
  37. The news broadcasts about the incident were 24/7 relentless.
  38. Community memorials and vigils immediately popped up everywhere; there have been several over the last couple of days.
  39. The hotels (and several other local businesses including airlines) really stepped up and offered free food, lodging, transportation, etc for victims and their families.
  40. Counseling and bereavement services were also coordinated quickly for victims, their families, and first responders.
  41. Social media was also being widely used for people to post photos and descriptions of missing/unidentified loved ones.
  42. Notifications to all family members took a bit of time as you can imagine.
  43. The Metro police were pretty good about using both social media and regular press conferences to keep the public up-to-date about what was happening.
  44. All of the responders (law enforcement, hospital staff, EMS, etc) worked A LOT of hours, non stop for days after the incident.
  45. The outpouring of support--financially, emotionally, materially--from people all over the world was truly amazing.
  46. Local and state politicians were very much supportive and on-message together throughout the entire event and aftermath.
  47. Judging by some of the survivors being profiled on the news, survivor's guilt and PTSD are starting to kick in.  It is important after such an even to seek out appropriate mental health care.
  48. For first responders, there is an entire website dedicated to their mental health after traumatic events.
  49. The processing of the scene, investigation, and the completion of a final report will take weeks, even months.  Roads around the scene opened 48 hours after the shooting happened, the entire floor of the hotel where the shooter positioned himself is still blocked off, and I'm surprised that so many reporters at the police press conference were asking questions that would be in a final report--it's only been two days people.
  50. This entire situation is going to be used for future training for cities around the country for a long time to come.
Our prayers go out to all who were impacted by this event.

No comments:

Post a Comment