Former Juneau resident praises Las Vegas’ emergency preparedness in wake of shooting

The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Creative Commons photo by Rebell18190)

The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Creative Commons photo by Rebell18190)

A former Juneau resident is praising Las Vegas police for their quick response to a public mass shooting.

Chase Shumway was born and raised in Las Vegas. In the mid-‘90s he moved with his family to Juneau, where he lived for about 10 years. After he graduated high school he moved back to Las Vegas.

He said the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has been practicing their emergency preparedness for years to better respond to potential tragedies.

“Our police department they’ve been running these drills for years now ever since talk of a possible attack on the strip came up. It seemed like they were on the ball when things went down,” Shumway said. “Their response was pretty fast … just getting roads closed and things, and getting emergency vehicles and stuff in there.”

In an attack Sunday night, a gunman killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds.

KTVA is reporting that an Alaskan is among the deceased. Adrian Murfitt, 35, was shot when gunfire rained down from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino onto a country music concert crowd below.

Alaska Dispatch News is reporting that the state of Alaska issued nonresident sportfishing licenses to a Stephen Paddock. The three-day licenses were issued to someone matching Paddock’s name and address. Paddock has been named by authorities as the suspect in the shooting.

Shumway woke up late at night and saw the coverage.

“At about it was a little after midnight I think last night I just rolled over, checked my phone to see what the time was and I saw the news alert so I turned on our local news,” Shumway said. “I’ve been pretty much watching it all night. I didn’t get much sleep at all.”

Shumway said residents and businesses have been pitching in with donations and offers of support. The Thomas and Mack Center, where the University of Nevada, Las Vegas plays basketball games, opened as a temporary shelter for people who could not get back to their hotel rooms after the hotels went on lockdown. Uber and Lyft began offering people free rides.

“For us to have our first mass shooting like this and then for it to be the worst one of them all so far, it’s, for the lack of a better word, sobering,” he said.  “It’s just a completely different mood. Everyone’s just kind of somber.”

Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak created a GoFundMe account to raise money to assist victims of the shooting. Funds will be used to provide relief and financial support to the victims and families. The account has raised more than $900,000.

Editor’s note: 360 North contracts Chase Shumway for television work.

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