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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Saturday, October 21, 2017

The FBI has determined that Stephen Paddock, who murdered 58 people and wounded 515 others in the worst mass shooting in US history, had no connection to international terrorist organizations. Paddock, 64, opened fire at a country music concert at the Mandalay Bay resort hotel in Las Vegas just before 10:30 p.m. local time Sunday night from the balcony of his 32nd story room at the hotel. Witnesses say the gunman fired hundreds of rounds.   

Country star Jason Aldean was on stage playing at the time of the shooting. Hours later he described it as "horrific."

"I still don't know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that me and my crew are safe. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night," he said on Instagram.

"We’ve determined no connection with an international terrorist group," an FBI spokesperson said at a press conference Monday.

The FBI's findings prove that the ISIS terrorist organization lied when it claimed responsibility for the shooting at a country music concert at the Mandalay Bay resort.

"The Las Vegas attacker is a soldier of the Islamic State in response to calls to target coalition countries," the terrorist organization said.

ISIS also claimed that the shooter "converted to Islam several months ago."

The shooter's brother also cast doubt on ISIS' claims, saying that "He was just a guy. Something happened, he snapped or something."

The father of the shooter had an extensive criminal history and was on the FBI's most-wanted list, the Daily Mail and NBC reported.

According to the reports, Paddock's father was Benjamin Haskins Paddock, who was arrested in 1960 for robbing an Arizona bank. The elder Paddock escaped from prison in 1968 and spent eight years on the run.

Paddock was placed on the FBI's most-wanted list in 1969, where he remained until he was captured outside a bingo parlor in Oregon in 1978. He was one of the organization's '10 most-wanted' men.

“Since he has utilized firearms in previous crimes, has employed violence in attempting to evade arrest and has been diagnosed as being psychopathic, Paddock should be considered extremely dangerous,” Palmer M. Baken Jr., the agent in charge of the Phoenix FBI office said at the time, according to the Tuscon Daily Citizen.

According to the FBI, the elder Paddock was "diagnosed as psychopathic" and possibly had "suicidal tendencies."

Stephen Craig Paddock was a retired accountant who lived on a desert golf course in Mesquite Nevada, with no known history of violence -- until he shot dead  at least 58 people in a hail of gunfire from his Las Vegas hotel window.

Paddock's family was in shock after the 64-year-old sowed terror on the Vegas strip in the worst mass shooting in recent US history.

His brother, Eric Paddock, told CBS News his brother was "not an avid gun guy at all."

"Where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background or anything like that," he said. "He's a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite, drove down and gambled in Las Vegas. He did stuff. Eat burritos."

Paddock was found dead, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, when a police SWAT team burst in to his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Hotel. At least eight weapons, including a number of long rifles, were recovered in his hotel room.

Authorities are now searching for the shooter’s companion, a 62-year-old woman identified as Marilou Danley, whom police have called “a person of interest”. KHOU-TV's Bill Bishop identified Danley as Paddock's wife.

One off-duty police officer was among those killed, and another two on-duty officers were injured, Las Vegas Metropolitan police said in a statement.

As the situation at the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert unfolded, people sought safety in the many hotels that line the popular tourist district. The Las Vegas international airport is also in the area, and flights there were temporarily halted because of the shooting.

The Department of Homeland Security has said that there is "no information to indicate a specific credible threat involving other public venues in the country", but that additional security may be seen at events and public places.

Local Response

According to Rabbi Yitz Wyne, who heads Young Israel Aish Las Vegas, the attack hit his community particularly hard because of his congregation's physical proximity to the scene of the slaughter.

"Our congregation is only 12 miles away from where it happened," Wyne told Arutz Sheva. "Many people work there, and we are all familiar with the area."

"The entire day, I've been getting calls from community members, from people all over the world, asking if we are okay," Wyne continued. "We are all in shock."

Rabbi Wyne views the tragic shooting as a message from God. "We need to note that it happened right near us, not in Atlanta," he said. "All of us need to find ways that we can repent and serve God better."

"Nothing happens for no reason-if a mass shooting happened near us, then we need to ask ourselves what God is telling us," Rabbi Wyne declared.

Despite the fact that ISIS claimed responsibility for the horrendous shooting, Rabbi Wyne says, however, that he and his community don't fear for their physical safety.

"We don't harbor any such fears," said Wyne. "We've spent more than $75,000 on security over the last year alone. Our building is much safer than it has ever been, for the threats have grown larger since we first built it 15 years ago."

"Some of our members have gotten racial insults hurled at them, things like that, but nothing out of the ordinary. We feel safe here," Wyne concluded.

Israel's Consul in Las Vegas, Avner Saban, said Monday that two Israelis who have remained out of contact were in the area of the mass shooting 

The President of the State of Israel Reuven Rivlin sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Monday, expressing his deep condolences on behalf of the entire nation following the massacre in Las Vegas.

Rivlin wrote to Trump: "The people of Israel and I send you, the festival participants, the citizens of Las Vegas, and all the citizens of the United States, our deep condolences in the wake of this shocking attack that claimed the lives of so many innocents and led to the injury of many others."

The President stressed: "We stand by you in mourning for the terrible loss of life in this senseless attack on people who have gathered together in joy to listen to music."

In addition, the President asked President Trump "to convey our sincere condolences to the bereaved families and to give our prayers for the speedy recovery of the wounded."

‘Act of Pure Evil’

CNN reported that President Donald Trump used a solemn address from the White House on Monday to call for unity in the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, calling the massacre an "act of pure evil."

In a subdued statement, Trump said the nation was united "in sadness, shock and grief."

Reading from a teleprompter in the Diplomatic Reception Room, Trump mourned the victims and announced he would visit the stricken Nevada city on Wednesday.

"We cannot fathom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss," Trump said of those who lost loved ones in the massacre.

For the second time of his presidency, Trump sought to provide solace after a deadly US shooting. He acknowledged the work of local law enforcement officers and called for unity in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

Speaking for five minutes, Trump acknowledged there were few answers for Americans still coming to grips with the tragedy.

"In times such as these I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness," he said. "The answers do not come easy. But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light, and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope."

The massacre in Nevada is the worst domestic act of violence of Trump's presidency. He was briefed on the situation Monday morning by his chief of staff, John Kelly, and conveyed his initial condolences on Twitter.

Later on Monday afternoon, President Trump, first lady Melania, Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen solemnly walked onto the White House lawn. Not a word was said as a bell rang in the distance. The four bowed their heads for a moment to honor the victims, letting the silence speak for itself.

Dozens of White House staffers gathered on the lawn on either side of the group, including Gary Cohn, Tom Bossert, Sarah Sanders, Omarosa Manigault, Rob Porter and Steve Mnuchin.

On the other side of the political divide, Trump’s opponent in the 2016 presidential race has piped up with her perspectives on the mass shootings in Las Vegas. On Monday, Hillary Clinton 

  As she expressed her condolences to the victims and their families Clinton also sharply criticized the National Rifle Association and a bill working its way through Congress that would make it easier to buy gun silencers.

"The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get," wrote Clinton on Twitter Monday morning after first saying she was grieving with "the victims, those who lost loved ones, the responders, & all affected by this cold-blooded massacre."

"Our grief isn't enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again," she added, according to an ABC News report.

It appeared Clinton was referencing the Hearing Protection Act, introduced by Reps. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., and John Carter, R-Texas, in January and now part of the omnibus Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, a bill self-described "to provide for the preservation of sportsmen’s heritage and enhance recreation opportunities on Federal land, and for other purposes."

The Hearing Protection Act removes silencers from the Internal Revenue Code's definition of "firearms," which could ultimately make it easier for individuals to purchase them without the background checks required for firearm buyers. It further eliminates a $200 tax on the sound suppressors.

Asked about Clinton's comments at Monday's White House press briefing, press secretary Sarah Sanders said she has not spoken with President Donald Trump about his stance on the specific issue of silencers and downplayed talk of "preventions" before learning all of the facts of the shooting, according to an ABC News report.  

"It's very easy for Mrs. Clinton to criticize and to come out, but I think we need to remember the only person with blood on their hands is that of the shooter, and this isn't a time for us to go after individuals or organizations," said Sanders. "I think that we can have those policy conversations, but today is not that day."

By: Fern Sidman