Beyond thoughts and prayers: People line up at blood banks to help the victims of the Las Vegas shooting

You can help.
You can help.
Image: Reuters/Denis Balibouse
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People are lining up at blood banks around Las Vegas in the wake of Sunday’s (Oct. 1) mass shooting.

Locals are coming out in huge numbers to offer their support to victims after a gunman killed more than 58 people and injured 515 others at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival close to the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino.

Authorities in Nevada said that while they appreciate people’s thoughts and prayers, donating blood is the most effective way to help. “We’ve never been hit with such a tough situation,” said Nevada’s attorney general, Adam Laxalt.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) also urged those wanting to donate blood to visit the Labor Health & Welfare Clinic, while others have directed people to United Blood Services across Las Vegas.

You don’t necessarily need to live in Nevada to make a donation, and Americans in other parts of the country can locate their nearest donation center to get more information.

Police have identified 64-year-old Stephen Paddock as the shooter, “a lone wolf” and resident of Mesquite, Nevada. He is now responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in US history, with the death toll having surpassed that of the Orlando shooting at the Pulse nightclub in June 2016, where 49 people were killed.

Paddock carried out the attack from a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort, and was later killed by a SWAT team who entered the room using a controlled explosion.

US President Donald Trump addressed the nation earlier today, and sent his “warmest condolences” to the victims and their families on Twitter.

Police have asked people who have videos or pictures that may help their investigations to go to the local police station.