The Las Vegas massacre will go down in history as the most deadly mass shooting on America soil. With 59 reported dead at the time of this writing and more than 500 injured, 65-year-old Stephen Paddock caused irreparable damage to Las Vegas and the conservative argument against gun control. With 23 firearms locked and loaded in his 32nd floor sniping shelter, Paddock shot thousands of rounds of ammunition into the crowd of 22,000 country music lovers gathering for a peaceful concert along the Las Vegas strip. As people began to realized that they were being targeted by a gunman, country music star John Rich pulled out his firearm and put it to good use by giving it to an off-duty police officer.
Rich is a member of the Big & Rich group and was at the Redneck Riviera bar when the shooting started to go down. The day after the shooting, Rich came forward to say how he met an off-duty Minneapolis police officer at the bar and had been getting very close to him. And then he decided to hand over his gun – his protection from the deranged gunman – so the officer could protect and serve like he had vowed to.
“I had an off-duty police officer, it was a Minneapolis police officer, off-duty, was in my bar hanging out. He came up to me and showed me his badge, and he says… “I’m [a police] officer and I’m not armed for the first time ever. I can’t believe it. Are you armed?’ I said yes I am armed. I had my concealed carry. He asked, ‘Can I have your firearm so I can hold point on this door?’ So I handed over my firearm to him, everybody got behind him and for two hours he held point on that door without flinching.”
After the off-duty officer saved his life and protected the others at the bar, John Rich went onto Twitter searching for the hero:
“Will the off duty officer that used my side arm to protect entrance @RNRBarVegas last night pls contact me? Pls retweet and pass the word.”
With the support of thousand of social media followers, John Rich finally found the hero.
He tweeted, “I found him! He wants to remain anonymous, so I’ll respect that wish. He’s a Minneapolis officer and we had great teamwork. Thank you sir.”
The unnamed officer kept the people at the bar safe, but the people in the concert had no such protection. Stephen Paddock who had dozens of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition at his disposal opened fire on the unprotected people at the country music concert.
As of this writing on Wednesday, the police and the FBI have yet to identify Paddock’s motive for the brutal killing.
The FBI wants to reconstruct Paddock’s interactions by interviewing “everyone and anyone who crossed his path in recent weeks,” Andrew G. McCabe, the deputy director of the F.B.I., said to CNBC. “We don’t have any immediately accessible thumbprints that would indicate the shooter’s ideology or motivation or, really, what compelled him to get there.”