PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Nearly 3,000 miles away from Las Vegas, flags fly at half staff in Rhode Island.
During the last day of the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a gunman fired into the crowd of 22,000 people. The shooter, now identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, killed 59 people and injured 527 while country singer Jason Aldean was on stage performing the last song in his set.
Governor Gina Raimondo said what happened is almost hard to believe.
“It makes your stomach turn with sorrow for these victims,” she said.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says this is a time for the community to come together. His city hosts plenty of large events, including at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
He says Providence police train for situations like these.
“They do an amazing job from bomb sniffing dogs, to crowd control, to making sure we’re on the scene and have the right amount of presence so people feel safe,” Mayor Elorza said.
Governor Raimondo said this should not deter people from attending concerts.
“I say keep going,” she said. “We’re not going to let the bad guys win.”
Elorza said it is important to be proactive when this happens.
“The reality is that if you have a deranged person that wants to inflict harm, they’re going to be able to do something,” he said. “But by being vigilant, we can limit it as much as possible and make sure people can live their lives as normally as possible as well.”