Six days after the shooting along the Strip, Vice President Mike Pence visited Las Vegas, and told residents that America is united with their city in grief.
“We do mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve, but we do not grieve like those who have no hope,” he said. “Because heroes give us hope.”
President Trump was in Las Vegas on Wednesday, when he visited some victims of the shooting at a local hospital and met with first responders. Pence’s speech echoed the president’s, in its somber tone, religious language, message of unity — and in eschewing discussion of guns or gun control.
“In the wake of this tragedy we put on love,” Pence said. “We find comfort in the knowledge that we are united as one nation, as one people, with one voice. United in our grief, united in our support for those who have suffered. And united in our resolve to end such evil in our time.”
The vice president spoke at Las Vegas City Hall, where he was joined by state and local officials, including the city’s mayor. He addressed participants in an interfaith unity prayer walk, an event planned well before the shooting happened.
Two who walked were John and Kristie Lum, retirees who moved to Las Vegas three years ago.
John says he’s a person of faith, but that he struggles with it.
“Because for me, it’s not enough just to pray,” he says. “It’s not enough just to have faith. I think that our calling is that we also have to act. So I get concerned that we just have these kind of events … and it’s over with. And then we move on and wait for the next event. I think we have to do a whole bunch more.”
“It’s very confusing,” adds Kristie. “Because to believe so strongly, and then again, to have people that just have so much hate inside … it’s hard to understand.”
With her characteristic candor, Mayor Carolyn Goodman said the city would be defined not by violence, but by its humanity, tolerance and compassion.
“I want to thank all you walkers,” said Goodman. “Everybody who’s prayed, everybody who’s prayed quietly, everybody who’s made a difference in this phenomenal city — that has been safe, that will remain safe.”
“We will not be brought down by craziness, anger, and hatred!” she said to loud applause.
Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old resident of Mesquite, Nev., opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Sunday night, killing 58 people before fatally shooting himself. Nearly 500 others were injured as he sprayed bullets from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort, across Las Vegas Boulevard from the festival.
Investigators have still not uncovered a motive for the shooting, despite having pursued more than a thousand leads.
“While some of it has helped to create a better profile into the madness of this suspect, we do not still have a clear motive or reason why,” Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said on Friday.
Police say they are confident that only one shooter was in the Mandalay Bay hotel room at the time of the attack, but they continue to investigate whether anyone else might have known about the shooting in advance.
The police are asking for anyone with information to contact them via the FBI’s tip line, 1-800-CALL-FBI.
“No information is too small or insignificant,” Las Vegas police tweeted. “If you know something, say something.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron Rouse said investigators are launching a public information campaign, in partnership with Clear Channel, to put up billboards with that message across Las Vegas.
More than $13 million in donations have been raised to support the victims and their families.
NPR’s Sarah McCammon and NCPR’s Brian Mann contributed to this report.