Las Vegas massacre prompts churches to unite in ministering to victims

The tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 that left 59 dead and more than 500 others injured has prompted churches in the city to unite in ministering to the victims and bringing hope to those who are hurting because of the deadly incident.

(REUTERS / Chris Wattie)A woman makes a sign at a vigil on the Las Vegas strip. October 3, 2017.

On Oct. 2, churches in Las Vegas worked together and coordinated with the police and city council to come up with a response strategy to Sunday's mass shooting. International Church of Las Vegas senior pastor Paul Marc Goulet told the Christian Broadcasting Network that various denominations brought food, visited the victims at the hospital, and basically expressing hope for all those affected by the deadly rampage.

"There's an incredible spirit of Kingdom collaboration," said Hope Church senior pastor Vance Pittman. "We're just all in it together."

In addition, local churches sent pastors and volunteers to hospitals and to the Thomas and Mack Center to offer prayer and other basic needs to the victims. Some also provided transportation to people who had attended the weekend's music festival from another city and missed their flights because of the mass shooting.

Aside from that, blood banks were overwhelmed with the number of blood donors from different churches. Hope Church and Shadow Hills Church were among the churches that partnered with blood banks to provide venues for blood donation drives.

Many churches have opened their doors for anyone who wishes to pray for the victims of the Las Vegas massacre. Central Church in Henderson launched a prayer hotline, while International church opened a counseling hotline for people affected by the weekend rampage.

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials said on Oct. 3 that Las Vegas shooting suspect Stephen C. Paddock had established a ring of surveillance cameras around his position from a hotel tower before he gunned down the people attending the music festival on Sunday night. However, investigators still have not established his motive for the massacre, The New York Times reported.

Based on the 23 guns he brought with him, the cameras to warn him of approaching threats, and other equipment found in his room, Paddock probably planned his attack carefully so that he had a lot of time to shoot people while holding off police.

According to CBS, investigators were able to talk to Paddock's girlfriend Marilou Danley on Wednesday after she returned to the U.S. coming from the Philippines. She had been in the latter country during the time of the shooting and authorities wanted to interview her in an effort to find out what Paddock could have been thinking before he attacked the concert-goers.