Good morning, Bulletin readers. A year ago today, 58 people were killed at a country music festival in Las Vegas, and at least 422 others were wounded by bullets or shrapnel. The shooting dominated the news cycle for days, and prompted detailed investigations. The reporting seared into my mind is a New York Times video that stitched together a minute-by-minute timeline of the evening using cellphone camera footage from concertgoers.
To mark the anniversary, the Las Vegas police department is holding a sunrise vigil. And tonight at 10:01 p.m., the glittering lights of the Strip will go dark in tribute to the victims. In your remembrances, spare a thought for the concertgoers who escaped with their lives — like best friends Carmen Alegria and Angelica Soto — but have been forever changed. Their ordeals are familiar to the hundreds of others left scarred by America’s gun violence epidemic: Everyone else has moved on, but they cannot.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
Authorities are withholding key details about the man who fatally shot three people at an office building in Cincinnati in early September. One of the questions that remains unanswered is whether the gunman was ever involuntarily hospitalized for mental illness — which would have made it illegal for him to purchase a weapon. The Cincinnati Enquirer says the federal government has not fulfilled its Freedom of Information Act requests for records pertaining to the gunman. Additionally, local police have not released details of the gunman’s movements in and around the office building in the hour before he opened fire.
After being held against her will for hours, a woman got ahold of her captor’s stolen gun while he was distracted and shot him. When police responded to a call about the shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, they found 25-year-old Raphael Bhatti suffering from a gunshot wound, and his victim in a nearby apartment, also suffering from injuries. Police say Bhatti injured her, threatened her with the gun, sexually abused her, and prevented her from leaving. According to a records check, the weapon had been stolen in Virginia, where Bhatti had been convicted of a felony.
In the span of seven days, there were five murder-suicides in the Tampa, Florida, area. The fifth occurred yesterday, police say, when a 61-year-old woman and a 56-year-old man were found dead in the home they shared. The other incidents include a county sheriff’s deputy who killed his wife and then himself while their four children were home, and an elderly couple who had just returned to Florida for the winter. As The Trace has reported, murder-suicides by gun are an everyday occurrence in the United States, and men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators.
There were at least two other murder-suicides this weekend, including a couple in a well-to-do Maryland suburb. The man and woman, who were in their mid-50s, were said to be in a relationship and police are investigating it as a “domestic-related” incident. And in Louisville, Kentucky, a man shot a woman with whom he had “some sort of intimate relationship” outside of a church before shooting himself a few blocks away. He is in critical condition at a nearby hospital.
Pro-gun demonstrators were outnumbered by counter-protestors at an open-carry walk at Kent State University in Ohio. The Saturday demonstration was lead by Kaitlin Bennett, a young conservative activist who posed with a rifle in photos of her graduation from the university. The walk was originally scheduled to be a larger event, but because of logistical issues, Bennett scaled it back to a display of legal open carry, and about 50 people showed up, as did 100 or so counter-protestors, including students. There was a heavy police presence and four people were arrested for disorderly conduct.