A Las Vegas radio network with ties to Missoula provided a description of the response by the city and people of Las Vegas after Sunday night's massacre in front of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Sounds of the Spirit Radio General manager Brad Staley said much of the city was kept in the dark about just how serious the carnage was until early Monday morning.

“We heard reports last night that shots had been fired, there was an active shooter situation on the Strip, and it was an isolated incident,” said Staley. “For many hours they said that two had been killed and about 20 had been wounded. That was the news as it broke last night. But, as first responders got to the scene and began to get people cleared out, they discovered that there were many, many more victims. People woke up this morning to hear that the total had increased dramatically. There was just a state of shock.”

Staley said that the residents of Las Vegas always suspected that the city would eventually come under some sort of attack, but nothing like this.

“We were always told to prepare for something, but there was nothing that could prepare you for something of this magnitude,” he said.

When the word first began to circulate about the magnitude of the carnage, Staley said the people of Las Vegas began to respond by the hundreds to help in any way they could.

“Las Vegas is a city of two million, and we have the Strip and the downtown area with over 50 million visitors a year, but outside of those two areas, Las Vegas has more of a small town mentality,” he said. “When people began to hear what happened last night, they began turning out, even in the middle of the night, hundreds and hundreds of people went to donate blood at the blood services centers, and we’ve had lines of hundreds of people waiting to give blood. We’ve had people donating bottles of water, snacks and gift cards for the police and first responders.”

Staley said that, being a Christian radio network, prayers had been offered for the people involved, but that one group specifically asked for prayers.

“I spoke with a person at the Coroners Office, and they said with so many victims they were having a hard time identifying all the victims, and she said I know that you’re on the air praying for the first responders, but we would appreciate your prayers here at the Coroner’s Office, because we’re the last responders.”

Staley said the entire city is pulling together. All the churches from the largest with thousands of members to the smallest have opened their doors for people to come in and pray.

“They’re all working together, just trying to bring hope and healing to the people of Las Vegas,” he said.

(SOS Radio can be found at 91.1 FM in Missoula.)

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