Belmont President Dr. Robert Fisher responded to Monday morning’s Las Vegas shooting, where at least 58 people were killed and over 500 were injured.
“The Las Vegas tragedy reminds us what a fractured world we live in,” Fisher wrote in an email to the Vision. “Drawing from our mission, we are to engage and transform this world with courage and faith. This means a call to be strong and to be brave while relying on God’s mercy to see a better day. Our sincere prayers are with those who were wounded and for the families and friends of those who were so senselessly taken from us.”
Senior Meg MacDonald said three of her friends were in Vegas working at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. All of them were working backstage and quickly made it out safe, MacDonald said.
“It’s one of those situations that you keep in mind whenever you’re working on a show, and it’s something you anticipate — the possibility that this could happen,” MacDonald said. “You envision it happening, and then it actually happens. You wake up, and you realize that you have friends there and it’s your stomach dropping to the ground.”
“It’s not in any way a pleasant feeling knowing that an event was targeted while people were just simply trying to enjoy themselves.”
Junior Cassidy Best was riding the Vegas High Roller Ferris wheel with family and friends when she saw Twitter updates that police were responding to an active shooter at Mandalay Bay.
Once she got off the ride, Ferris wheel employees told Best to run, she said.
“We didn’t know where we were going, we were just following everybody. It was just sheer chaos really — me and my sister and my mom got split up for maybe a minute during the panic and everybody was freaking out.”
Best, after finding shelter in a nearby building, made it back to her hotel with her family and friends. But the lack of information, Best said, was the scariest part.
“It was just scary because any updates we had were coming straight from Twitter or our newsfeed because none of the employees knew any more than we did,” Best said. “At one point they told us there were bombs at the hotels and shooters all along the strip and all this stuff — no one knew.”
“Everyone was literally just running around with nowhere to go and no idea what to do.”
It is unknown at this time if any Belmont students were injured at the event.
This story will be updated as information becomes available.