Las Vegas, Nev., Oct 2, 2017 / 09:59 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Monday, the Bishop of Las Vegas, Joseph A. Pepe, voiced grief over a mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, which has been called the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
“Our hearts go out to everyone. We are praying for those who have been injured, those who have lost their lives, for the medical personnel and first responders who, with bravery and self- sacrifice have helped so many,” Pepe said in a statement emailed to CNA on Oct. 2.
“We are also very heartened by the stories of all who helped each other in this time of crisis. As the Gospel reminds us, we are called to be modern day Good Samaritans. We continue to pray for all in Las Vegas and around the world whose lives are shattered by the events of daily violence,” the bishop added.
Pepe’s statements follow an Oct. 1 shooting during a concert at the three-day Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. While details are still emerging, at least 58 people have died, and the Las Vegas Police Department reports that around 500 people have been hospitalized due to the shooting.
The sold-out concert was on the Las Vegas Strip, and thousands came to see acts including as Eric Church, Sam Hunt, and Jason Aldean.
The shooter has been identified as 64-year-old Las Vegas local Stephen Paddock. According to the Associate Press, Paddock shot and killed himself in his hotel room as police tried to enter the room. Police are still investigating whether Paddock acted alone or with the help of accomplices.
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, released a statement of mourning on behalf of all U.S. bishops.
“My heart and my prayers, and those of my brother bishops and all the members of the Church, go out to the victims of this tragedy and to the city of Las Vegas,” the cardinal said in an Oct. 2 statement.
Calling for prayer and care for those suffering, DiNardo offered a traditional Catholic prayer for the dead and asked protection from God for those who are suffering.
“In the end, the only response is to do good – for no matter what the darkness, it will never overcome the light,” the cardinal counseled.
Pepe announced that the Diocese of Las Vegas would host a prayer service for victims and their families.
“On this feast day of the Guardian Angels, we invite all to join us for an interfaith prayer service at the Cathedral of the Guardian Angels this afternoon at 5 p.m. and invite our sisters and brothers around the world to join us in prayer for healing and for an end to violence.”
This story has been updated as details have emerged.