Las Vegas Sun

March 22, 2018

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Sisolak recalls ‘war zone’ following Oct. 1 shooting


Mikayla Whitmore

Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak speaks to members of the media during a press briefing in Las Vegas on Oct. 5, 2017. The briefing was held to discuss the efforts various agencies have been conducting to provide comfort and assistance to the victims and their families involved in the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017.

Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak opened up about the Oct. 1 shooting during a Henderson Chamber of Commerce breakfast this morning.

“I’ve never been in a war zone. That was a war zone,” he said of visiting the site of the Route 91 Harvest festival a day after the mass shooting that left 58 dead and more than 500 injured.

He described the somber experience of seeing blood and personal belongings scattered across the grounds of the 15-acre site known as Las Vegas Village.

“Literally hundreds of cell phones,” he said. “You’d be walking by and cell phones would be ringing. People trying to check in on their loved ones. You couldn’t touch them.”

Sisolak talked about setting up the Las Vegas Victims Fund GoFundMe account, which is now up to $11.6 million and 90,000 individual donors worldwide. He said contributions ranged from a $1 donation from an inmate in Pennsylvania to an early $390,000 donation from prominent businessman Stephen Cloobeck.

The money from the GoFundMe account is being pooled with other funds, including money held at the National Compassion Fund and Nevada State Bank, and being managed by a newly formed nonprofit organization — also called the Las Vegas Victims Fund — and its 17-member, all-volunteer committee.

“We are continuing to raise money,” said Sisolak, adding that he believes the total amount raised will be between $22 million and $24 million.

A spokesperson for the committee today said the current total is likely more than than $16 million but a new figure would not be available until the end of the week, when a final draft of the distribution plan for the funds is released.

Sisolak praised the community for coming together and donating blood, money and food after the shooting. “You’re used to four miles of neon. This is the real community ...the other side of Las Vegas,” he said.