Las Vegas Sun

March 22, 2019

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Metro increases patrols at mosques after New Zealand shootings

Vigil Honors Lives Lost in New Zealand Mosque Attacks

Steve Marcus

People listen to speakers during a vigil at UNLV Friday, March 15, 2019. The vigil, organized by the Muslim Community of Southern Nevada, the UNLV Muslim Student Association, and the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada, honored lives lost due to hate and violence around the world and to honor the 49 lives lost in the New Zealand mosque attacks.

Vigil Honors Lives Lost in New Zealand Mosque Attacks

Aramoama Elmore, 8, is wrapped in a New Zealand flag during a vigil at UNLV Friday, March 15, 2019. Also pictured from left: Rev. Rachel Baker, Mercedes Krause, and Rata Elmore. The vigil honored lives lost due to hate and violence around the world and to honor the 49 lives lost in the New Zealand mosque attacks. Launch slideshow »

In the aftermath of the massacre at two mosques in New Zealand, Metro Police on Thursday reached out to the eight mosques within the jurisdiction and increased patrols during prayer hours.

Before the terror attack, Metro had worked to strengthen its relationship with religious organizations, and the proactive action is not an anomaly, Officer Aden OcampoGomez said. They’re not new partnerships, he added.

There was no credible threat to valley locations, OcampoGomez said Friday afternoon.

Forty-nine victims were gunned down by at least one suspect, who was described as a white supremacist, when two mosques were targeted during midday prayers Friday (local time). Dozens more were wounded.

The shooting was in part broadcast live on the suspect’s Facebook page.

As the news of the overseas attack spread to Las Vegas Thursday night, Metro officials reached out to religious leaders here. The patrols are expected to last through the weekend.

The same occurs during religious holidays or after mass shootings, such as when a man massacred the same number of victims in an Orlando nightclub 2016.

Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017, joined the cities impacted by a major mass shooting when 58 were killed and scores more were wounded on the Strip during a country festival.