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Las Vegas Shooting: Rocker Carlos Santana Issues Call to Unity, Says 'Heart is in Shock'

( [email protected] ) Oct 03, 2017 09:46 AM EDT
Legendary rocker Carlos Santana has issued a call to unity following the worst mass shooting in U.S. history that occurred on Sunday, when 64-year-old Nevada resident Stephen Paddock killed at least 59 people and injured 527 others.
Rocker Carlos Santana said his "heart is in shock" following the Las Vegas massacre that left at least 59 dead and hundreds injured. Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Legendary rocker Carlos Santana has issued a call to unity following the worst mass shooting in U.S. history that occurred on Sunday, when 64-year-old Nevada resident Stephen Paddock killed at least 59 people and injured 527 others.

"To everyone that lost loved ones, we stand with you. To those of you who are wounded and hurt, we stand by you. Our heart is in shock. Our minds are filled with questions," Santana wrote in a statement published on his Facebook page.

"Why allow weapons of mass destruction to be sold to civilians? The laws need to be changed to prevent this from ever happening again," he continued.

The 70-year-old Rock & Roll Hall-of-Famer said that "brutality is pure ignorance," and "compassion is the highest quality of pristine divinity."

"My heart goes out to all of those affected by this senseless tragedy," he said. "We all need to come together at this time and be 'one"' We send our collective prayers, light and love to the families and the wounded."

According to Billboard, Santana, born-again Christian, is currently playing his fifth annual residency at the House of Blues Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay. From the 23rd floor of that very hotel, Paddock fired into the audience at the nearby Route 91 Harvest country music festival on Sunday, killing dozens and injuring hundreds.

The shooting erupted around 10:50 p.m. PT during country singer Jason Aldean's performance at the outdoor festival attended by 22,000 people.

According to CNN, a half a dozen officers searched the hotel floor-by-floor Sunday night before they found Paddock's two-room suite. Paddock fired at the officers through the door and shot a security guard in the leg, before killing himself.

Police recovered 23 weapons, including a handgun and multiple rifles. A federal law enforcement official said two rifles were outfitted with scopes and set up on tripods in front of two big windows. Authorities also found several pounds of ammonium nitrate, a material used to make explosives, in the shooter's car.

While ISIS claimed responsibility for what has been described as the worst mass shooting in modern American history, police said there were no indications that Paddock had ties to any international terrorist organization.

President Donald Trump addressed the nation on Monday morning and called the attack "an act of pure evil."

"To the families of the victims, we are praying for you, and we are here for you, and we ask God to help see you through this very dark period," he said.

Speaking to those directly affected by massacre, Trump quoted Bible verse Psalm 34:18, which reads: "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

"To the wounded who are now recovering in hospitals, we are praying for your full and speedy recovery, and pledge to you our support from this day forward," Trump continued.

Later, when answering questions about whether the attack should prompt stricter gun control laws, the president said, "We'll be talking about gun laws as time goes by."

"Look, we have a tragedy," he added. "What happened in Las Vegas is in many ways a miracle. The police department has done such an incredible job.

Tags : Stephen Paddock, Las Vegas, Las Vegas shooting, Jason Aldean concert, Route 91 Harvest Festival, Carlos Santana