Flags are being lowered and a vigil is planned Tuesday night in Dunwoody as local communities respond to the mass murder of at least 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas on Oct. 1.
The murders, reportedly committed by a gunman who killed himself after shooting into a country music festival from a hotel tower, were widely condemned by local officials and candidates on social media.
“The City of Atlanta stands with Las Vegas,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Twitter. “Our thoughts & prayers are with the victims of yet another cowardly & senseless act of violence.”
A group of mothers is organizing a candlelight vigil to be held Tuesday, Oct. 3, 8:30 p.m. in Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park, 4770 North Peachtree Road.
“There will be no protests or speakers, just a chance for our community to come together in grief,” said organizer Jill Vogin in an email announcement. “Some of us will stand quietly, while others will walk the path along the field.”
Vogin said the vigil organizers are an informal group of friends who began planning their own events following the white nationalist rally in Virginia in August where a protester was killed by a participant. “We started an email list after Charlottesville so we can organize local vigils rather than having to go downtown to do so,” she said.
In Buckhead, Covenant Presbyterian Church will hold a special “prayer service of lament and healing” open to all in response to “the act of unspeakable gun violence in Las Vegas,” according to a press release. The service will be held Wednesday, Oct. 4, 7 p.m., at the church at 2461 Peachtree Road N.E. “All who need a space to grieve and pray are welcome,” the church said. For more information, see covpresatlanta.org.
Flags were lowered to half-staff to honor the Las Vegas victims in the cities of Atlanta and Dunwoody and the counties of DeKalb and Fulton.
State Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), whose District 42 includes part of Brookhaven, retweeted some gun-control-related posts with her own comments, which included a reference to the Pulse nightclub mass murder in Orlando, Fla., last year. “I am furious that America’s gun violence epidemic reached a new height w[ith] deadliest mass shooting ever, supplanting Pulse barely 1 yr ago,” Parent said in one tweet, adding in another, “Exactly why the notion of ‘politicizing’ the aftermath of a mass shooting is laughable–it’s an excuse for those wanting to avoid the issue.”
The following are some reactions by local officials and candidates on social media:
“The City of Atlanta sends our deepest condolences and prayers to the victims of the shooting that occurred last night in Las Vegas.”
“We grieve for the victims and the families impacted by this horrific mass shooting. Our prayers are with the people of Las Vegas, the dedicated first responders, and the medical personnel swiftly working to save lives.”
—Peter Aman, candidate for mayor
“I awoke early this morning to the shocking news of senseless violence against innocent victims in Las Vegas. My heart aches and I am resolved to continue my effort to promote civility in our society. My prayers go out to the families of the victims.”
—John Eaves, candidate for mayor
“It is a sad day across the country as we mourn the loss of life in Las Vegas overnight. All of our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this heinous and senseless act of domestic terror. #PrayforVegas”
—Vincent Fort, candidate for mayor
“What happened last night in Las Vegas was a pure act of evil. The swift and brave actions of first responders and other citizens are the ultimate display of service. Please keep the families of those lost and injured in your prayers. Atlanta stands with Las Vegas. #MandalayBay”
“Our hearts go out to the people of Las Vegas as they respond to what is an almost unimaginable tragedy. This is an American tragedy and all of us grieve as a people for the victims, their families and friends. We must engage in a renewed national dialogue of how to come together and bring gun violence to an end.”
—Mary Norwood, city councilmember Post 2 at-large and candidate for mayor
“Waking up to yet another massacre in this country. My heart goes out to those killed and injured, their families and the Las Vegas community. The shooting has stopped but the tragedy will go on for generations.”
—Cathy Woolard, candidate for mayor
“Thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the recent shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada.”
—City of Brookhaven
“My heart is broken for #LasVegas this morning. Praying for the victims of this horrific shooting and for the brave first responders.”
—County Commissioner Nancy Jester
“Horrific news from Las Vegas. Our prayers go to hundreds of affected victims/families & extreme gratitude to first responders and helpers.”
—City Councilmember Terry Nall
“Employees in @FultonInfo and our entire community are invited to join in a national moment of silence today at 2:45 pm in memory of at least 58 people killed & hundreds injured during a tragic shooting in Las Vegas. Flags should fly at half-staff until sunset on Friday, 10/7.”
—Bob Ellis, county commissioner and acting chair
“What has happened in Las Vegas is a tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers should go to the victims, the families of the victims, and to the first responders who saved countless lives. Let’s allow the investigation time before we all, in our social media expertise, jump to conclusions and give solutions that bolster ourselves and blame others we have historically opposed.”
—Gabriel Sterling, city councilmember and candidate for Fulton County chair.
–Evelyn Andrews and Dyana Bagby contributed