(by Bobby Blanchard and Matthew Choi, Texas Tribune)
After a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concert attendees at a country music festival in Las Vegas, Texas officials condemned the violence while offering condolences and prayers.
The gunman, who police have identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. Police said the attack killed at least 50 people and that more than 400 people have been transported to hospitals. Police report Paddock died by suicide.
Public records reveal Paddock once lived in North Texas at an address in Mesquite, near Dallas, the San Antonio Express-News reported. He also worked as an apartment manager in Mesquite and Houston. Paddock was living in Mesquite, Nevada, at the time of the shooting, and had previously registered at least 27 addresses in Texas, Nevada and California.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement calling the shooting a “senseless act of violence.”
“Texas mourns and prays for the victims of this tragedy, and the entire Las Vegas Community, in this time of unimaginable pain,” Abbott said.
On Twitter, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said: “Thoughts and prayers are with those killed and injured in the deadly shooting in Las Vegas last night.”
“Lifting up in prayer all impacted by last night’s despicable shooting in Las Vegas & all 1st responders on the scene,” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted.
Patrick had planned to speak at the Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin on Monday, but canceled because of the shooting.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn shared on Twitter a hotline for those trying to locate family and friends.
On Facebook, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller offered prayers to the families affected by the shooting.
“May God be with the families of those who have been killed and comfort them in their time of mourning,” Miller said. “May He be with those who have been injured and speed their recovery, and may He be with those first responders and medical personnel who are investigating this attack and caring for those who have been hurt.”
Several other state officials, including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, invited people on Twitter to pray for the victims and their families.
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said on Twitter, “My thoughts and condolences are with the people of Las Vegas in the wake of this horrible tragedy.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner expressed solidarity with Las Vegas on Twitter, saying “The city of Houston stands with Las Vegas, Nevada with a heavy heart following the horrifying mass shooting there.”
President Donald Trump plans to travel to Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with the victims’ families. Trump said the attack was an “act of pure evil” during a televised statement Monday morning.