On October 2, 2017, many of us were trying to piece together just what the hell had happened in Las Vegas, Nevada. All we knew was that someone had shot a lot of people at a country music festival.
As more and more information came in, we saw the absolute horror of the worst mass shooting on American soil in modern times.
Today, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed it found no motive for why the shooting happened.
A high-stakes gambler who rained a hail of gunfire down on a crowd of country music fans, killing 58, took any specific motive for the 2017 attack to his grave, the FBI said Tuesday as it concluded the investigation into the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The agency found no “single or clear motivating factor” to explain why [the killer’s name redacted so as to not encourage these jackwagons] carried out the attack from his suite in a high-rise casino hotel. The 64-year-old fatally shot himself as police closed in.
“It wasn’t about MGM, Mandalay Bay or a specific casino or venue,” Aaron Rouse, the agent in charge of the FBI’s Las Vegas office, told The Associated Press. “It was all about doing the maximum amount of damage and him obtaining some form of infamy.”
The finding was contained in a long-awaited report compiled by the FBI’s Behavior Analysis Unit, a group of experts who spent months examining several factors that might have led to the rampage.
“This report comes as close to understanding the why as we’re ever going to get,” Rouse said.
Almost 900 people were hurt during the Oct. 1, 2017, attack on an outdoor concert.
[The killer] wanted to die in infamy, inspired in part by his father’s reputation as a bank robber who was once on the FBI most wanted list, the report said. In many ways, he was similar to other active shooters the FBI has studied.
His “decision to murder people while they were being entertained was consistent with his personality,” the report said.
“He acted alone. He committed a heinous act. He died by his own hand,” Rouse said. “If he wanted to leave a message, he would have left a message. Bottom line is he didn’t want people to know.”
Honestly, I don’t know which is worse, knowing or not knowing why he did it.
On the one hand, if we knew what motivated him, what thoughts went on in that diseased mind that pressed him to kill dozens and injure hundreds, we might at least know where to look for answers, maybe even someone to blame. Was it hateful rhetoric by politicians? Wrath of God religion? A conversion to Islamic extremism? Did he want to watch the world burn?
But instead, all we have are questions. The FBI, with all its resources, have nothing for us. They have no answers except that the shooter was a troubled man who wanted to go out in a blaze of perceived glory and be famous, maybe live up to his father’s reputation.
And the idea of that is terrifying. The idea that someone would create so much carnage motivated not by politics, religion, or any other driving ideology, but by their own narcissistic needs for validation.
At least now we can close this chapter of the discussion on Las Vegas, as unsatisfying an ending as that chapter had, and move forward.