At least 58 people are dead and more than 500 injured after a gunman, identified as 64-year-old Nevada resident Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor at the Mandalay Bay hotel on patrons across the street at a country music festival Sunday night. Social media icon and poker player Dan Bilzerian captured the chaotic scene on his phone and shared the video to his 22.7 million Instagram followers.
“Holy f***, this girl just got shot in the f*cking head,” Bilzerian shouts while a chorus of gunshots from a fully automatic machine gun crack in the background. “It’s so f***ing crazy.”
Bilzerian, an avid gun enthusiast with a massive firearm collection, escaped the scene without harm. But the card-carrying NRA member wasn’t protected on this evening. After filming the first short video, he left to get a gun and said he was headed back to Mandalay Bay.
“So I had to go grab a gun,” he said in his second video posted on Instagram. “I’m f*cking headed back. It’s f*cking crazy. Some kind of mass shooting. F*cking guy had a heavy caliber weapon for sure. Saw a girl f***ing get shot in the face right next to me, her brains f***ing hanging out.”
After retrieving his weapon, he eventually returned to his car saying he was headed home, as there was little more he could do there.
Poker Community Reacts
The tragic event in Las Vegas became the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, surpassing the 49 killed in 2016 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Many poker pros sent condolences on Twitter to those affected by the tragedy.
“Sending prayers to the victims, and families of the victims, in Las Vegas,” Phil Hellmuth wrote.
“I hope I never hear the name or see the face of the coward responsible for this. Do not spread his message. Leave him as the nobody he is,” Danielle Anderson posted, hoping the media’s focus will be on those killed, not on the killer.
“Thanks to all first responders, police officers, and every civilian who thought of others first at the risk of their own lives,” actor and poker player James Woods wrote.
“So sad to wake up to this. Praying for Vegas, praying for humanity,” Jason Mercier said.
“Thinking of you, Las Vegas. Look after each other,” Liv Boeree posted.
Knee-Jerk Politics and Fake News
As is the case following every mass shooting in the United States, many liberals and conservatives take the opportunity to push a political agenda. On Monday morning, on-again, off-again Donald Trump supporter and political tweeter Mike Matusow, in between condolences, went full on conspiracy theorist.
“I hope im wrong but all signs point to another brainwashed nutcase radicalized by msm lies,” Matusow posted, blaming the media for the shooting.
“Everything on guys bio is leftist anti Trump the blood is on the lying msm,” he then posted, partaking in the spreading of false social media rumors about the shooter prior to his identity being disclosed.
“Been saying for 5 yrs the Vegas strip massacre was coming I pray for victims and family’s! With political climate by msm it was inevitable,” he continued blaming the media before police publicly identified Paddock.
Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Wayne Allen Root blamed Muslims, and told people shootings were taking place at multiple hotels along the strip. He tweeted:
“Shooting victims everywhere. Shots fired at Mandalay, Trop, Bellagio, NYNY, Luxor, Hooters, Stratosphere. This is real thing. Muslim terror.”
This was not true. The Las Vegas Metro Police confirmed this was a lone gunman on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay.
They have yet to discern a motive. However, CNN reported that they spoke to the shooter’s brother in Florida, who said his brother liked to gamble and play poker for $100 a hand, apparently describing video poker play. He also said he loved country music, which makes the horror even less sensical.