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How Las Vegas Hospitals Coped With Hundreds Of Injured


Outside of city hall in Las Vegas tonight, there is a vigil. John Sepulvado of member station KQED is there. And John, describe what's happening where you are.

JOHN SEPULVADO, BYLINE: Right now we're seeing about a hundred people with their hands upstretched in, you know, the kind of classic Christian tradition, singing hymns of healing. And that seems to be the theme tonight at least here in front of this - at this vigil is resilience. We see people with signs that say, we are battle born - that of course referring to the state's motto here. And what that means is that they can make it through this.

There's a lot of grief in the city, and it doesn't quite feel real about what happened. There seems to be a big disconnect between what happened with the shooting and how people are feeling on the street. Like, they're still having trouble processing it.

SIEGEL: We can hear - is it singing behind you? Is that what's happening?

SEPULVADO: Yeah, we - yeah, gospel singing right now - like I said, about a hundred people with their arms upstretched and people from all walks of life. You know, we're seeing people - Las Vegas has some folks who are very wealthy here, and we're seeing a lot of kind of flash, you know, with the jewelry and that kind of one end of Las Vegas that you could see. We're also seeing a lot of folks from - the casino workers and folks, you know, just dressed in T-shirts. There's a good cross section of people here, Robert.

The other thing we're really seeing is a big, deep appreciation between police. I am watching police officers right now and marshal officers. Some you could tell have never met because they shake hands, and then they hug. So they introduce themselves, and then they hug. This is something that really taxed first responders and the hospitals here - hundreds of people injured.

SIEGEL: What have you heard from survivors of the attack last night?

SEPULVADO: There's a lot of gratitude that they survived. There's a lot of - there was a lot of sheer terror and confusion. Over and over again, I heard from people who were at the concert that they didn't know where it was coming from. They didn't think it was real at first and then they would hear pop, pop, pop. And they didn't know where to go afterwards. They just had no idea what was safe.

And you know, from where the gunman was at, it really - it was easy to hurt and kill people obviously. And so it was just a very terrifying, confusing scene. And we're still seeing people, you know - there were a lot of people from California who were there. And we're seeing - there are people who still haven't checked in, and so their family members are coming out here, looking for them. They're sending parties to help try and find them, hoping that they survived.

SIEGEL: It's John Sepulvado of member station KQED outside city hall in Las Vegas where the community is gathered to remember the victims of last night's shooting. John, thanks. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

John's from Southern California. He attended Journalism School at Florida A&M in Tallahassee. John's reporting has earned four Edward R. Murrow awards for investigations, and he shared in a Peabody for CNN's Gulf Coast Oil-Spill Coverage. He has also won numerous other national and regional awards for his investigative and multimedia coverage.