Las Vegas Residents Come Together After Mass Shooting (Photos)

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Residents of Las Vegas have come together to aid the victims of the worst mass shooting in modern American history, answering the call to donate blood and helping in any way they can. 

At least 59 people were killed and more than 500 injured after a gunman, Stephen Paddock, opened fire on a country music festival from his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the night of Oct. 1.

During a news conference after the shooting, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo called for people to give blood. 

"If you have the ability to donate blood to help the cause, please do so," he said, according to Fox News.

The mayor of Las Vegas, Carolyn Goodman, made a similar request, saying if people want to help they should give blood.

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"We will have plenty of banks available, always call a hospital where to go," she said, according to Fox News.

The New York Times reports that lines began forming at Las Vegas blood banks as early as 2 a.m., just hours after the shooting occurred. 

Those early arrivals stayed in line, even after they were told the blood banks would not open until 7 a.m. 

"Many of them stayed, and have already donated, and are now volunteering and passing out water to others in line," Julie Scott, a spokeswoman for United Blood Services, said, according to the Times. 

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People arriving at blood banks later in the morning posted pictures and videos on social media of lines wrapping around street corners and stretching down the block.

Pictures posted from the inside of blood banks show waiting rooms overflowing with people sitting and standing. 

Residents also donated supplies that could be distributed to survivors of the shooting. Many had taken shelter inside a nearby University of Nevada center, according to the Times. 

"It was packed," Jarrett Peper, a receptionist at the center, told the Times. "All morning, blankets, food and water, all kinds of people coming up to help. It's incredible, absolutely incredible. When there is a tragedy like that, everybody cares and it brings everybody together."

Local officials also launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for the victims of the shooting. As of Oct. 3, more than $3 million had been donated. 

Fox News reports that celebrities like Mike Tyson, Kid Rock and country music band Florida Georgia Line stepped up to donate money. The Oakland Raiders, who are moving to Las Vegas in 2020, donated $50,000. 

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, a Democrat whose district includes part of Las Vegas, visited a hospital where some victims were taken. 

"Literally, every single bed was being used, every single hallway was being used," he said, according to The Associated Press. "Every single person there was trying to save a life." 

Sources: Fox News, The New York Times / Featured Image: Kris1123/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Bridget Bennett/Twitter, Peter Dawson/Twitter

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