Today. October 2nd, is already a day of mourning on my annual calendar. Today would have been my son Michael's 30th birthday. Today I light a candle for him. We lost him on Father's day 2005. Happy Birthday, my son. I love you and know you are with me always.
It is, though, a double day of mourning in the wake of the horrendous (not a strong enough word) events that unfolded here in the city I love, Las Vegas. I won't go into the whole story, because everyone knows what happened. My Wife Nikki and I were sitting at home. We had just finished watching Walk The Line, and my phone started beeping. Having been a 911 dispatcher in one of my past work incarnations, I have a police scanner app on my phone. It alerted me that 40,000 people were listening to the scanner. That's a lot. Flipped it on along with the TV to see the events unfolding. Listening in real time to the officers and the dispatchers. The strike teams and SWAT teams. The amazing coordination of our law enforcement and support agencies. They came in amidst total pandamonium and took control. They quickly located the shooter and confirmed he was dead. It was amazing to hear in real time. We knew details long before the news channels reported.
I woke up this morning to many e mails and texts asking about my welfare. I did a show at Caesar's Palace the night before and was invited to come to the concert last night. I declined. I like to spend Sunday night with my son and my wife. Which I did. I, as a spectator do not like large crowds unless I am performing for them. We realize last night that no one is safe from a madman. The entertainers had a hard time realizing what was happening, because on stage, it's loud and hard to hear. I have been on many stages this size, and seeing the video, praise the people who cleared the stage in the short precious time they did.
This could have been much much worse. As we listened to the scanner, there were reports of shots fired at Bellagio, Caesar's Palace, Tropicana, Flamingo, New York New York and the Paris.
My first thought was that it was a coordinated terrorist attack. Thank god the shots fired reports at the other properties were unfounded. One gunman. This time. Face it...Las Vegas is a target. We are very vigilant in our security in this town. There are thousands of cameras in every hotel / casino here and many sharp trained eyes that are watching everything you do. How did this guy get all these guns up. Suitcase? Golf Bag? Something that security didn't catch. I see a future where we will have to run bags through a scanner at check in like at the airport. But even then, unlike the airport, we have free range at hotels. All this is yet to be revealed.
For now, today, this moment, I mourn the loss of my son Michael, and pray for the well being of all the surviving victims of last nights shooting, and pray God's Speed to Heaven for the ones who did not make it. Bravo to all the first responders, and the brave every day citizens who kept themselves in harm's way to help others who were hurt. Last night they were all just people helping each other. Humanity can come together and be one force for good.
Take a moment of silence for the departed and Good night and God Bless