U.S. NewsCrime


5 Years Later, The Las Vegas Mass Shooting Still Shapes Public Events

Saturday marks five years since a gunman opened fire on a concert crowd in Las Vegas, forever changing the way Americans attend public events.
Posted at 8:56 PM, Sep 30, 2022

Five years have passed since the entertainment capital of the world was shaken to its core by a gunman.

"Our city was in pain," said Margarita Romano, a clinical social worker and therapist. "We were under attack as a city, as a community."

The mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017, is considered the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history and has changed the way people live.

According to a 2019 survey on stress and mass shootings by the American Psychological Association, one-third of U.S. adults say that fear of mass shootings stops them from attending public places and events.

"It changed the way we interact," Romano said. "It changed the way we perceive when we are in big activities or big concerts or anything that there's a lot of the people involved."

Romano volunteered to help dozens of survivors in Las Vegas.

"Survivors share with us that they still get triggers," Romano said. "They still feel anxious, that anxiety of moments of understanding... what happens in case of a situation? Where can I go? So, it definitely has changed us as a community."

She says it will take time for the Las Vegas community to fully regain trust in attending public events.

"Remember that there's always going to be that scar," Romano said. "It's always going to be that wound that you already are healing, and healing is the ongoing process."

Angela Gennari, CEO of the large event security company Titan Global Enterprises, says security is tighter at concerts around the country since the tragedy.

"Most venues at this point have implemented a lot more security screenings," Gennari said. "For example, we're going to clear bags, we're going to metal detectors in every single entrance where we're scanning everything that people are wearing into the venue, and we're also making sure that staff and vendors are in compliance with security screening protocols."

Gennari says the shooting has had a major impact on event corporations and the hotel industry.

"A lot of the large venues will have snipers," Gennari said. "You don't see them necessarily, but they absolutely have snipers on rooftops and in certain areas to ensure that if there was an active shooter, that somebody there was able to confront them immediately."

Though security has increased, there are still event safety concerns.

"There's a lot of events, staffing companies, that aren't security companies," Gennari said. "That is a big concern because when you have an event staffing company that's not an actual security company, they may not be taking those security protocols seriously."

There are no federal laws on crowd safety, but most jurisdictions follow guidelines by the National Fire Protection Association's 101 Life Safety Code, including having at least one crowd manager for every 250 occupants at an event and having adequate access to exits. Also, Life Safety evaluations are required for events with more than 6,000 people. Those evaluations must detail safety measures in case of medical emergencies, natural disasters and other possible emergencies.