How to move forward after Las Vegas mass shooting: Sac chaplains offer help

News of the Las Vegas mass shooting and tragedy traveled quickly, touching lives all across the country, including in Sacramento.

People are still processing their emotions after a gunman opened fire on a crowd at a music festival. Las Vegas authorities said Monday afternoon at least 59 people were killed and 527 were injured.

The gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, was later found dead in a hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Police believe he killed himself prior to their entry.

KCRA’s Kathy Park spoke with Sacramento senior law enforcement chaplain Mindi Russell about how to move forward after such a tragic event.

Q: How do people move forward from something so horrific, even if they weren’t there?

Russell: It doesn’t matter if they were injured or not injured or they were at the concert or not. Everybody has a right to be traumatized and no one can tell you how traumatized you are.

It’s OK that you weren’t necessarily in Las Vegas (onSunday) to have some kind of impact, and to be able to start processing, “Why am I triggered by what happened there?”

Q: What will your role be if you’re asked to offer support in Las Vegas?

Russell: I’m working with some people in the incident command post right now, and we are on stand down to go and help.

We’re standing ready this week or next week to go.

Q: What can people do locally if they need to reach out to someone during this difficult time?

Russell: We have a crisis line and that’s a confidential line: 916-857-1801.

If anybody calls because you’re in a crisis and you’re not able to handle this, absolutely we have crisis chaplains trained in post-trauma stress counseling.

We would also go to schools if the children are having a problem.


Q: People may be nervous about future events that may attract large crowds and think, “Could this happen here?”

Russell: We don’t live in fear. We can’t live in fear. He doesn’t get to win.

Do go out to the concerts. Do go out to these things. There’s a lot of different venues that could be attacked, but they’re not because we are on the lookout and law enforcement is on their game.

So if you’re out in a situation, always have a plan. If something happens, what are you going to do?


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