Students feel the effects of the Las Vegas tragedy

By Hope Thompson, The Circuit.

On the evening of October 1, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history took place at a country music event in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since then, at least 58 people were killed and another 489 were injured.

Though Atchison may be far from Las Vegas on a map, many students at Benedictine are very close to the tragedy. Junior Laura Wills had family members in attendance that evening. Her cousin, Brian Wills and his wife were at the concert with friends when gunshots fired.

“I originally had no clue they were there,” she said. “I was walking to class when I got a text from my dad.”

Wills says her cousin and his wife were split up during the concert and during that time he was shot twice in the left leg. After being taken to the hospital by friends, he was eventually reunited with his wife and flown to a hospital in his hometown. Other than shattering bones in his leg, he did not sustain any major injuries.

“His wife wasn’t hurt and none of his friends were hurt either—It’s crazy how lucky they were, because it could have been a lot worse.”

Wills isn’t the only student at Benedictine that is close to the situation. For those who are struggling, Maggie Crider, Associate Director of College Ministry, has some advice.

“I think for us, our response as Catholics is to pray for the victims, pray for the families and pray for those who themselves are wounded enough to hurt others, but to also beg the Lord to bring good,” she said.

She also encourages any struggling students to be open to conversation.

“It’s important to know that our God is bigger than this, and I know that is hard to say especially when people are mourning. We definitely have to be sensitive to mourning and to the hurt that comes from it, but to remember that with faith, we have to look at these situations and beg for hopeful things to come out of it.”