‘Absolutely heartbreaking’: Colorado officials react to Las Vegas shooting

Author: Ernest Luning - October 2, 2017 - Updated: October 2, 2017

A body is covered with a sheet after a mass shooting in which dozens were killed at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)A body is covered with a sheet after a mass shooting in which dozens were killed at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

Colorado officials expressed shock and horror at the attack unleashed by a gunman Sunday night in Las Vegas that left at least 58 people dead and more than 500 injured — the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Monday morning ordered flags lowered to half-staff immediately to honor the victims of the attack, as proclaimed by President Donald Trump. Flags should be lowered until sunset Friday, according to the proclamation.

On Twitter, Hickenlooper said:

“Our thoughts are with the victims and loved ones affected by the senseless violence in Las Vegas. We are with you in this tragic time.”

Senate President Kevin Grantham addressed the shooting Monday morning as the General Assembly convened for a special legislative session. Grantham had relatives at the country music concert where the attack took place but they were OK, the Denver Post’s Jesse Paul reported. “Tragedy has struck,” Grantham said. “There are several in this room who I know have experienced such tragedy directly. Our hearts go out to you and continue to.”

The Senate Democrats quoted from Grantham’s opening remarks and thanked the Republican for his message in a tweet:

“‘For all the rancor, for all the politics, there are things that bring us together.’ Thank you President Grantham. #PrayForLasVegas #coleg”

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said:

“Devastating news. Our hearts go out to all of the victims and their families in Las Vegas.”

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner released this statement:

“My family and I are praying for the families of those injured and killed in Las Vegas last night. The horrific images we are seeing and the stories we will learn about the innocent victims that lost their lives are going to be something that this nation will never forget. May God bless the victims and thank you to our first responders for preventing further loss of life.”

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn tweeted a response to the news and then issued a statement.

“Deeply saddened to hear the horrific news from Las Vegas. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this tragedy and their families.”

“The heartbreaking news out of Las Vegas today is sending shock waves around our nation. I’m horrified by this act of evil committed against innocent concert goers, and I join Colorado and the nation in prayer for the victims and first responders. Colorado stands with Las Vegas; we grieve with all families affected. May God bless everyone affected by this horrific event,” Lamborn said.

He also included information about a hotline set up by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for families and friends of missing loved ones connected with this incident. That number is (866) 535-5654.

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette tweeted a response:

“Monstrous attack in #LasVegas. America is once again a scene of senseless mayhem. The victims, families & 1st responders are in our hearts.”

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis had this to say on Twitter:

“Devastated to wake up to the news of another horrifying mass shooting. Praying for all the victims and everyone affected. #LasVegas”

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton wrote:

“Absolutely heartbreaking news coming out of Las Vegas overnight. Praying for the victims, their families, and first responders.”

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck wrote in a series of tweets:

“I’m praying for all of those impacted by the evil events in Las Vegas last night. Our country must stand together in support of the families of the victims and the community. #LasVegas”

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman sent his thoughts and prayer for the victims and their loved ones in a pair of tweets:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims and their families of this horrific massacre in Las Vegas and….my thanks for the first responders who took down the shooter and evacuated the wounded.”

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter had this to say:

“Devastated to wake up to the news of the tragic, senseless violence that happened in Vegas. Our thoughts are w/ all the victims & families.”

State Sen. Owen Hill tweeted:

“Heartbreaking to see the death and terror in Las Vegas. @emylhill and I pray for peace surpassing understanding for all involved”

State Sen. Rhonda Fields wrote:

“My deepest and most sincere thoughts goes to the people of Las Vegas, this day of shock. Thanks to all our first responders out there now.”


This is a developing story and will be updated.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.