CBS Fires Executive Over Shocking Comment About Las Vegas Victims
CBS fired the legal executive who wrote on Facebook that she has no sympathy for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting massacre.
“I’m actually not even sympathetic bc [because] country music fans often are Republican gun toters,” wrote now-former executive Hayley Geftman-Gold.
The Facebook post has since been deleted, but was online long enough to spark outrage.
A lone gunman rained bullets down on a crowd of people attending a country music concert on Sunday night, Oct. 1. At least 58 people have been killed and at least 515 injured, police said just before noon on Monday.
“This individual, who was with us for approximately one year, violated the standards of our company and is no longer an employee of CBS,” the network wrote in a statement, according to The Hill.
“Her views as expressed on social media are deeply unacceptable to all of us at CBS,” the statement continued. “Our hearts go out to the victims in Las Vegas and their families.”
The Daily Caller spotted the executive’s comment earlier on Monday.
“If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing,” wrote Geftman-Gold, who was the VP and senior counsel of strategic transactions at CBS.
Geftman-Gold’s comments went viral online and became the top trending topic on Twitter, The Hill reported.
President Donald Trump called the shooting “an act of pure evil” in an address on Monday morning. Trump later held a moment of silence on the lawn in front of the White House. The president plans to visit Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Authorities identified the suspected gunman as Stephen Paddock, 64, a resident of Mesquite, Nevada. Paddock fired a machine gun from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Resort and Casino for several minutes. He shot and killed himself just as police entered the room.
The barrage of bullets from the Mandalay Bay hotel into a crowd of 22,000 people lasted several minutes, sparking panic.
Police said they believed Paddock acted alone and did not know why he attacked the crowd. The ISIS terrorist group claimed responsibility for the massacre, but U.S. officials said there was no evidence of that.
The preliminary death toll, which officials said could rise, eclipsed last year’s massacre of 49 people at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub by a gunman who pledged allegiance to ISIS.
Shocked concertgoers, some with blood on their clothing, wandered the streets, where the flashing lights of the city’s gaudy casinos blended with those of emergency vehicles.
Police said Paddock had no criminal record. The gunman killed himself before police entered the hotel room he was firing from, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.
“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo said. “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath.”
Federal officials said there was no evidence to link Paddock to militant organizations.
“We have determined to this point no connection with an international terrorist group,” Aaron Rouse, the FBI’s special agent in charge in Las Vegas, told reporters.
U.S. officials discounted the claim of responsibility for the attack made by ISIS in a statement.
“We advise caution on jumping to conclusions before the facts are in,” CIA spokesman Jonathan Liu said in an email.
Multiple Machine Guns
Lombardo said there were more than 10 rifles in the room where Paddock killed himself. His arsenal included multiple machine guns, according to a law enforcement official.
U.S. law largely bans machine guns.
Police found several more weapons at Paddock’s home in Mesquite, about 90 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Mesquite police spokesman Quinn Averett told reporters.
The dead in Las Vegas included a nurse, a government employee, and an off-duty police officer.
Trump said he would travel to Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with victims, their family members, and first responders.
“It was an act of pure evil,” said Trump, who later led a moment of silence at the White House in honor of the victims.
The suspected shooter’s brother, Eric Paddock, said the family was stunned by the news.
“We’re horrified. We’re bewildered, and our condolences go out to the victims,” Eric Paddock said in a phone interview, his voice trembling. “We have no idea in the world.”
He said his brother belonged to no political or religious organizations and had no history of mental illness. Their father had been a bank robber who for a while was listed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted suspects list.
‘Just Kept Going On’
Video of the attack showed panicked crowds fleeing as sustained rapid gunfire ripped through the area.
“People were just dropping to the ground. It just kept going on,” said Steve Smith, a 45-year-old visitor from Phoenix, Arizona. He said the gunfire went on for an extended period of time.
“Probably 100 shots at a time,” Smith said. “It would sound like it was reloading and then it would go again.”
Las Vegas’s casinos, nightclubs, and shopping draw some 3.5 million visitors from around the world each year and the area was packed with visitors when the shooting broke out shortly after 10 p.m. local time.
Shares of MGM Resorts International, which owns the Mandalay Bay, fell 4.8 percent on Monday to $31.01 a share.
Mike McGarry, a financial adviser from Philadelphia, was at the concert when he heard hundreds of shots ring out.
“It was crazy—I laid on top of the kids. They’re 20. I’m 53. I lived a good life,” McGarry said. The back of his shirt bore footmarks, after people ran over him in the panicked crowd.
Reuters contributed to this report.