LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Bono, the front man for Irish rock band, took the stage in Las Vegas Sunday, mere miles from the site of the 1 October shooting, to honor those massacred by Hamas militants the day before at a music festival in Jerusalem.
The attack killed hundreds of people and triggered chaotic escape efforts as revelers tried to run or hide from gunfire. Dozens of militants blew through Israel’s heavily fortified separation fence and crossed into the country from Gaza.
They opened fire on young Israelis who had come together for a joyous night of electronic music. The staggering toll of the festival was becoming clear as Israel’s rescue service Zaka said paramedics had recovered at least 260 bodies.
“So sing with us and those beautiful kids at that music festival,” Bono told the crowd at the Sphere before leading the capacity crowd into song. The band and the thousands on hand sang “Pride (In the Name of Love),” with lyrics written especially for the occasion.
“Early morning, October 7, as the sun is rising in the desert sky, stars of David, they took your life, but they could not take your pride,” the Irish megastar crooned.
Those “beautiful kids” to which Bono made reference were the first thing a 1 October survivor here in the Las Vegas valley noticed when she saw the video of the massacre.
“Survivor seeing all the videos of the kids at the concert, everyone having a good time, and then all of a sudden they’re running. Like, that takes you back to what we went through,” Brandy Sanderson, 1 October survivor told the 8 News Now Investigators Monday.
Sanderson and her husband were on the right side of the stage, squeezed in, and heard 11 rounds of gunfire.
“We were stuck there for about nine of them before we were able to run,” Sanderson said.
Plagued with survivors’ guilt, Sanderson and her husband give back to the 1 October community and the community as a whole. The two own Sanderson Plumbing, a platinum sponsor of the Vegas Strong 5K.
“It’s a really horrible thing to see on TV but also to be a part of,” Sanderson said. “And the ones who survive, it’s going to be with them for a really long time.”
At the rave in Israel – the Tribe of Nova music festival — while rockets rained down, revelers said, militants converged on the festival site while others waited near bomb shelters, gunning down people who were seeking refuge. Many of the militants, who arrived in trucks and on motorcycles, were wearing body armor and brandishing AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
Videos compiled by Israeli first responders and posted to the social media site Telegram show armed men plunging into the panicked crowd, mowing down fleeing revelers with bursts of automatic fire. Many victims were shot in the back as they ran.