Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and a team of victim advocates are headed to Nevada to help deal with the aftermath of the nation’s worst mass shooting.
Bondi was at a Judicial Committee meeting of the Constitution Revision Commission in the Capitol on October 3 when she told Chair Bill Schifino she had to leave immediately for Las Vegas.
Schifino, a former Florida Bar president, excused her absence and thanked her for her service.
“We appreciate your time and effort and Godspeed to you.”
Bondi told reporters huddled outside of the committee room that she would be leading a team of five victim advocates headed by Emery Gainey, director of the Division of Victim Services and Criminal Justice Programs.
Bondi said she was coming at the request of Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt.
“We’ve been in constant contact with Nevada since this happened,” Bondi said. “We’re going to be assisting the victims and their families with the services they need. Sadly, in Florida we know what we’re doing after the Pulse nightclub.”
Fifty-eight people attending an October 1 country-western concert on the Las Vegas strip were killed and hundreds were injured when a lone gunman sprayed the venue with high-caliber rifle bullets from his room in the upper floor of a luxury hotel.
Bondi said elements of the tragedy mirrored Florida’s experience last summer when a gunman opened fire in the Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando, eventually killing 50, including the shooter, and injuring 58.
In both instances, Bondi said, most of the victims were tourists and visiting from other states. Bondi said her team will provide a variety of services, including helping victims navigate the legal complexities of transporting the bodies of loved ones across state lines.
Bondi said her team will also assist with grief counseling.
“There is no amount of counselors in Nevada that could possibly assist, due to the magnitude of this tragedy,” Bondi said.