At Least 50 Dead, 400 Injured in Mass Shooting in Las Vegas
A gunman fired from the 32nd floor of a hotel tower at an outdoor concert crowd in Las Vegas, killing at least 50 people and wounding over 400 in what is now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, ABC News Reported.
The shooter has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock. He was killed when police swarmed Mandalay Bay Hotel.
Police have also apprehended Marilou Danley, a companion of Paddock who is not believed to be an accomplice in the shooting.
The Las Vegas massacre death toll eclipsed the Orlando nightclub attack in 2016, which was, until now, the deadliest mass shooting in the United States.
“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said. “Right now, we believe he was the sole aggressor and the scene is static.”
Police were also searching for two cars that belonged to the suspect.
He said rumors of other shootings or explosives such as car bombs in the area were false. Video taken of the attack showed panicked crowds fleeing as sustained rapid gunfire ripped through the area.
Las Vegas’s casinos, nightclubs, and shopping are a major draw for 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.
Mike McGarry, a 53-year-old financial adviser from Philadelphia, said he 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.
Police warned the death toll may rise.
“I don’t want to give you an accurate number because I don’t have it yet,” Lombardo said.
At least one police officer was hospitalized with critical injuries, Lombardo said.
The shooting broke out on the last night of the three-day Route 91 Harvest festival, a sold-out event attended by thousands and featuring top acts such as Eric Church, Sam Hunt, and Jason Aldean.
U.S. media, including Fox News, reported that Aldean was performing when the rampage began but that he had been bundled safely off stage at the event outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in the Nevada gambling resort. CNN reported all the performers were safe.
Lombardo said the gunfire came from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, where the gunman was killed.
Police have disclosed no information that would suggest a motive for the shooting or revealed the identity of the suspect.
A witness named Christine told CNN both she and her husband had separately taken shooting victims to two hospitals, the University Medical Center and the Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
“The shots just kept coming,” she said. “Everyone was telling us ‘run, run as fast as you can’.”
The concert venue was in an outdoor area known as Las Vegas Village, across the Strip from the Mandalay Bay and the Luxor hotels.
The Mandalay Bay hotel is near McCarran International Airport, which said on Twitter it had temporarily halted flights after the shooting. Later, the airport said that some flights had resumed.
The United States has seen a series of deadly mass shootings in recent years. Prior to Orlando, the deadliest occurred in April 2007 when a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech University and in December 2012 a man killed 26 young children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Some of the people attending the concert stayed behind to help the injured, Fox News reported.
“Everybody I saw breathing, I helped,” a concertgoer told Fox News.
The music stopped temporarily and restarted again, before another round of pops was heard, according to Kodiak Yazzi, 36. As the crowd began to flee, Yazzi took cover and saw flashes of light coming from the Mandalay Bay Casino tower.
The entire area is on lockdown by police. All clubs and casinos have been shut down.
A spokeswoman for the University Medical Center said that the hospital was taking in injured people.
A concertgoer named Zack told Fox News that he saw his sister get shot in the head.
“Gun shots!!! Vegas. Pray to god,” country singer Jack Owen wrote on Twitter. “Love you guys. Love you Pearl.”
Reuters contributed to this report.