President Trump Sends Condolences Following Las Vegas Shooting
President Donald Trump responded on Twitter in response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed at least 50 people and injured around 400 others.
“My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!,” Trump wrote Monday morning.
My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2017
The White House said in an official statement that the president “has been briefed on the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas.”
“We are monitoring the situation closely and offer our full support to state and local officials. All of those affected are in our thoughts and prayers.”
The president was expected to make remarks in person this morning.
Deadliest Mass Shooting in US History
The shooting took place when a gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday, raining down bullets from the 32nd floor of a hotel for several minutes before shooting himself dead, according to police.
The death toll, which police emphasized was preliminary, would make the attack the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, eclipsing last year’s massacre of 49 people at an Orlando nightclub.
Some 22,000 people were in the crowd when the man opened fire, sending panicked people fleeing the scene, in some cases trampling one another, as law enforcement officers scrambled to locate and kill the gunman. Shocked concertgoers, some with blood on their clothes, wandered the streets after the attack.
At least 406 people were taken to area hospitals with injuries, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said.
Police identified the gunman as area resident Stephen Paddock, 64, and said they had no information yet about his motive. Paddock shot himself before police entered the hotel room he was firing from, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.
Earlier reports indicated that Paddock, who had more than 10 rifles in his hotel room, had been shot by police.
Paddock was not believed to be connected to any terrorist group, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.
“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo said. “We’ve located numerous firearms within the room that he occupied.”
Authorities had earlier regarded Paddock’s roommate as a person of interest, but later on Monday said they no longer regarded her as related to the case, CNN and Fox News reported, citing police sources.
The dead included one off-duty police officer, Lombardo said. Two on-duty officers were injured, including one who was in stable condition after surgery and one who sustained minor injuries, Lombardo said. Police warned the death toll may rise.
Police are still finding people who had taken cover during the attack, Lombardo said.
Video taken of the attack showed panicked crowds fleeing as sustained rapid gunfire ripped through the area.
“It sounded like fireworks. People were just dropping to the ground. It just kept going on,” said Steve Smith, a 45-year-old visitor from Phoenix, Arizona, who had flown in for the concert. He said the gunfire went on for an extended period of time.
“Probably 100 shots at a time. It would sound like it was reloading and then it would go again,” Smith said. “People were shot and trying to get out. A lot of people were shot.”
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.
Reuters contributed to this report