Dozens killed, hundreds wounded in shooting at Las Vegas Strip concert
Police said there were multiple casualties after automatic gunfire erupted during an outdoor country music concert near the Las Vegas Strip late Sunday night.
Police said that at least 59 people were killed, including the gunman, and at least 489 were injured in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
At least three police officers were shot, one was an off-duty officer whose injury was fatal.
The suspect has been identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada. He had opened fire on 22,000 concertgoers from a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
Police said they believe this was a “lone wolf” attack, adding that there is no information to support the rumors of additional shooters. The FBI was also assisting the investigation.
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A Las Vegas Police SWAT team said Paddock was found dead in the hotel room of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Asst. Sheriff Todd Falulo with the Las Vegas Police Department said at least 23 weapons were also found in the hotel room and at least 19 weapons were found in the suspect’s home, as well as explosives, thousands of rounds of ammunition and several electronic devices.
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said police also found a number of suitcases in the hotel room and found ammonium nitrate in Paddock’s car.
Lombardo said police are processing four separate scenes: Paddock’s Mandalay Bay hotel room, the event location, the suspect’s home in Mesquite and a SWAT team is heading to the suspect’s home in Reno.
John Fudenberg, the Clark County, Nevada, coroner said the number of wounded victims is fluid and could rise in the coming days. The wounded victims were wounded by a wide range of causes, from gunfire to shrapnel to being hurt jumping fences.
Fudenberg said the office is working “very hard” to make those identifications and all confirmed fatalities have been recovered and transferred to his office.
Authorities searched for Paddock’s roommate and girlfriend, Marilou Danley, 62, but said after going through the home the two shared in a retirement community she was no longer a person of interest.
Danley was out of the country at the time of the shooting, Lombardo said. Police will speak to her once she gets back in the country, he added.
The house is about 80 miles north of Las Vegas.
A Homeland Security official said there was no specific “credible threat” to other public venues in the U.S.
A state of emergency was issued in Clark County on Monday, allowing “a significant number of community resources in public safety, public health, health care and emergency management have been expended and will continue in the days and weeks to come.”
Guns and Guitars, Inc., a gun dealership in Mesquite, issued a statement on Monday that confirmed Paddock bought firearms from the store.
“Mr. Paddock was a customer and purchased firearms from our store; however, all necessary background checks and procedures were followed, as required by local, state and federal law,” part of the statement read. “He never gave any indication or reason to believe he was unstable or unfit at any time.”
Lombardo said it is also believed that Paddock purchased guns in Arizona, but did not give any more information. A spokesman from ATF also declined to comment.
Concertgoers respond to shooting
Concertgoers reported seeing muzzle flashes from the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Route 91 country music festival and the sound of what they described as automatic gunfire.
Kodiak Yazzie, 36, said the music stopped temporarily when the first shots began and the tune even started up again before the second round of pops sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.
“It was the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” Yazzie said. “You could hear that the noise was coming from west of us, from Mandalay Bay.
“You could see a flash-flash-flash-flash.”
Witnesses said they saw multiple victims as they fled the gunfire raining down on the concert venue. Some later huddled in the basement of the nearby Tropicana.
A GoFundMe for the victims raised hundreds of thousands of dollars within hours. It has now raised more than $2 million.
Gunfire erupted while singer Jason Aldean performed. He escaped without injury. Video that purportedly captured the shots was posted on Twitter.
Flights to and from McCarran International Airport, located near the shooting site, were diverted for more than an hour.
Nine of the diverted flights landed in Phoenix.
American Airlines is waiving the change fees for travelers who are flying out of Las Vegas on Monday and Tuesday, if they meet certain stipulations. Allegiant Air, a Las Vegas-based airline, is also offering free flights for families of the shooting victims.
MGM Resorts is also offering free hotel rooms for the families of the victims, Falulo said.
Authorities shut down part of the Las Vegas Strip and Interstate 15 shortly after the shooting, asking people to avoid the area.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman asked for people to pray for her city. In a press conference, Goodman said, “while the sun is shining in Las Vegas, it is a very dark day. … This is a loving and caring community and I’m proud to be its mayor.”
President Donald Trump tweeted out his concern early Monday.
He also called Lombardo.
“Nevada is strong and Nevada will remain strong,” said U.S. Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nevada), during a press conference on Monday.
Aldean posted on Instagram that “it hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”
The shooter’s brother, Eric Paddock, told the Orlando Sentinel he was “completely dumbfounded” and that the family had “no idea why he did this.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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