Las Vegas shooting
People run for safety as lone gunman shoots at music festival audience at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017 | David Becker/Getty Images

A gunman on a high floor of a Las Vegas hotel rained a rapid-fire barrage on a huge outdoor concert festival on Sunday night, killing more than 50 people, injuring hundreds of others, and sending thousands of terrified survivors fleeing for cover, in one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

Online video of the attack near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino showed the singer Jason Aldean performing outside at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music event, interrupted by the sound of automatic gunfire. The music stopped, and as victims fell, bleeding, concertgoers screamed, ducked for cover, or ran.

“Get down,” one shouted. “Stay down,” screamed another.

“Currently the Clark County Fire Department is estimating the injuries to be well over 400” Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said on Monday morning. One of those killed was an off-duty Las Vegas police officer, the department said.

Las Vegas shotting
A woman covered with blood at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. | David Becker/Getty Images

He said there were about 22,000 people at the concert.

SWAT units swarmed the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay, closing in on the source of the shooting, a 32nd-floor room where they found the gunman, with “in excess of 10 rifles,” the sheriff said. “We believe the individual killed himself prior to our entry.”

The first reports of the shooting came at 10:08 p.m. local time, and officers overheard on police radio reported being pinned down by gunfire. Shortly before midnight the Las Vegas police reported that “one suspect is down,” and soon after the police said they did not believe there were any more active gunmen.

The sheriff identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev., who had no significant prior criminal history.

Before dawn on Monday, Mr. Lombardo said the police were executing a search warrant on Mr. Paddock’s home, adding, “We’re going to clear the residence first for any possible explosives, so that will be slow and methodical.”

Eric Paddock, a brother of Stephen Paddock who lives in Orlando, Fla., told The Orlando Sentinel that he had made a statement to the police. “We are completely dumbfounded,” he said. “We can’t understand what happened.”

Laith Alkhouri, a senior analyst at Flashpoint Global Partners, a security consulting firm in New York that tracks militant websites, said that he had seen no information yet on whether the suspect acted out of political motivation or grievance, or something else.

Las Vegas Shooting
A police officer taking cover near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. | John Locher/AP

President Trump issued a statement on Twitter on Monday extending sympathies to the victims and their families, and was scheduled to address the nation at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time.

Video of the shooting captured nine seconds of rapid-fire, continuous bursts, followed by 37 seconds of silence from the weapon amid panicked screaming. The barrage of gunfire then erupted again in at least two more rounds, both shorter than the first.

Click on any image to enlarge.

Read more at New York Times

NO COMMENTS

Leave a Comment

To leave a comment anonymously, simple write your thoughts in the comments box below and click the ‘post comment’ button.