A gunman opened fire outside of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas during a music festival on Sunday night, killing more than 50 people and injuring at least 500 others, according to the New York Times. The suspect, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, reportedly killed himself after carrying out the mass shooting. It's already being regarded as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The shooting started shortly after 10 p.m. PT on Sunday as country singer Jason Aldean performed in front of about 20,000 fans during the Route 91 Harvest Festival across the street from Mandalay Bay. According to Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, who held a press conference early Monday morning, Paddock opened fire from a perch on the 32nd floor of the hotel, aiming into the crowd that was gathered to watch Aldean. Those in attendance at the concert are reporting that the shooting lasted for about 10 minutes. A video captured at the scene showed Aldean quickly exiting the Route 91 stage after the shooting began.
Other videos from the scene of the shooting have also surfaced on social media. Those who were in attendance at the concert have spoken about the chaos that erupted during the horrific incident.
“We heard what sounded like firecrackers going off,” one concertgoer, identified as Meghan Kearney, told MSNBC. “Then all of a sudden we heard what sounded like a machine gun. People started screaming that they were hit…People kept dropping and dropping…People were getting shot one foot away from us. People were trying to save their friends. There were gunshots everywhere. Helping them would’ve meant that we got shot, too.”
Lombardo described Paddock as a “lone wolf,” and while there was some initial speculation about what role Paddock's “companion” Marilou Danley may have played in the shooting, she was reportedly found to be out of the country on Sunday night and police do not believe she was involved in the incident. Lombardo said police are reportedly searching Paddock's home, which is located about 80 miles from Las Vegas, and investigating two vehicles, a Hyundai Tucson and a Chrysler Pacifica Touring, with ties to Paddock that were parked near Mandalay Bay.
Lombardo said Paddock does not have any known ties to international terrorist organizations, though ISIS has, without providing any evidence, suggested Paddock was working on behalf of them. Lombardo also revealed that “numerous firearms” were found in Paddock's Mandalay Bay hotel room after police used controlled explosives to enter it. Paddock may have used as many as 10 guns to carry out his attack.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval released a statement regarding the shooting on Monday morning.
President Trump released a statement on Monday morning as well and spoke about the mass shooting during a brief press conference.
Former President Barack Obama released a statement, too.
Additionally, Aldean shared his thoughts on the shooting.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has put out a phone number for anyone looking for more information on those who may have been involved in the shooting.
The FBI is also asking for help with its investigation into the shooting.
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