A gunman turned a Las Vegas concert into a killing field Sunday night, murdering at least 50 people and injuring more than 200 others in the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history.
The suspect, who had been killed, was identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, a resident of Mesquite. Authorities also said they were “confident” Paddock’s roommate, Marilou Danley, was located.
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo stated the dead gunman is thought to have checked in as a resort guest but didn’t immediately reveal a motive. Authorities said two on-duty Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers were injured during the shooting. One is in stable condition after surgery, and an another sustained minor injury. Two off-duty police officers attending the concert were murdered.
President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences to the victims of the vegas massacre, stating “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of this dreadful Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!
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 gunman, who fired down to the Route 91 Harvest Festival from a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killed himself when the police arrived.
Authorities first received calls about an energetic shooting at about 10:08 p.m.
Marilou Danley is being sought for questioning re the investigation into the active shooter incident. If seen please call 9-1-1! pic.twitter.com/Z83XvcHejH
— LVMPD (@LVMPD) October 2, 2017
Country music star Jason Aldean was performing at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when the gunfire erupted. Aldean was performing his final song of the evening. Originally, those in attendance said they thought the sound was firecrackers. But since the shots continued, Aldean ceased singing and a few concertgoers could be heard yelling to each other to get down. A witness told KSVN that he heard “countless shots.” The gunfire was rapid and allegedly confused with firecrackers.
Gun shots!!! Vegas. Pray to god. Love you guys. Love you Pearl.
— Jake Owen (@jakeowen) October 2, 2017
“It seemed like a machine gun,” one vendor told Fox News. “It seemed like more than 1 machine gun.” Authorities said law enforcement swarmed the hotel and killed the gunman in a room on the 32nd floor. Responding officers used an explosive device to force the door open into the room were Paddock killed himself.
NEW: Police have not identified the name of the shooter but say he is a white male in his 60s who lived in a retirement community pic.twitter.com/wLYR9OxUry
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 2, 2017
Some concertgoers staid behind to provide help to people around them. “Everyone I saw breathing, I assisted,” a concertgoer told Fox News. Kodiak Yazzie, 36, said the music stopped temporarily and started up again before another round of pops sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.
“It was the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen in my whole life,” Yazzie told the Associated Press. “You could hear thpoat the sound was coming from west of us, from Mandalay Bay. You could see a flash- flash- flash- flash.”
Since the 40,000 fans in the audience started to flee, Yazzie took cover and said he saw flashes of light coming from the Mandalay Bay resort tower high above.
“This was clearly well-planned, they waited for an open-air event, and got a room facing it,” retired FBI special agent and former federal FBI spokesman John Iannarelli, who drove past the scene of this event only moments before the shooting happened, told Fox News. “I can see the flashing blue police lights from my hotel window.”
BREAKING: Police in Las Vegas have responded to reports of an active shooter at Mandalay Bay, a hotel and casino. Details about the incident were not immediately available, but images from the scene showed people running and ambulances driving in the area. Details to follow. pic.twitter.com/SWEaCdExoL
— Behind The News (@Behind__News) October 2, 2017
Iannarelli added that the defendant “probably had inside help” in the girlfriend in the room, making her a “criminal accomplice.” “They were well-trained,” Iannarelli said, noting the use of automatic weapons. “That’s not a simple task.” Iannarelli added that both used “expensive guns and ammunition.”
Iannarelli noted that FBI and police will speak with each friend and relative, and are conducting a forensic review of the suspects’ computers and telephones.
The shooting at the sold-out Route 91 Harvest festival was the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Forty-nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016.
Sunday’s shooting came more than four months after a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people. Almost 90 people were killed by gunmen inspired by Islamic State terror group at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris during a performance by Eagles of Death Metal in November 2015.