At least 58 people were killed at a country music festival in Las Vegas after a gunman unleashed a hail of bullets from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel-casino. It is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Authorities say at least 515 others were injured in the attack, including several Southern California residents.
The gunman was identified by police as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock. Police said he fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino onto the Route 91 Harvest Festival Sunday night.
Officers were able to determine the shots were coming from the 32nd floor of the hotel, and they stormed the room and found the suspect had killed himself, authorities said.
Paddock was found dead in the hotel room with as many as 10 firearms. Authorities said he likely killed himself before officers made entry.
The gunman is of Mesquite, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas. They described him as a “lone wolf” and do not believe there are other suspects involved in the shooting.
The Islamic State has claimed the Las Vegas attack, saying Paddock converted to Islam months ago, but they did not provide evidence. Investigators in Las Vegas also have not found evidence of ties to terrorism.
IS often claims attacks by individuals inspired by its message but with no known links to the group.
We are pretty confident that there is no longer a threat,” said Sheriff Joseph Lombardo with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
A woman described as a roommate and traveling companion of Paddock, identified as Marilou Danley, was initially sought as a person of interest. After detectives spoke with her, they determined she was not involved with the shooting.
Officials said they continue to seek a vehicle registered to Paddock, described as a Hyundai Tucson with Nevada plate 114-B40. A Chrysler Pacific Touring minivan with Nevada plate 79D401 also connected to him was found.
Singer Jason Aldean was just finishing up his set at the Route 91 country music festival when a series of shots – about 200 rounds within 4 1/2 minutes – were fired in rapid-fire bursts, witnesses said. About 22,000 people were in attendance.
Terrified concertgoers ran for cover and described a scene of mass chaos as people were felled by bullets and friends tried to help them at the scene.
“It was the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” 36-year-old Kodiak 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.”
As news of the shooting spread, rumors of multiple shooters at multiple locations spread through social media. Police later dismissed those reports, saying there was one shooter at one location. There were also no explosives involved, other than those used by the SWAT team to enter the suspect’s hotel room, Lombardo said.
In the initial chaos, authorities shut down part of the Las Vegas Strip and the 15 Freeway. A groundstop was initiated for Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport for departing and arriving flights. Flights were allowed to resume less than two hours later, but travelers were advised to check with their airlines as some delays were possible.