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Deadliest US shooting: 59 dead, 200 injured in Las Vegas

Reuters/AP
Filed on October 3, 2017 | Last updated on October 3, 2017 at 07.06 am
Deadliest US shooting: 59 dead, 200 injured in Las Vegas


(AFP)




It sounded like fireworks. People were just dropping to the ground. It just kept going on: Eyewitness

A gunman killed at least 59 people and wounded more than 200 at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, raining down rapid fire from the 32nd floor of a hotel for several minutes before he was shot dead by police.

The death toll, which police emphasized was preliminary and tentative, would make the attack the deadliest mass shooting in US history, eclipsing last year's massacre of 49 people at an Orlando night club.

Thousands of panicked people fled the scene, in some cases trampling one another as law enforcement officers scrambled to locate and kill the gunman. Shocked concertgoers, some with blood on their clothes, wandered the streets after the attack.

Police identified the gunman as area resident Stephen Paddock, 64, and said they had no information yet about his motive.

He was not believed to be connected to any militant group, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.

"We have no idea what his belief system was," Lombardo said. "We've located numerous firearms within the room that he occupied."

Authorities believed they had located Paddock's roommate, who they identified as Marilou Danley. He gave no details of whether she was suspected of involvement in the attack but described her as an "associate."

Police had located two cars that belonged to the suspect.

The dead included one off-duty police officer, while at least one other officer was critically injured, Lombardo said. Police warned the death toll may rise.

'JUST KEPT GOING ON'

Video taken of the attack showed panicked crowds fleeing as sustained rapid gunfire ripped through the area.

"It sounded like fireworks. People were just dropping to the ground. It just kept going on," said Steve Smith, a 45-year-old visitor from Phoenix, Arizona, who had flown in for the concert. He said the gunfire went on for an extended period of time.

"Probably 100 shots at a time. It would sound like it was reloading and then it would go again," Smith said. "People were shot and trying to get out. A lot of people were shot."

Las Vegas's casinos, nightclubs and shopping draw some 3.5 million visitors from around the world each year and the area was packed with visitors when the shooting broke out shortly after 10 p.m. local time (0400 GMT).

Mike McGarry, a 53-year-old financial adviser from Philadelphia, was at the concert when he heard hundreds of shots ring out.

"It was crazy - I laid on top of the kids. They're 20. I'm 53. I lived a good life," McGarry said. The back of his shirt bore footmarks, after people ran over him in the panicked crowd.

Many casinos in the area locked their doors during the incident to keep out any potential attackers, some using handcuffs to do so, according to witnesses.

"Caesar's Palace had locked their doors. They wouldn't let you in," said Adam Mitchell, a 31-year-old tourist visiting from Britain.

The shooting broke out on the final night of the three-day Route 91 Harvest festival, a sold-out event attended by thousands and featuring top acts such as Eric Church, Sam Hunt and Jason Aldean.

"Tonight has been beyond horrific," Aldean said in a statement on Instagram. "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 rampage was reminiscent of a mass shooting at a Paris rock concert in November 2015 that killed 89 people, part of a wave of coordinated attacks by Islamist militants that left 130 dead.

The concert venue was in an outdoor area known as Las Vegas Village, across the Strip from the Mandalay Bay and the Luxor hotels.

"Our thoughts & prayers are with the victims of last night's tragic events," the Mandalay Bay said on Twitter.

 

 

The Latest on the shooting in Las Vegas (all times in US local):

4:22am

Trump tweets 'my warmest condolences and sympathies' to Las Vegas shooting victims, families.



3:30am.

A Nevada sheriff says the death toll has climbed to 50 in the attack on a Las Vegas concert Sunday, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo says more than 200 people were wounded at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Strip.

Authorities have identified the suspected gunman as Nevada resident Stephen Paddock.

Lombardo says officers confronted Paddock on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across the street from the concert. Paddock is dead.

Authorities say they have located 62-year-old Marilou Danley, who was wanted as a person of interest in this incident.

The dead gunman is also believed to have checked in as a hotel guest.


2am

A Nevada sheriff says one on-duty officer is in critical condition and another was wounded in the Las Vegas concert shooting that left more than 20 people dead.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo says two off-duty officers have died.

Several officers from California were attending the outdoor Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on Sunday when a gunman opened fire. A Bakersfield Police officer was shot and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Authorities have not released any of their identities.

More than 100 people were injured.

Lombardo says the suspect is dead.

The sheriff says they believe this was a "lone wolf" attack but said they are looking for a roommate of the dead suspect as a person of interest.

1:55am

Country music star Jason Aldean took to social media to say he and his crew are safe after a gunman killed more than 20 people at an outdoor concert Sunday.

Aldean was in the middle of his performance when the bullets rained down on the crowd. He posted on Instagram hours later, calling the shooting "beyond horrific."

Las Vegas authorities say more than 100 people are wounded in the attack.

Clark County's sheriff says officers confronted the suspect on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across the street from the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. Authorities say the man is dead. They did not release the suspect's name but said he is a local resident.

1:40am.

Las Vegas authorities say more than 20 people are dead and 100 people are wounded after a man opened fire on an outdoor concert late Sunday.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo says officers confronted the suspect on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across the street from the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. Authorities say the man is dead. They did not release the suspect's name but said he is a local resident.

Several officers from the Bakersfield Police Department were attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on Sunday when a gunman opened fire. One was shot and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Authorities did not release his name.

Lombardo said they believe this was a "lone wolf" attack but said they are looking for a roommate of the dead suspect as a person of interest

1:13am

A Southern California police department says one of its off-duty officers was shot during the attack on a Las Vegas concert.

Several officers from the Bakersfield Police Department were attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on Sunday when a gunman opened fire. One was shot and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Authorities did not release his name.

Two people are dead and dozens wounded after someone opened fire on an outdoor country music festival across the street from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

Las Vegas police say one suspect is 'down' but did not give any other details.

1am

Some flights have resumed at the Las Vegas airport after all planes were temporarily grounded due to the deadly shooting on the Strip.

McCarran International Airport says limited flight activity has resumed early Monday.

Two people are dead and dozens wounded after someone opened fire late Sunday on an outdoor country music festival.

12:50am

Las Vegas police say one suspect is 'down' after a deadly shooting Sunday at an outdoor concert and authorities don't believe there are any more shooters.

Two people are dead and dozens more wounded after a gunman opened fire during Jason Aldean's performance at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival.

Authorities shut down part of the Las Vegas Strip and Interstate 15.

McCarran International Airport officials say all flights in and out have been temporarily halted.

---

12:30 a.m.

All planes have been grounded at the Las Vegas airport after the deadly shooting at an outdoor concert on the Strip.

McCarran International Airport says all flights in and out have been temporarily halted in response to the shooting.

Two people are dead and dozens wounded after someone opened fire late Sunday on a music festival.

Las Vegas police say one suspect is 'down' but did not give any other details.

University Medical Center spokeswoman Danita Cohen said 26 people were admitted to the hospital after the incident.

 

12:15am.

A concert-goer says he heard what sounded like fireworks while he was watching Jason Aldean's performance at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival Sunday night.

Thirty-six-year-old Kodiak Yazzi said the music stopped temporarily and started up again before another round of pops sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.

As the 40,000 fans in the crowd began to flee, Yazzi took cover and said he saw flashes of light coming from the Mandalay Bay hotel tower high above.

The bursts of pops would start and stop for more than five minutes. He says he saw dozens of ambulances as he ran for safety. He later got a Lyft driver to take him home to suburban Henderson.

Las Vegas police say one suspect is 'down.'

A hospital spokeswoman says two people are dead and dozens wounded.

12:05am.

Las Vegas police say one suspect is 'down' after shooting at country music festival that has left two people dead and dozens wounded.

University Medical Center spokeswoman Danita Cohen said 26 people were admitted to the hospital.

Dozens of patrol vehicles descended on the Strip after authorities received reports of an active shooter near the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Some officers took cover behind their vehicles while others carrying assault rifles ran into the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

11:55pm

A Las Vegas hospital says at least two people are dead and dozens wounded after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip.

University Medical Center spokeswoman Danita Cohen said 26 people were admitted to the hospital. She says, of those, at least two have died, 12 are in critical condition and the rest are being evaluated.

Dozens of patrol vehicles descended on the Strip after authorities received reports of an active shooter near the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

Authorities shut down part of the Las Vegas Strip and Interstate 15.

11:45pm

Concert-goers reported seeing muzzle flashes from the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival and the sound of what they described as automatic gun fire.

Witnesses say they saw multiple victims Sunday night as they fled the gunfire raining down on the concert venue.

Some later huddled in the basement of the nearby Tropicana hotel-casino.

11pm

Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip.

Dozens of patrol vehicles descended on the Strip after authorities received reports of an active shooter near the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

Some officers took cover behind their vehicles while others carrying assault rifles ran into the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

University Medical Center spokeswoman Danita Cohen said the Las Vegas hospital is taking in "several" people with gunshot wounds. She didn't have any other immediate information.

Authorities shut down part of the Las Vegas Strip and Interstate 15.

Some flights destined for the McCarran International Airport were diverted due to incident.

Witnesses say country singer Jason Aldean was playing near the end of the concert when gunfire rang out.

 No further information was immediately known.





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