More Than 50 Dead, 500 Injured in Las Vegas Music Festival Shooting
More than 50 people were killed and over 500 others injured when a gunman opened fire at a country music festival in Las Vegas last night. One person began shooting into the audience at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip around 10:08 PM, apparently from a room of the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. It’s reportedly the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The shooter, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, is dead. It is believed he killed himself before police arrived at his room, where a cache of weapons, including 10 rifles, was found. Police believe he was acting alone. A woman named Marilou Danley was believed go be traveling with Paddock and questioned by the police, but she is no longer considered to be a “person of interest.”
Las Vegas Metropolitan Sheriff Joe Lombardo told the L.A. Times, “Right now we believe it’s a solo act, a lone wolf attacker. We are pretty confident there is no longer a threat.” Staff at University Medical Center reported that the condition of “many patients” with gunshot wounds was still being evaluated.
Festival attendees reported that shooting began while Jason Aldean was performing. YouTube footage shows the show continuing while a long blast of automatic fire is heard. Once it stops, the stage lights are cut and people begin to realize what’s happening, with friends telling others to “Get down, stay down.” A second burst came a short time later. An eyewitness said, “I thought it was like bottle rockets going off. Then we saw people dropping. We saw someone get hit, then we started running. We saw people down all over the place.” Aldean said via Instagram, “Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still don’t know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that me and my crew are safe.”
Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still dont know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe. My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night. #heartbroken #stopthehate
Part of the Las Vegas Strip was closed and Mandalay Bay hotel residents were refused entry to their rooms, while residents of other hotels were told to remain indoors. McCarran International Airport reported some flights would be diverted and delayed as police investigations continued.
We will be continually updating this story today.
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