Las Vegas Shooting Death Toll Rises to 58, No Apparent Connection to Terror
by Karma Allen and Emily Shapiro
Oct 2, 2017
At least 58 people were killed and 515 were injured in Las Vegas Sunday night when a gunman opened fire on a music festival crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. It was the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
The "nonstop gunfire,
" according to one witness, sent more than 22,000 country music fans scrambling for their lives. Police say the lone suspect had at least 10 rifles when he was found dead in a Mandalay Bay hotel room.
Terrified bystanders ducked, ran and then sprang into action, frantically caring for the wounded. As ambulances rushed to the scene, concertgoers made makeshift stretchers out of police barricades.
They plugged wounds with their bare hands and used their clothing to try to stanch each other's bleeding. At least one man described a stranger who died in his arms.
An off-duty Las Vegas police officer who was attending the concert was among the dead, police said.
In the wake of the shooting, the Las Vegas Police Department said authorities responded to a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, where police said the suspected gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, was dead. Authorities said the suspect checked into the hotel Thursday and that they are searching hours of surveillance video. Authorities said the suspect brought the guns in himself.
Police said Paddock had no criminal history, save a minor citation. He appears to have worked as an accountant or auditor and was a licensed hunter and private pilot.
Police said they believe Paddock, of Mesquite, Nevada, killed himself prior to police entry. Authorities believe the suspect used a device similar to a hammer to smash the hotel room windows.
The motive was unclear. “I can't get into the mind of a psychopath,
” Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said at a news conference this morning.
Officials said this morning they have found no connection between the shooting and any international terrorist group. Officials added that the suspect was not known to law enforcement.
Videos filmed by onlookers gave a window into the chaos that ensued, with some thinking that fireworks were going off. The bullets rang out over the final night of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, which was taking place across the street from Mandalay Bay.
Jason Aldean was the night's headliner; other performers included country stars Jake Owen, Big & Rich, Luke Combs and Dylan Scott.