Monday, October 2, 2017
MASSACRE: 50 killed, 200 Hurt in Vegas Attack; Gunman ID’d
A gunman carried out the deadliest mass shooting in US history by opening fire at a Las Vegas outdoor music concert — killing at least 50 people and wounding more than 200 before being fatally shot, according to reports.
Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev., unleashed a withering hail of bullets from an automatic weapon from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel for several minutes.
Described as a “lone wolf” by Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, Paddock had a criminal past and was known to local law enforcement, NBC News reported.
He had no known connection to terrorism and police have not called the shooting a terrorist attack, according to Lombardo.
“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo said. “Right now, we believe he was the sole aggressor and the scene is static.”
He added that “numerous firearms” had been located in the room Paddock occupied at the hotel.
The attack came during the last performances on the final night of the three-day Route 91 country music festival on a 15-acre lot on Las Vegas Boulevard across from Mandalay Bay.
Authorities said they have located 62-year-old Marilou Danley, who was wanted as a person of interest in the massacre. She had been sitting in Paddock’s car before the attack, Lombardo said.
He described her as an “associate.”
Police also found two vehicles with Nevada license plates, a Hyundai Tucson and a Chrysler Pacifica Touring, that they had been looking for after the rampage, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Two off-duty police officers attending the concert were among the dead victims, Lombardo said. Two on-duty Las Vegas cops were wounded, one critically, he said.
One of the injured officers is from the Bakersfield Police Department in California. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
President Trump tweeted his “warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!”
The gunfire rang out while country music star Jason Aldean was on stage.
Concertgoer Ivetta Saldana, who was there with a friend and hid in a sewer, said the shots sounded like fireworks, the Las Vegas paper reported.
“It was a horror show,” she said at the Town Square shopping center south of the Strip. “People were standing around, then they hit the floor.”
Mandalay Bay, the MGM Grand and the Tropicana remained on lockdown early Monday while guests were told to stay in their rooms.
Matt and Robyn Webb from Orange County said they sheltered under their seats as bullets rained down from the direction of Mandalay Bay.
“It just kept coming,” Robyn Webb told the paper. “It was relentless.”
They later fled toward Reno Avenue, where they said they saw as many as 20 people bleeding in the street.
“That’s when we knew for sure it was real,” Matt Webb said.
A reporter on the scene at Mandalay Bay said people could be seen running from a casino entrance into the ground floor of the parking garage at the hotel.
Victims were rushed to University Medical Center and Sunrise Hospital Medical Center. Medical personnel from across the region were called into hospitals and to the scene.
The wounded were seen being moved in wheelbarrows and luggage carts.
Mike McGarry, a 53-year-old financial adviser from Philadelphia, said he 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,” said McGarry, whose shirt bore footprints, after people in the panicked crowd ran over him.
The death toll, which police emphasized was preliminary, would make the attack the deadliest mass shooting in US history, eclipsing last year’s massacre of 49 people at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub.
With Post wires