59 Dead and 527 Injured in Las Vegas Shooting
LAS VEGAS, Nevada-59people are dead and about 527 were hospitalized because of a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip early Monday morning.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said police responded after reports that shots were fired from the Mandalay Bay towards the Route 91 Harvest concert. The suspect has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, a white male from the Vegas area. He was shooting from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel into a crowd of nearly 22,000 people. Lombardo said the shooter is dead and police believe there are no other shooters.
"Right now, we believe it's a sole actor, a lone-wolf-type actor," the sheriff said.
Paddock stocked his room with weapons before firing the shots. A SWAT team breached his room and found that he had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police believe Paddock checked into the hotel as a guest before the attack. He was in possession of more than 10 rifles.
The Desert Valley Times reports that police in Mesquite, where Paddock lived, said he never had any run-ins with officers. Paddock lived in a retirement community in Mesquite, about an hour northeast of Las Vegas.
The U.S. Homeland Security Department said there was no "specific credible threat" involving other public venues in the U.S and that there is no known link to overseas terrorism or terror groups. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack without providing any evidence. The FBI has ruled that there is no connection between Paddock and ISIS or international terrorism.
Among the dead is a Las Vegas police officer who was off duty at the time. Two Las Vegas police officers are being treated at a local hospital for injuries they sustained in the shooting. One was in critical condition, but has been upgraded to stable while the other suffered minor injuries. The gunfire broke out when country music star Jason Aldean was performing.
HEAR IT --> | Police scanner traffic as the shooting occured
The Clark County Fire Department estimated that approximately 406 people were transported to area hospitals and 50 are dead.
Audrey Sweesy of Noblesville, Indiana is in Las Vegas with her dad, brother, and 25 others staying at the Mirage hotel several blocks north of where the shooting happened. She didn't hear or see the shooting, but she did see the chaos along after it happened.
"We weren't allowed out of the casinos. At one point, I heard a loud noise and looked outside and saw a police helicopter. You could see the police officers in the helicopter. That's how close they were," Sweesy said.
Police did seek a person of interest initially. They were looking for Paddocks' roommate, Marilou Danley, after they recovered some of Danley's identification on Paddock after he took his own life. They found her, questioned her, and found that she was not involved in the shooting.
It is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and is still an active investigation.
REACTION TO THE SHOOTING
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval expressed his sadness over the tragedy on Twitter:
"A tragic & heinous act of violence has shaken the #Nevada family. Our prayers are w/ the victims & all affected by this act of cowardice."
Las Vegas Mayor, Carolyn Goodman, had this to say about the incident:
"Pray for Las Vegas. Thank you to all our first responders out there now."
Country Music Star Jason Aldean was performing when the shots rang out. He released the following statement:
"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. 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
President Donald Trump reacted to the shooting on Twitter:
"My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!"
So did Vice President Mike Pence:
"To the courageous first responders, thank you for your acts of bravery."
"To victims, families & loved ones affected by this senseless violence in Las Vegas, Karen & I are praying for you & offering our love..."
(PHOTO: David Becker/Getty Images)