A gunman turned a Las Vegas concert into a killing field Sunday night from his perch on the 32 nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, use at the least 10 artilleries to rain down a steady flow of flame, murdering at least 59 people and injuring more than 520 others in the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history.
The suspect, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot meander, was identified as 64 -year-old Stephen Paddock, a resident of Mesquite, Nevada. Police initially tried a woman believed to be Paddock’s roommate, Marilou Danley, as a “person of interest.” Detectives subsequently stimulated contact with her, and “do not belief she is involved with the shooting on The Strip.”
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said an “excess of 10 rifles” were found in the chamber, but did not immediately uncover a motive, saying “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath at this point.”
Paddock reportedly had about 23 handguns in his hotel chamber, according to police in an evening press conference.
Fully automatic weapons produced after the mid-1 980 s are illegal in the U.S. Those built before can still be purchased, nonetheless, buying one necessitates heavy regulation, including a background check by ATF and law enforcement notification. In recent years, nonetheless, some felons have illegally converted semi-automatic weapons into automatic ones.
Chris Michel, owned of Dixie GunWorx, said Paddock visited his store in St. George, Utah, several times and purchased a shotgun in February after passing a federal gun background check.
“There were no red flags, ” Michel told The Associated Press. “I had no idea he would be capable of this.”
Paddock had been in the hotel chamber since September 28, according to Lombardo. The sheriff said a check of federal and government databases proved Paddock was not on law enforcement authorities’ radar before the bloodbath.
Authorities said two on-duty Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers were injured during the hitting. One is in stable condition after surgery, and the other sustained minor injuries. Two off-duty police officer attending the concert were killed.
President Trump said the mass hitting “was an act of pure evil, ” and praised first responders in an address to the nation.
“To the families of the victims, we are praying for you and we are here for you, ” Trump said, adding that he will visit Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with first responders and families.
The gunman, who fired down on the Route 91 Harvest Festival from a room in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, died from a self-inflicted gunshot weave just as police built entry to the room, according to LVMPD undersheriff Kevin McMahill.
At this time, federal officials do not appreciate any connection to international terrorism and little know anything about Paddock’s motivation, federal law enforcement sources said. The Islamic State terror group took credit for the Las Vegas shooting, saying the gunman converted to Islam months ago, but rendered no proof to back up the claim.
FBI Special agent-in-charge Aaron Rouse said at a press conference the agency has “determined to this point no connection with an international terrorist group.”
Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisola told the Nevada Independent that Paddock rented two hotel rooms, one face north and one confront east, and had previously visited the hotel two other times.
Paddock was applying Danley’s slot machine card, which is how police got ahold of her name although she was in the Philippines at the time of the incident, Sisolak said.
The gunman’s brother, Eric Paddock, told reporters outside his Central Florida home early Monday “an asteroid only fell on us, ” and said Stephen Paddock has no history of mental illness.
Paddock said his brother is “just a guy” and he “freaked, ” and had retired to Vegas because he liked gambling. The shooter’s brother said Paddock didn’t care about religion or politics.
He subsequently told reporters that his brother was a multimillionaire who made money investing in real estate, in addition to working as an accountant for a number of years.
The Department of Homeland Security said Monday morning that the department is “closely monitoring” and helping partners analyse the tragedy, but at this time has “no information to indicate a specific believable threat involving other public venues in the country.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke with Sheriff Lombardo provide his full supporting, Department of Justice officials told Fox News.
Sessions said in a statement he met with FBI Director Christopher Wray early Monday morning.
“To the many families whose lives have been changed eternally by this heinous act, we give you our prayers and our promise that we will do everything in our power to get justice for your loved ones, ” Sessions said in a statement.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval called the massacre a cowardly, despicable act and praised first responders, saying they saved scores of lives.
“We’re angry, we’re grieve, we’re confounded, people are injuring, ” he said.
Authorities first received calls about an active shooting at about 10:08 p.m. Country music star Jason Aldean was performing at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when the gunfire erupted.
Aldean was performing his last ballad of the nighttime. Initially, those in attendance told me they believed the sound was firecrackers. But as the shootings continued, Aldean stopped singing and some concertgoers could be heard wailing to each other to get down.
One witness told a local television station that he heard “hundreds of shots.” The gunfire was rapid and reportedly confused with firecrackers.
“It voiced like a machine gun, ” one vendor told Fox News. “It voiced like more than one machine gun.”
Firearms experts hesitated Monday to attribute the shooter’s rapid burn from his room on the 32 nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino to an automatic weapon’s burn.
Automatic weapons, sometimes referred to as machine guns, fire a river of bullets when the trigger is drawn once and held down. They differ from semiautomatic weapons, which require one trigger pull for each round burnt.
Ryan Cleckner, a former U.S. Army Ranger sniper and author of “Long Range Shooting Handbook, ” said the apparently inconsistent rate of Paddock’s hitting may indicate he was using a device to mimic full-auto fire.
These devices, such as a Slide Fire stock, are legal and is also possible bought for about $300.
“These devices take advantage of a firearm’s natural recoil to’ bump-fire’ the firearm thereby mimicking a machine gun without fulfilling the legal definition, ” Cleckner told Fox News.
Equipping an AR-1 5, for example, with a Slide Fire stock “wouldve been” far cheaper and easier than buying a machine gun. Machine guns in the U.S. can expenditure upwards of $15,000 and necessitate the purchaser to undergo a personally intrusive and months-long application process with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Country singer Jake Owen, who performed before Aldean, told Fox News the gunfire was “non-stop.”
“You couldn’t tell where it was coming from. It was loud and non-stop, ” he said.
Some concertgoers bided behind to offer help to those around them.
“Everybody I recognized breathing, I helped, ” a concertgoer told Fox News.
The wife of a Tennessee man killed by the Las Vegas shooter said her husband died because he saved her from being shot. Heather Gulish Melton told Fox affiliate WZTV that her husband, Sonny Melton of Paris, Tennessee, was among the 50 killed Sunday night.
Kodiak Yazzie, 36, said here music stopped temporarily and started up again before another round of pops mailed the musicians ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.
“It was the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen in my entire life, ” Yazzie told the Associated Press. “You could hear that the interference was coming from west of us, from Mandalay Bay. You could see a flash- flash- flash- flash.”
As the thousands of fans in the crowd began to flee, Yazzie took cover-up and said he saw flashes of light coming from the Mandalay Bay hotel tower high above.
Another concertgoer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal the hits voiced like fireworks, and she conceals in a sewer.
“It was a horror show, ” Ivetta Saldana told the newspaper. “People were standing around, then they hit the floor.”
Retired FBI special agent and former national FBI spokesman John Iannarelli, who drove past the site of the event only instants before the shooting took place, told Fox News the carnage was “obviously well-planned.”