50 Killed in Las Vegas Shooting Near Mandalay Bay Casino.
- TR McCOY
- 5 months ago
LAS VEGAS SHOOTING — A gunman on a high floor of a Las Vegas hotel rained a rapid-fire barrage on a huge outdoor concert festival on Sunday night, killing more than 50 people, injuring hundreds of others, and sending thousands of terrified survivors fleeing for cover, in one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.
Police said the gunman, a 64-year-old Nevada resident identified as Stephen Paddock, had been killed after a SWAT team responded to reports of multiple gunfire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, a hotel-casino next to the concert venue.
Concert-goers screamed and fled in panic as a steady stream of automatic gunfire rang out at the venue shortly after 10:00 pm local time (0500 GMT Monday), footage captured on smart phones showed.
“We are looking at in excess of 50 individuals dead and of 200 individuals injured at this point,” Las Vegas Metro Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told a pre-dawn press conference on Monday in the Nevada gambling hub.
Lombardo said that police and FBI were still looking into Paddock’s background but they had “located numerous firearms within the room that he occupied” in the hotel.
Police said Paddock, who lived in a town around 80 miles northeast (130 kilometers) of Las Vegas, had opened fire on the crowds below from the upper reaches of the giant hotel located on the famous Las Vegas Strip.
Paddock’s female companion, who had earlier been named as a person of interest by police, is believed to have been located, Lombardo added.
Robert Hayes, a firefighter from Los Angeles who was watching the concert near the front of the stage, said he first thought the gunfire was some kind of equipment malfunction.
Once he realized what was going on, he joined the first responders, donning one of their vests.
“Honestly I probably pronounced 15-20 people” dead, he told Fox News.
“It was pretty much like a war scene inside.”
The emergency crews used anything to hand as makeshift stretchers, including tables and metal railings normally used to control the crowds, said Hayes.
Asked if he thought it was an inexperienced gunman, he responded: “With 30,000 people in the arena area, it was kind of like shooting goldfish … He didn’t have to be good.”