The Slatest

More Than 58 Killed and 500 Injured in Mass Shooting at Las Vegas Music Festival, Deadliest in U.S. History

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after gunfire was heard on Sunday in Las Vegas.

David Becker/Getty Images

Update, Oct. 2, 6:55 p.m.: The Las Vegas sheriff said at a press conference that police found explosives, 18 additional firearms, and several thousand rounds of ammunition at his home. Police also said they found ammonium nitrate, which is used for explosives, in his car.

Update, Oct. 2, 6:10 p.m.: Police now say that 59 have died and 527 are injured.

Update, Oct. 2, 4:25 p.m.: The gunman had 19 rifles in his hotel room, two of which were on tripods at the windows, an official told the New York Times. He also had hundreds of rounds of ammunition. He is suspected of using at least one automatic weapon.

Update, Oct. 2, 11:45 a.m.: The death toll from the shooting has risen to at least 58 people, according to police. The number of injured has risen to 515.

The FBI has stated the shooter had no ties to international terror groups.

Update, Oct. 2, 11:35 a.m.: In interviews with reporters, the shooter’s brother said that Paddock had no political or religious affiliations and that he was “not an avid gun guy.” The brother also said Paddock liked country music and would visit Las Vegas to gamble and attend concerts.

The shooter’s brother also told reporters that their father was Benjamin Paddock, a bank robber on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.

Without providing any evidence, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting, according to the Associated Press. However, the terror group often claims responsibility after an attack even when the motivation behind it is unclear, and the authorities are not treating Sunday’s mass shooting as an act of terror. There is no evidence the shooter was connected to terrorist or extremist groups, and he is being considered a “lone wolf” shooter.

The police are also reporting that Paddock appears to have killed himself before they entered his room, and they have also found the vehicles they were previously searching for. Police said they suspect he had been in the room for a couple days, according to NPR.

Update, Oct. 2, 2017, 8:45 a.m.: Police now say that around 406 people were taken to local hospitals after the shooting.

Reports have said Paddock was known to law enforcement, but has no record of police contact or criminal convictions in Mesquite, Nevada, where he lived in a retirement home with Marilou Danley, 62, a reported Australian citizen. Danley has been located by police who have now said she was not involved with the shooting. They are now searching for a Hyundai Tucson with a Nevada license plate reading 114 B40.

Paddock reportedly launched the attack from and was killed in a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel stocked with at least eight guns. Police reportedly used explosives to enter the room. Paddock was shot, but it remains unclear whether he was killed by police or died by suicide.

Multiple outlets have reported that footage of the shooting seems to indicate Paddock used a fully automatic weapon in the attack. The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 banned the civilian ownership of new automatic weapons by non-dealers, but automatic weapons made before 1986 remain legal, if difficult to obtain.

Update, Oct. 2, 2017, 7:20 a.m.:
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the death toll from the shooting is now believed to be more than 50, not including the suspect, with more than 200 people injured. This would make the Las Vegas shooting the deadliest in United States history, since 50 people, including the suspect, were killed in the 2016 shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in Florida.

The suspect has been identified as Stephen Paddock, 64. Police were searching earlier for a person of interest named Marilou Danley, but now believe they have found her.

Original, 5:02 a.m.: A country music festival in Las Vegas descended into chaos late Sunday night when a shooter opened fire into the crowd, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Singer Jason Aldean was performing on the main stage at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day concert at Las Vegas Village near Mandalay Bay, when the sound of rapid-fire gunshots brought the show to an abrupt halt. A video posted to Twitter captured the moment the music stopped and the attendees realized what was happening. “That’s gunshots,” one person says, almost conversationally; another screams, “Oh my God, they’re running! Shit! They’re running away!” as the crowd reacts. A third concertgoer audibly sobs as the second volley rings out.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department rapidly dispatched SWAT teams to Mandalay Bay, where witnesses reported seeing muzzle flashes coming from an upper floor of the hotel. After clearing several floors of the massive hotel, the LVMPD tweeted that “one suspect is down”:

The LVMPD later tweeted that they believe there was only one shooter; at a later press briefing, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo confirmed that the suspect was dead. In the shooting’s immediate aftermath, the police shut down a mile of Las Vegas Boulevard as flights into nearby McCarran Airport were diverted amid reports that some concertgoers had fled on foot onto the airport runways.

Chase Stevens, a photographer for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, posted images of injured people being moved out of the concert by any available means: carried, rolled out in office chairs or luggage carts, and in one case, carried out in a wheelbarrow.

A triage station of sorts was set up in the basement of the Tropicana as victims were raced to University Medical Center. The Associated Press initially reported that at least two people had died and 12 more were in critical condition; Sheriff Lombardo later told the press that “As far as the number of victims, I cannot give you an accurate number at this point. We have well in excess of 100+ injured and excess of 20+ that have died.”