LAS VEGAS — In what now ranks as the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, a gunman on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas Strip casino opened fire on an outdoor music festival Sunday night, killing more than 50 people — including two off-duty police officers — and wounding more than 400, according to latest official reports Monday.
- UPDATE 4:38 a.m. MDT: The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department tweeted: “At this time there is in excess of 50 deceased and over 200 injured individuals.”
- Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo in a briefing around 2:49 a.m. PDT, 3:49 a.m. MDT, said authorities were seeking Marilou Danley, an Asian female, as a person of interest. Within an hour, Metro Police tweeted, “We have located the vehicles in question, and we are confident we have located the female person of interest.”
- Freeways were reopened to thru traffic except for eastbound off-ramps from Sahara Avenue to Russell Road, which remained closed as of 2:14 a.m. PDT, 3:14 a.m. MDT. (Metro Police tweet.)
- UPDATE 5:35 a.m. MDT: Nearly two dozen flights were diverted to other airports overnight. Passengers traveling by air out of McCarran International Airport Monday morning may expect delays and are advised to contact the airlines for flight status. (Airport tweet.)
- Two Las Vegas Metro on-duty officers shot during the incident survived; one underwent surgery and the other sustained minor injuries. (Metro Police tweet.)
- UPDATE 5:45 a.m. MDT: Shooter has been identified as Stephen Paddock. (Sheriff per AP.) Danley located and additional details incorporated into report. (AP.)
- UPDATE 6:55 a.m. MDT: Greater detail on shooter added. (Metro Police news release.)
- UPDATE 7:30 a.m. MDT: FBI hotline and resources for family and friends of those who may be affected by the incident added. See sections at close of report. (Metro Police news release.) Updated video substituted top of the report.
- UPDATED 7:44 a.m. MDT: Condolences section added. (Twitter.)
- UPDATED 8 a.m. MDT: Comments made by brother of the shooter added. (AP.)
- UPDATED 9 a.m. MDT: More condolences added. (Twitter.)
- Read more: Officials release details about Las Vegas shooter as death toll rises
Incident, injuries and fatalities
Country music star Jason Aldean was performing before a crowd of more than 22,000 attending the “Route 91 Harvest Festival” concert Sunday when a shooter opened fire on the crowd from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel at around 10:08 p.m. PDT.
Concert-goers reported hearing what they described as automatic gun fire during the shooting.
SWAT teams quickly descended on the concert and the casino, and officers used explosives to get into the hotel room where a man later identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, of Mesquite, Nevada, was found inside dead.
“LVMPD SWAT responded to the call, breached the hotel room and found the suspect dead,” Metro Police confirmed in a news release issued around 5:30 a.m. PDT.
A motive was not immediately known.
The U.S. Homeland Security Department said there was no “specific credible threat” involving other public venues in the U.S.
Lombardo said Metro Police believe this was a “lone wolf” attack.
In a brief interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Eric Paddock, the brother of the shooter, said he’s “completely dumbfounded” and can’t understand what happened. He also said he’s made a statement to police.
In an early Monday morning news conference, police stated they were looking for a roommate of the dead suspect as a person of interest. That person, Marilou Danley, 62, was ultimately located by police within an hour or two.
The Clark County Fire Department estimated that approximately 406 people were transported to area hospitals and 50 are dead following Sunday evening’s shooting, Metro Police stated in a Monday morning news release.
There were two slain off-duty officers who were attending the concert, Lombardo said in his first press conference Monday. One of those dead was a Metro Police officer whose name has not been released pending notification to his family, according to the department’s later news release.
As well, there were two on-duty LVMPD officers injured during the shooting, Metro Police tweeted at 4:30 a.m. PDT.
“One is in stable condition after surgery and the other sustained minor injuries,” the tweet stated.
Several officers from California were attending the music festival, according to The Associated Press. A Bakersfield police officer was shot and taken to the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department reported two of its off-duty members were shot during the attack, both sustained nonlife-threatening injuries.
Resources for those offering or seeking information on family or friends who may have been affected by the incident are included below.
Aldean was in the middle of a song when the shots came rapidly: Pop-pop-pop-pop. Video of the shooting then showed Aldean stopping and the crowd getting quiet as if they were unsure of what had just happened. The gunman paused and then fired another volley of muzzle flashes from the gold glass casino as more victims fell to the ground while others fled in panic. Some said they hid behind concession stands and others crawled under parked cars.
Hours after the shooting, Aldean posted on Instagram that he and his crew were safe and said the shooting was “beyond horrific.”
Kodiak Yazzie, 36, said he and his girlfriend were watching Aldean’s performance when he heard what sounded like fireworks.
“It was the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” Yazzie said. “You could hear that the noise was coming from west of us, from Mandalay Bay. You could see a flash- flash- flash- flash.”
Thousands fled as bursts of gunfire could be heard for more than five minutes, Yazzie said.
Jose Baggett, 31, a Las Vegas resident, said he and a friend were in the lobby of the Luxor hotel-casino — directly north of the festival — when people began running. He said people were crying and as he and his friend walked away, they encountered police checkpoints where officers were carrying shotguns and assault rifles.
“There were armored personnel vehicles, SWAT vehicles, ambulances and at least a half-mile of police cars,” Baggett said.
Witnesses said they saw multiple victims and dozens of ambulances near the concert venue. Some attendees later huddled in the basement of the nearby Tropicana hotel-casino.
Hospital emergency rooms were jammed with victims delivered by ambulance. Others loaded the wounded into their cars and drove them to hospitals.
Authorities shut down part of the Las Vegas Strip and Interstate 15. According to a tweet by Las Vegas Metro Police at 2:14 a.m. PDT, 3:14 a.m. MDT, freeways had been reopened for thru traffic, although the eastbound off-ramps from Sahara Avenue to Russell Road remained closed at that time.
Flights were temporarily halted at McCarran International Airport because of the shooting, the airport said on its verified Twitter account. Although limited flight activity had resumed by 12:47 a.m. PDT, 1:47 a.m. MDT, the airport tweeted just before 2 a.m. PDT, 3 a.m. MDT, that nearly two dozen flights were diverted to other airports overnight. Those scheduled to travel Monday morning are advised to check flight status with their airlines.
Authorities ask the public’s help
This is an ongoing investigation.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations is asking for anyone with videos or photos concerning the shooting to call 1-800-CALLFBI or 800-225-5324.
Hotline for family and friends
The Metro Police Department and Clark County Coroner’s Office have set up a hotline for family or friends to report a missing loved one connected to this incident. The hotline is only to take reports on missing people and may be reached by calling telephone 866-535-5654.
Metro Police also opened up a family reunification center at its headquarters at 400 S. Martin L. King Blvd. in Building B, Las Vegas. The identification process of all of the injured and the deceased will take time, so authorities are asking the public for patience.
President Donald Trump tweeted: “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!”
Mandalay Bay Resort tweeted: “Our thoughts & prayers are with the victims of last night’s tragic events. We’re grateful for the immediate actions of our first responders.”
The Vatican secretary of state sent a telegram of condolences Monday to the bishop of Las Vegas, saying the pope was “deeply saddened” to learn of the shooting.
Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch tweeted: “Woke up this morning to the horrifying news out of Las Vegas. Shocking and senseless. God bless the victims and their families.”
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert tweeted: “Heartbroken to hear of the horrific shooting in Las Vegas.
@GovSandoval, Utah’s family stands with #Nevada today and always. God bless.”
Prior mass shootings
Before Sunday, the deadliest mass shooting in recent history in the U.S. happened June 2016 when 49 people were killed by a gunman at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
Sunday’s shooting came more than four months after a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people. Almost 90 people were killed by gunmen inspired by Islamic State at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris during a performance by Eagles of Death Metal in November 2015.
SALLY HO of the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.and Copyright 2017 The Associated Press as to AP contributions. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.