Gunman Opens Fire on Las Vegas Concert
At least 59 people died, in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history
A gunman at a Las Vegas hotel opened fire on a huge outdoor concert festival on Sunday night, killing at least 59 people and wounding hundreds of others, officials said. It is one of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history.
The gunman is believed to have killed himself, police said.
Online video of the attack outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino showed the singer Jason Aldean performing outside at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music event, interrupted by the sound of automatic gunfire. The music stopped, and concertgoers ducked for cover. “Get down,” one shouted. “Stay down,” screamed another. The shooting sent thousands of people fleeing the area.
Several SWAT teams were sent to the hotel immediately after the first reports of the shooting at 10:08 p.m. Officers overheard on police radio reported being pinned down by gunfire. Shortly before midnight, the Las Vegas police reported that “one suspect is down.” Soon thereafter, the police said they did not believe there were any more active gunmen.
At least 59 people were killed and more than 520 others had been injured. The police identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock, 64.
President Donald Trump issued a statement on Twitter on Monday morning extending sympathies to the victims and their families: “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and the families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” he wrote.
Speaking later at the White House, President Trump called the shooting “an act of pure evil.” He said he would travel to Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Video of the shooting captured nine seconds of rapid-fire, continuous bursts, followed by 37 seconds of silence from the weapon amid panicked screaming. The gunfire then erupted again in at least two more rounds, both shorter than the first.
Video from the shooting showed Jason Aldean, the final performer of the night, running off the stage as the gunfire erupted. Jake Owen, a country singer who was on stage with Aldean when the shooting began, told CNN on Monday that it was like “shooting fish in a barrel from where he was.”
Concertgoers described hearing round after round of gunfire. “Everyone was running, you could see people getting shot,” Gail Davis, one of the witnesses, said. “I’ve never been that scared in my life,” she added. “To have this happen, I can’t wrap my mind around it.”
There were news reports that the terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the shooting. But authorities say they have not yet determined whether the shooter had ties to any terrorist group or what his motives were.
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