NEW YORK, NY – A lone gunman armed with at least ten assault rifles, and “thousands” of rounds of ammunition, shot nearly 500 concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip, police said, killing over 50 people, and wounding hundreds more last night.
The deadly fusillade rang out as the annual Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival was in its final act of the evening, sending performers and spectators scurrying for cover. The alleged shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, unleashed a “constant stream” of bullets from his 32nd floor window in the Mandalay Bay hotel, which overlooks the concert venue. The 10 PM massacre began as Jason Aldean was performing on the stage. “the music stopped, and everybody was screaming ‘Get Down!’,” one unidentified witness said.
Video footage of the attack shows people falling as continuous gunfire rains down on the crowd. Several SWAT teams were sent to the hotel, where smoke from Paddock’s weapons set off alarms in his room.
The shooter, police said, committed suicide just before SWAT officers entered the suite. The suspect was “known to local authorities”, detectives said.
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo confirmed that there were more than 400 injured being treated at local hospitals, and that police had closed Las Vegas Boulevard–the main street of the Strip–as their investigation continued. The numbers of dead and wounded made the attack the worst mass shooting in American history, sources said, and several off-duty police officers attending the show were among the dead and wounded.
Eric Paddock, the suspect’s brother, said “an asteroid just fell on us,” and added that the gunman had no history of mental illness. Meanwhile, Homeland Security officials said that there was no known connection between Paddock and any organized terrorist group, adding that their inquiry was still in its early stages. President Trump decried the carnage as an “act of evil”, and expressed his condolences to the victims and their families.
No immediate word on the condition of the injured was available, but friends and families of the victims can call (866) 535–5654 for information on their status and location.