Las Vegas Police say at least 50 people were killed and more than 400 were wounded when at least one gunman opened fire on concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Las Vegas Boulevard.
The shooter, identified by NBC News as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, was firing from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel at the festival. Officers responded to that hotel room and engaged the suspect, killing him. They do not believe at this time that there were any other shooters, despite reports of multiple gunmen. Police said they do not have an accurate number of victims yet. Police have not yet released a motive, but said they do not believe it is terrorism “at this point.”
The concert festival was taking place in an outdoor area across from the Mandalay Bay and Luxor casinos. A video taken by someone at the concert shows the moment when gunfire erupted, with several shots fired in rapid succession:
Photos and videos from the concert festival also showed multiple victims, including people on the ground, bleeding. The shooting was first reported about 10 p.m. local time. The scene remained active at 1 a.m. and people were being told to stay away. Las Vegas Police said it is an “active investigation.”
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman tweeted, “Pray for Las Vegas. Thank you to all our first responders out there now.”
The victims have not been identified. They include two police officers who were on duty and were shot, police said. One is in critical condition. Other police officers who were off duty were shot and killed at the concert, Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.
This is a developing story. Here is what we know so far:
1. The Gunman Has Been Identified as a ‘Local Individual’ & Police Are Searching for a Woman Associated With Him
At least one suspect was reported to be “down” inside a room at the Mandalay Bay, police said. Police said the shooter is a “local individual” who was firing from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel just outside the concert area. He was killed inside the hotel room after a police SWAT team used an explosive breach to blow open the door and then engaged with him.
Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, has lived on Babbling Brook Court in Mesquite, Nevada, since June 2016. He previously lived in Reno, Nevada, from 2011 to 2016, and also had an address in Melbourne, Florida, from 2013 to 2015. He has also lived in Henderson, Nevada, and several locations in California since 1990.
Sheriff Joe Lombardo, when asked by a reporter if it was an “act of terrorism,” said “no, not at this point. We believe it was a local individual. He resides here locally. I’m not at liberty to give you his place of residence yet, because it’s an ongoing investigation, we don’t know what his belief system was at this time. … Right now we believe he is the sole aggressor at this point and the scene is static.”
Police werealso looking for a “person of interest,” a 4’11” Asian woman named Marilou Danley. She was described as a “companion” of the shooter. A photo of her can be seen below:
Police said Danley, 62, lived with the shooter in Mesquite. Public records show she lived at the same address as him since January 2017. CNN reports that she has been cleared of any involvement. Police have also not said if she was seen with the suspect at the Mandalay Bay hotel or elsewhere prior to the shooting, as some reports have indicated.
“Marilou Danley is no longer being sought out as a person of interest,” the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told CNN. “LVMPD detectives have made contact with her and do not believe she is involved with the shooting on the strip.”
Marilou Danley’s Facebook profile reads, “Proud mom and grandma who lives life to the fullest.” Her last public post was an update of her profile picture in August. She had posted numerous photos of herself. Friends commented on her looks, and she wrote under one, “Thanks …That was taken at Wiltshire Roof Top Restaurant in L.A.” In 2016, she wrote in the comment thread under a photo, “…Kuha Sa Jumeira Beach, Dubai.”
She says on her Linkedin profile that she has worked at a casino in the past. She has also lived in Sparks and Reno, Nevada, along with Canton, Ohio; Springdale, Arkansas; and Memphis, Tennessee, according to public records.
Earlier scanner traffic indicated that police may have gotten Danley’s name, at least in part, from a credit/debit card left in the Mandalay Bay hotel room by the main suspect.
“We have not located her at this time and we are interested in talking to her for followup,” Lombardo said at a press conference. Police are also looking for two vehicles with Nevada plates, a Hyundai Tucson with license plate number 114B40 and a Chrysler Pacifica Touring with plate number 19D401. They are registered to the gunman.
Officers were obtaining warrants to search the home where the gunman lived. Police said the person of interest lived with him.
A woman who was at the concert told a local news station that a “lady pushed her way forward in the concert venue. And she started messing with another lady and told us that we are all going to die tonight. … It was about 45 minutes the shots were actually fired. But then she was escorted out by security.”
Lombardo said “We are comfortable that the primary aggressor in this event has expired or passed away and is no longer a threat.”
2. Country Singer Jason Aldean Raced Off Stage as Gunshots Rang Out During the Route 91 Concert Festival
About 40,000 fans were in the fairgrounds area, where there were multiple stages and other areas set up for the festival, according to The Associated Press. Concertgoer Kodiak Yazzi, 36, told the AP that the music stopped temporarily after a sound that was like a firecracker. It then started up again before another round of pops sent performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage, while panicked fans also rushed for the exits. Yazzi told the AP he took cover and saw flashes of light coming from the Mandalay Bay hotel tower above the concert. He said the bursts would start and stop for about five minutes.
The concert festival was in its third day. The festival’s website showed that performers Sunday night included Jake Owen and Luke Combs, along with Jason Aldean, who was set to take the stage about 9:40 p.m. ABC News reports that Aldean was on stage when the shooting occurred, but is OK. A video shows Aldean singing and playing a guitar as gunshots ring out. He briefly continues to perform, before stopping and running off the stage. You can watch the video below:
Aldean said on Instagram, “Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still dont know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe. My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night. #heartbroken #stopthehate.”
Owen later tweeted, “Praying for everyone here in Vegas. I witnessed the most unimaginable event tonight. We are okay. Others arent. Please pray.”
Another musician, Luke Combs, tweeted there was an active shooter at Route 91 Harvest, a three-day country music festival being held on the Las Vegas Strip.
“Active shooter at @Route91Harvest in Vegas. We’re safe. Love you guys,” Combs said.
You can watch live coverage of the shooting here:
University Medical Center spokeswoman Danita Cohen told The Associated Press that 26 people were taken to that hospital. Two have since died and 12 are in critical condition, Cohen said. It is not clear how many other victims were taken to other hospitals.
The conditions of the other victims not in critical condition were not immediately available.
Dan Bilzerian, the professional poker player and businessman, posted a video running from the concert saying, “a girl just got shot in the f*cking head.”
Mandalay Bay issued a statement about the shooting:
3. Witnesses Say There Were ‘Bullets Flying Everywhere’ From Someone Firing From High Up
Witnesses told reporter Nathan O’Neal that hundreds of shots were fired after a loud bang that sounded like a firecracker.
“Clip after clip after clip, bullets flying everywhere, people running,” the witness said. “It was really, really bad. We were the furthest VIP stages away from Mandalay Bay and they (the bullets) were ricocheting everywhere where we fear. They were firing from somewhere high and they were unloading clip after clip after clip. Multiple shooters, has to be.”
But police are indicating there was only one shooter. In chaotic active shooter situations, witnesses often report hearing or seeing multiple shooters, as sounds echo and come from different directions, and police and others are misidentified as gunmen.
Two women who were in the front row of the concert told Fox News’ Lauren Blanchard they heard the shooting start and saw a woman with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. She was not moving, they said. “We were at the Jason Aldean concert and everything was fine. And then we heard two pop noises and thought it was the sound system. He kept continuing like nothing was wrong and then we heard it continue and he was still going and then he fell,” one of the women said. The other woman told Blanchard, “(Aldean) dropped and ran, he just ran off the stage. And then people started dropping to the floor and we were running out.”
Another witness told ABC News, “Jason Aldean was playing and it just kind of sounded like some fireworks going off, and then I think there was the first kind of volley and then the second volley, and my buddy says ‘I got hit.’ … He got hit three times and people started diving to the ground. It was pretty much chaotic. Lots of people got hit.” The witness said his friend, who was shot three times in the chest, is going to be OK. He said another victim he was trying to help get to the hospital died in his arms.
Witness Jake Freeman told ABC News he went to the rooftop lounge at the top of his hotel, overlooking the strip. “There were people drinking. Nobody had any idea what was going on. And I had a birds-eye view of the Route 91 Harvest music festival right across the street. My friend and I personally saw crowds of people running out of the festival and bodies hitting the ground. We absolutely watched these people getting gunned down from the shooter on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. We couldn’t see the Mandalay Bay at all, the Mandalay Bay was behind us. … We did realize that they were being shots. We could hear the gunshots, coupled with what we heard, machine gun fire downstairs, we knew that it was an active shooter situation. We actually went down to the lobby to see if we could find out more.” He said when the elevator doors opened to the lobby, “the air just reeked of gunpowder. Crowds of people were running to the elevators trying to escape.”
Videos taken by concertgoers at the festival show people screaming and running as multiple gunshots can be heard. A witness says it sounded like a “machine gun.” In the video one person can be heard yelling, “get down,” while another shouts, “stay down” as shots ring out.
Police said in the initial radio dispatches that shots were fired and it sounded like it was coming from an “automatic” weapon. “We have an active shooter inside the fairgrounds,” the officer said:
See more photos and videos from the shooting here:
4. Mandalay Bay Was Being Evacuated & Other Hotel Casinos in the Area Were Being Put on Lockdown
People at the Mandalay Bay casino and hotel reported that the casino was being evacuated.
Several roads in the area were being shut down and police were telling people in the area to barricade inside.
Other hotels were also being shut down with guests barricading themselves inside rooms, according to social media reports. Officers, including several SWAT units, were searching the hotels and responding to multiple calls of reported shooters that turned out to be false, according to scanner reports.
“There has been multiple, multiple phone calls and accusations, or conjecture coming through social media that there are multiple shooters at other resorts, that has been proven to be false,” Sheriff Joe Lombardo said. “Additionally there has been accusations or beliefs there is some explosives going off. That is also fault. The only explosive in this event was from our SWAT team breaching the room.”
Those who are in lock down at casinos and other locations along the strip are being asked to stay where they are.
“I still want them to shelter in place,” Lombardo said. “They will be contacted by first responders and they will advise them when they are free to go. It is better to shelter in place than to be unaware.”
5. There Are Multiple Scenes & Police Say Possible Hoax Calls Were Being Made to Report Shots Fired at Other Locations
According to police, there are multiple shooting scenes on the Las Vegas Boulevard in the area of the Mandalay Bay casino. Police were investigating at least three locations, according to scanner reports. Multiple calls were being made reporting shots fired at several other locations in the hour after the initial calls, but people there, including police officers, were not hearing the shots. Officers believe the calls were possibly being made as a diversion.
Police were also investigating an SUV with a possible suspicious device inside on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Flights at the Las Vegas airport were being held as a precaution.
Police added, “Please avoid heading to the south end of the (Las Vegas) Strip. Las Vegas (Boulevard) is shut down at Tropicana, southbound past Russell (Road) at this time. … I15 Freeway is closed to traffic at this time from Tropicana to Russel Road. Again, please avoid the area.”
The FBI and ATF are also at the scene, according to reports. But they have not taken over the investigation at this time, ABC News reports.
Police have asked anyone with cell phone or other videos from the shooting to provide them to investigators. “Anybody that may have cell phone video or any type of video associated with this event that would be a benefit to the investigation, please respond to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department headquarters at 400 South Martin Luther King and we will take custody of that video. Please bring that down to the headquarters.”
Family members can go to a “family retreat area” to help locate loved ones at the headquarters. Increased security services have also been put in place.
On – 02 Oct, 2017 By Tom Cleary