At least 58 people are dead after a mass shooting at a music festival at the Mandalay Bay casino, which put the Vegas strip on lockdown late Sunday night. This is the deadliest shooting in modern U.S history. At the height of the crisis, University-Medical Center hit capacity and requested victims be sent only if they were in life-threatening condition. At most recent count, over 500 have been injured.
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old Las Vegas resident. Paddock killed himself while being pursued by SWAT teams, as thousands ran for their lives. Police located his "companion," named Marilou Danley; after questioning, she was released. According to official reports, the SWAT teams were deployed at 10:08PM. They were alerted to his location inside the Mandelay Bay hotel by the smoke alarms triggered inside his room. Paddock was found with 18 rifles -- all of which were legally licensed -- along with three tripods and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
While ISIS has claimed responsibility, at the moment the FBI has determined no link between Paddock and any terrorist organization. The investigation continues, as authorities are still seeking a motive for the attack.
The incident occurred during singer-songwriter Jason Aldean's set at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, a huge annual outdoor fest which promises "three days of country music on the Vegas strip" and takes place in the parking lot across the street from the hotel. Approximately 22,000 concert-goers kneeled and ran, some covered in blood, while witnesses reportedly mistook the the quick stream of bullets for fireworks given the sound of the gunfire's terrifying staccato stream. CNN has confirmed that Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the hotel, raining bullets upon the crowd. The automatic weapon's bullets rained out intermittently for five minutes, according to some eye-witnesses; the New York Times has confirmed continuous bursts over a series of 9-second intervals.
In response, the strip and the city of Vegas went into lockdown mode. "We're investigating reports of an active shooter near/around Mandalay Bay Casino. Asking everyone to please avoid the area," the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police immediately tweeted. The I-15 was then closed in parts, while McCarran International Airport began diverting flights.
President Trump issued a statement on Twitter extending sympathies to the victims and their families on Monday morning:
My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2017
This video illustrates the terrifying scene, as the gunfire rings out with the steady stutter of a helicopter flying overhead.
The automatic weapon's gunfire is audible from this closer angle, wherein you can see the crowd crouch:
And another from a further angle:
Paddock was found with ten rifles, according to local authorities. Nevada is an open carry state, making machine guns and unconcealed weapons legal.
This is the 273rd mass shooting in the U.S. this year, according to Gun Violence America.
REVOLT will update with more info on this story as it develops. Many artists took to social media to share their thoughts and prayers.
Lord help us— The Big Day out now (@chancetherapper) October 2, 2017
Hearing crazy news coming out of my hometown... Las Vegas, please, stay safe.— NE-YO (@NeYoCompound) October 2, 2017
devastated for Las Vegas. active shooter near Mandalay Bay. please please please seek cover and get away from the area— Imagine Dragons (@Imaginedragons) October 2, 2017
Praying for all the innocent victims and their families in Las Vegas - Céline xx... #LasVegas— Celine Dion (@celinedion) October 2, 2017
Please, if you are in Las Vegas, take cover there are multiple shooters on the loose, twenty people are dead. Find cover and hide.— sia (@Sia) October 2, 2017