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Thousands of country music fans ran for cover as a gunman fired on them from a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. A mass shooting that is now the deadliest in modern US history.
More than 50 people were killed Sunday night when the shooter fired hundreds of bullets into the crowd, police said.
Over 400 others were rushed to hospitals after the mass shooting and ensuing stampede at the outdoor Jason Aldean concert.
The shooting happened near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Video posted online showed the country singer Jason Aldean performing outside the hotel at Route 91 Harvest, a country music festival, interrupted by the sound of automatic gunfire. The music stopped, and concertgoers ducked for cover. “Get down,” one shouted. “Stay down,” screamed another.
Several SWAT teams were sent to the hotel, and officers reported being pinned down by gunfire, according to emergency radio traffic. Shortly before midnight the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reported that “one suspect is down,” and soon thereafter the police said they did not believe there were any more active gunmen.
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of Clark County told reporters after the shooting, the police also descended on the Ali Baba Restaurant, about a 10-minute drive from the Mandalay Bay, and they also investigated reports of a shooting at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino, not far from the concert ground.
The police reported closing off about a mile of Las Vegas Boulevard and asked the public to steer clear of the area.
The gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, unleashed a hailstorm of bullets from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.
Inside his room, authorities found a cache of weapons, including 10 rifles, the sheriff said. “We believe the individual killed himself prior to our entry,” Lombardo said.
Festival turns into massacre. All started around 10:08 p.m. Sunday (1:08 a.m. ET Monday) at the Route 91 Harvest festival, Lombardo said.
Taylor Benge was enjoying the concert with his sister when he heard a relentless onslaught of “200 to 300” bullets.
“My sister, being as noble as she is, threw herself on top of me and said, “I love you, Taylor,” the 21-year-old said.
“Even after an hour and 30 minutes, I didn’t know if I was safe.”
Police said they believe Paddock acted alone. “Right now, we believe it’s a sole actor, a lone-wolf-type actor,” the sheriff said.
So far, the massacre has no known link to overseas terrorism or terror groups, a US official with knowledge of the case said.
And a woman described as a “person of interest” after the attack is not believed to be involved in the shooting, police said in a statement.
“Marilou Danley is no longer being sought out as a person of interest,” the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said. “LVMPD detectives have made contact with her and do not believe she is involved with the shooting on the strip.”