Las Vegas- A gunman, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort, on a crowd of 30,000 concert attendees gathered on the Las Vegas Strip. At least 50 people were killed and more than 400 injured in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
Paddock, was later found dead by officers in his room in the the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino by Las Vegas SWAT officers who responded to calls about the shooting, police said. They believe he took his own life. Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said during a news briefing.
Police said more than 22,000 people were at the concert when Paddock, who had checked into the Mandalay Bay on Thursday, began firing at the crowd from his hotel room around 10 p.m.
The shooting marked the nation’s latest outbreak of gunfire and bloodshed to erupt in a public place, again transforming a seemingly routine night into one of terror. The carnage in Las Vegas surpassed the death toll of 49 people slain in June 2016 when a gunman in Orlando, who later said he was inspired by the Islamic State, opened fire inside a crowded nightclub.
Lombardo said the death toll could rise, as police were still investigating the scene. Police also said an estimated 406 people were taken to area hospitals after the shooting. Authorities did not specify how many of the people were wounded by gunfire or injured in the chaos that followed.
Lombardo also said police in Mesquite, NV were entering Paddock’s home to conduct a search on Monday morning.
Police believe Paddock acted alone, and Lombardo did not give further details, on Paddock’s background or possible motivation. “We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo said during a briefing. “Right now, we believe he was the sole aggressor, and the scene is static.”
Recordings of the attack suggested that Paddock used an automatic weapon. He was found with more than 10 rifles, Lombardo said.
Paddock’s brother, Eric, told Reuters that the family was stunned by what happened.
“We have no idea,” Eric Paddock told the news agency. “We’re horrified. We’re bewildered and our condolences go out to the victims. We have no idea in the world.”