A gunman opened fire with what witnesses describe as a fully automatic firearm at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas late Sunday night.
The numbers of dead and injured are climbing rapidly as FBI and local police assess the scene. Press reports indicated more than 50 concert goers were killed.
“The suspected gunman in the Las Vegas shooting has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock from Mesquite, Nevada,” CNBC reported:
Paddock was not known to the federal authorities, but was known to local law enforcement, according to NBC News.
He has no known connection to terrorism and police have not called the shooting a terrorist attack, according to the news agency.
— Nathan O'Neal (@NateNews3LV) October 2, 2017
The Las Vegas Sheriff Lombardo also confirms that at least one of the gunmen is dead.
ABC News reports:
At least two people were killed and multiple others were injured in a horrific shooting near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Sunday night, police said.
The “nonstop gunfire,” according to one witness, sent bystanders outside the resort on the Vegas strip ducking for cover and fleeing for their lives. Tourists hid in their hotel rooms and flights headed into the McCarran International Airport airport were held elsewhere.
Bystanders sprang into action, caring for the wounded and at least one described someone dying in their arms.
Videos filmed by onlookers gave a window into the chaos that ensued, with some thinking that fireworks were going off. The final night of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival was taking place across the street from Mandalay Bay when the shooting took place and concertgoers were caught off-guard.
Twitter is alight with horrific footage of the shooting, as the gunman laid bursts of of fire from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay tower.
It takes a SICK person to shoot at a crowd of innocent people at a concert in Las Vegas.
May you rot in hell…https://t.co/95hUDvQ0id
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) October 2, 2017
Witnesses describe the chaos to ABC News:
“We were just at the concert there, and Jason Aldean was playing,” one of the concertgoers, named Mike Cronk, 48, a retired teacher, told ABC News. “Kinda sounded like some fireworks going off. I think there was the first kinda volley, and then all of the sudden second volley. My buddy’s like ‘I just got hit, ya know.’ He got hit three times. Then people started diving for the ground. And it just continued.”
“It was pretty much chaotic,” Cronk continued. “Lots of people got hit. …It took a while to get him out. We had to get him over the fence and hiding under the stage for a while, ya know, to be safe. And finally we had to move him because he had three chest wounds.”
Mike said his group were finally able to track down an ambulance “and basically the one guy ended up dying in my arms because he was bleeding,” he said. “And my buddy got in there. We got three more people in the ambulance. … But I just got a message from my buddy — and he’s going to be okay.”
As bursts of gunfire crackled in the air, people outside of the casino ducked and screamed, according to video filmed by witnesses.
“We’re going to get trampled if we don’t go,” a bystander could be heard saying in a dramatic video of the incident. Confusion appeared to abound as those outside fled the scene with another person saying, “it’s fireworks.”
Another witness, Jake Freeman, said he was standing on the rooftop of a nearby hotel when the shooting broke out.
“I had a bird’s-eye view” of the shooting, Freeman said in a phone interview with ABC News. He said he saw “crowds of people running” as people “dropped to the ground.”
“At the moment we didn’t realize that they were being shot,” he said.
Police said in a Twitter post late Sunday, “Please avoid heading to the south end of the Strip.”
“Las Vegas Blvd is shut down at Tropicana, southbound past Russell Rd at this time,” police said.
Authorities are requesting help from the public to local two vehicles:
— W.G. Ramirez (@WillieGRamirez) October 2, 2017