At least 50 people are dead and more than 200 people are injured after a man opened fire on concertgoers in Las Vegas from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Social media has been inundated with videos from the horrific scene.
Police now say it’s the worst mass shooting in US history. 49 people were killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in June of 2016.
The shooting started around 10:08pm local time Sunday night in Vegas. A possible motive for the mass murderer has not been released. The shooter has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada. CBS News is reporting that Paddock has had no prior contact with law enforcement, which is strange. Typically mass killers have had at least one prior incident with police, whether it’s domestic violence or any other number of crimes.
Video from the Mandalay Bay Hotel shows people fleeing the concert after the shots began. Many witnesses described confusion as the shots first rang out, with some people believing it was simply fireworks.
Paddock, who lived in a retirement community, reportedly broke a window in the 32nd floor in order to carry out his attack on the people below. He was able to reload multiple times, according to witnesses, as the crowd heard a burst of 30 shots at a time. CBS News is reporting that Las Vegas Police used explosives to gain access to the hotel room before killing Paddock.
Police are searching for a woman who was allegedly traveling with him, Marilou Danley. She’s described as 4 feet 11 inches tall and 111 pounds. Police have described the dead man as the “primary aggressor” and Danley is now simply being sought as a person of interest.
Police are also interested in locating two vehicles, a Hyundai Tucson Nevada with license plate number 114B40 and a Chrysler Pacifica Nevada with license plate number 79D401.
“There has been multiple conjecture coming through social media that there’s multiple shooters at other resorts, that has been proven to be false,” Sheriff Joe Lombardo said at a press conference. “Additionally there has been accusations or beliefs of explosives going on, that is also false.”
Country singer Jason Aldean was on stage at the Route 91 Harvest concert when the shooting began. Many people tried to shelter in place, laying on the ground as they were unsure of where to go. Others started running, despite the fact that most people had no idea where the shots were coming from, as the shooter was on the 32nd floor of the nearby hotel.
Aldean posted a photo to Instagram after the attack with the words “pray for Vegas” and a message to fans.
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
During the shooting, Las Vegas Police asked concertgoers not to share information about tactical positions of officers because it put the police force in danger.
As is pretty common after any mass shooting in the United States, internet sleuths believe they have identified the shooter. [Update: The shooter has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, not the man who internet sleuths identified.]
Snapchat videos posted to YouTube show concertgoers talking directly to their phones describing the situation as shots can still be heard.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police have asked for anyone with video of tonight’s shooting to bring that video to police headquarters.
Update, 6:31am: Witnesses describe a scene where Paddock was shooting for at least 4 minutes before police were able to stop him.
Witnesses also describe the crowd staying calm for the most part in an effort to keep people from getting trampled.
Update 6:37am: Buzzfeed has a good running tally of all the hoaxes that are emerging on social media in the wake of the shooting. As usual, people are posting random photos purporting to be the shooter as well as other photos of “missing” family members. The internet is the worst.
If you’re trying to locate family members at the scene, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police urge you to call 866-535-5654.
Update 6:51am: Police have reportedly found, Marilou Danley, the person of interest. There are also new reports that Paddock had “numerous” firearms with him in the Mandalay Bay Hotel room before police broke in and killed him.
Update 7:12am: President Trump just tweeted his condolences to the victims of the shooting.
from Gizmodo http://bit.ly/2g45dWm