Witnesses described a terrifying scene of people cowering on the floor, a performer rushing off stage and thousands of people in a panic as gunshots rang through the air at a Mandalay Bay concert on Sunday night.
In one of the the deadliest mass shootings in American history, bullets rained down on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival and killed at least 50 in the crowd of 22,000 at around 10:00 p.m. Over 400 others are said to be hurt, according to NBC news, and a 64-year-old suspect is now dead.
Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev. is said to have fired from his room on the 32nd floor of the motel while country music superstar Jason Aldean performed. Police have not yet identified a motive. They said one of the victims was an off-duty Las Vegas police officer.
Police said they found Paddock in his hotel room with multiple rifles and will be searching his home later today.
Jake Owen, another performer, was on stage with Aldean. “This is not an exaggeration: This shooting was going on for at least 10 minutes,” he told CNN on Monday. “It was nonstop.”
President Donald Trump has issued a statement on Twitter: My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!
Several celebrities also issued statemenets, including Aldean: “Tonight has been beyond horrific,” he said. “I still don’t know what to say but wanted everyone to 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.” Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, and others have also commented.
Some concert goers have posted video of the incident from the concert, including verified twitter user Luke Broadlick. His video can be found here.
According to the New York Post, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
“The Las Vegas attack was carried out by a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried it out in response to calls to target states of the coalition,” the terror group’s news agency, Amaq, said in reference to the US-led coalition fighting the group in the Middle East.
“The Las Vegas attacker converted to Islam a few months ago,” Amaq added, according to Reuters.
Photo credit: Hermann Luyken, Wikimedia Commons.
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