A gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas Sunday evening, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500 near the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino. Here is what we know:
Who was the shooter?
Stephen Craig Paddock, a 64-year-old resident of Mesquite, Nev., was named by police as the shooter. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo later said Paddock killed himself as police broke into his room at the Mandalay Bay, which he was believed to have occupied since Sept. 28. “We are completely dumbfounded,” said Eric Paddock, a brother who lives in central Florida. Later, it was revealed that the brothers' deceased father was a bank robber who had been on the FBI's most-wanted list in the 1960s.
Did the shooter have any accomplices?
"Right now, we believe it's a sole actor, a lone-wolf-type actor," said Lombardo, adding that a motive for the shooting had yet to be determined. The sheriff also said police had questioned a "person of interest," Marilou Danley, the suspect's roommate, and determined she was not involved in the shooting. Later, Lombardo said Danley is out of the country and that authorities would speak further with her when she returned to the U.S. A person connected to her said she is in the Philippines.
Was this an act of terrorism?
At a press conference, Aaron Rouse, chief of the FBI’s Las Vegas office, said the agency had found "no connection" between Paddock and terror organizations. Earlier, Sheriff Lombardo described Paddock as "a distraught person" intent on causing mass casualties. The Islamic State on Monday claimed responsibility, saying that the perpetrator was “a soldier” who had converted to Islam months ago. However, the group, which often claims attacks by individuals inspired by its message but with no known links to the group, provided no evidence to support its assertion.
How many victims are there?
Sheriff Lombardo said at least 58 were killed and about 515 people had been injured. Local hospitals were reportedly overwhelmed with victims. The first victim to be named was Sonny Melton, 29, a nurse from Tennessee. "He saved my life," his wife, Heather Melton, said. "He grabbed me from behind and started running." Then, she said, "I felt him get shot in the back." Other victims described the scene as a war zone.
Where did the incident happen?
The shooting took place in an open area across the street from the Mandalay Bay, a giant casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, where the three-day Route 91 Harvest festival started Friday. Country superstar Jason Aldean, recently named 2017 Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year, was on stage playing to an estimated 22,000 people when the shooting began at 10:08 p.m. local time. He was not injured.
What weapons were found?
According to police, the gunman fired from a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, which overlooks the venue. At least 19 weapons, many of which were rifles, were found in the room with hundreds of rounds of ammunition, according to a federal law enforcement official. Two tripods were positioned at the windows. A Mesquite police spokesman later said ammunition had been found in the gunman's home.
How was the gunman able to fire so rapidly?
While witnesses reported fast shooting, the pattern and inconsistent rate of gunfire signaled to experts that the weapons might have been semi-automatic, which require a separate trigger pull for each round, rather than an automatic that would continue to fire while the trigger was depressed.
Paddock could have had automatic weapons, which require a special permit that requires fingerprinting and federal approval. But he could have also used widely available trigger cranks on a semi-automatic weapon that would have allowed him to fire nearly 700 rounds per minute.
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How does this mass shooting compare with others in the U.S.?
With at least 58 dead, the incident is the worst mass shooting in modern American history. The prior mass shooting with the highest death toll was an attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in June 2016 in which 49 people were killed and 58 injured.
What else do we know about Stephen Paddock?
Paddock reportedly lived in an upscale retirement community of about 1,400 homes called Sun City Mesquite by Del Webb. Residents must be at least 55 and no children are permitted to live there. The community includes an 18-hole golf course as well as indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Mesquite is about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas near the Arizona and Utah borders. His home in Mesquite is assessed at more than $353,000, according to property tax records.
How did President Trump react to the incident?
In a television statement mid-morning on Monday, Trump called the attack "an act of pure evil" and called for national unity. He also announced he would be flying to Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with officials, first-responders, victims and victims' families. Earlier, he tweeted his condolences.
My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2017