At least 59 people were killed and 527 injured in Las Vegas Sunday night when a gunman opened fire on a music festival crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, in what is now the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas.
First responders arrive to a bloody scene
As ambulances rushed to the scene, first responders plugged wounds with their bare hands and used their clothing to try to stanch each other’s bleeding. At least one man described a stranger who died in his arms.
In addition to gunshot wounds, victim suffered injuries from shrapnel, from climbing fences and from being trampled, said Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell.
An off-duty Las Vegas police officer who was attending the concert is among the dead, police said. No on-duty emergency response personnel were injured, Cassell said.
23 firearms were found in shooter’s hotel suite
Authorities said the suspected gunman — 64-year-old Mesquite, Nevada resident Stephen Paddock — checked into the Mandalay Bay hotel Thursday and brought the numerous firearms found in his room himself.
Two sources familiar with the investigation said there was a combination of rifles and handguns at the scene, and one of the sources said there were 23 weapons in the room. While he used multiple rifles in the attack, it is not yet clear whether he utilized them all, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said in a press conference Monday afternoon, adding that some of the rifles had scope.
Ammunition and more than 10 suitcases were found in the room, Lombardo said. At one point, Paddock engaged with a security guard, who was shot in the leg through a doorway, Lombardo said.
In the wake of the shooting, the Las Vegas Police Department said authorities responded to a room on the 32nd floor of the hotel, where Paddock was found dead. Police said they believe Paddock killed himself prior to police entry.
Authorities believe Paddock used a device similar to a hammer to smash the windows of his two-room suite. After the shooting, Mandalay Bay and other hotels in the vicinity of the attack were placed on lockdown at the request of authorities, the resort said in a statement.
At least one gun dealer came forward to authorities to say that he sold weapons to Paddock, Lombardo said. Chris Michel, owner of Dixie Gunworx in St. George, Utah, told ABC News that Paddock came into his store three times — always by himself. The first two times Paddock didn’t buy anything, but the third time, he bought a shotgun. It is unclear is Michel is the gun dealer referenced by police.
Michel said Paddock seemed like “an average, everyday” guy and that his purchase was “legal in every way.” He added that he does not know if the gun he told to him was used in the massacre.
A motive is still unclear
Police said Paddock had no criminal history, save a minor citation.
Eric Paddock, the suspected shooter’s brother, told ABC News, “We have no idea how or why this happened.”
“As far as we know, Steve was perfectly fine,” he said.
Authorities initially said they were looking to speak with a companion of the shooter, Marilou Danley, whom Lombardo said he believes to be Paddock’s girlfriend.
While Danley is out of the country, police said Monday morning that “detectives have made contact with her and do not believe she is involved with the shooting.”
However, authorities will continue their investigation into Danley, Lombardo said. Police said she is out of the country and it’s believed the suspect was using some of her identification.
The motive for the attack was unclear.
“I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath,” Lombardo said at a news conference this morning.
Officials said Monday morning they have found no connection between the shooting and any international terrorist group. Officials added that the suspect was not known to law enforcement.
Witnesses describe the attack
Mark Mullen — who was staying on the 29th floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel — told ABC News that when the shots broke out, he was sitting in his room and listening to the concert while doing prep work for a conference scheduled for Monday.
Mullen said he thought the noise was fireworks at first, but when he looked out the window, he couldn’t see anything.
“The noise continued, but there were no fireworks, and it quickly became apparent what was happening,” he said…