What was at one minute an outdoor country music festival turned into the deadliest mass shooting in American history Sunday night when at least 50 people were killed and 400 injured in Las Vegas after a single gunman raked the festival with bullets.
Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, is believed to have been the shooter. A woman described as an employee of the casino was being sought early Monday. Marilou Danley, who lived with Paddock, was originally a “person of interest.”
Detectives eventually contacted her, and later said they “do not believe she is involved with the shooting on the strip.”
No motive for the shootings had been learned as of early Monday. Police do not believe terrorism was a factor.
“We believe it’s a solo actor. A lone wolf,” Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Monday.
Authorities said Paddock used a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino to shoot his victims. Police started receiving calls about the attack at about 10:08 p.m. local time. They said the attack had a burst of fire, then silence, then two more short bursts.
“It just kept coming,” witness Robyn Webb told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It was relentless.”
Video footage showed the attack transpire as the festival took place. Warning: Video Footage Contains Graphic Content.
— ABC News (@ABC) October 2, 2017
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"My friends daughter is only 18 and she got shot" says witness describing the Las Vegas attack pic.twitter.com/zpY4wPMy6P
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 2, 2017
Police evacuated much of the casino before moving in on Paddock’s room, where he was discovered to be dead at around midnight. Police believe he shot himself suicide, and multiple weapons, including more than 10 rifles, were found in his room.
Two off-duty police officers attending the concert were killed, Lombardo said. An on-duty officer was in stable condition and another was wounded.
Witness Meghan Kearney described the chaotic scene at the concert.
“We heard what sounded like firecrackers going off. Then all of a sudden we heard what sounded like a machine gun. People started screaming that they were hit. … When we started running out there were probably a couple hundred (people) on the ground,” she told MSNBC.
“People kept dropping and dropping. … People were getting shot one foot away from us,” she said. “People were trying to save their friends. There were gunshots everywhere. Helping them would’ve meant that we got shot, too.”
Kodiak Yazzie, 36, told The Associated Press he heard what sounded like fireworks. The music stopped, then started again before more pops sent the performers running. Fans then fled, he said, adding that the gunfire lasted for five minutes.
Singer Jason Aldean, who was on the stage when the attack began, posted a statement on Instagram.
“Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still don’t 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,” he wrote.