At least 58 people are dead and 527 injured after a 72-minute shooting by a lone-wolf gunman who unleashed thousands of rounds of ammunition onto a Las Vegas music festival from a hotel room 1,200 feet away – and more details are still emerging.
Police say 64-year-old multimillionaire Stephen Craig Paddock used automatic weapons to rain down gunfire on a crowd of 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival Sunday night. He was found with 16 guns in a room in the Mandalay Bay hotel, across the street from the festival.
Headliner Jason Aldean was in the middle of his set just after 10pm when a rumble of gunfire rang out, the sounds of screams and stampeding humans cutting through the country music.
It took police an hour and 12 minutes from the first 911 call to locate Paddock in the building and break into his room.
They used explosives to blow the door off his room, but by then it was too late – Paddock had shot himself dead. It’s unclear how long after he first started shooting that Paddock committed suicide.
Stephen Craig Paddock, the retired accountant who smuggled an armory’s worth of weapons into a swank Las Vegas hotel and mowed down concert-goers from a 32nd story window, was a high-stakes gambler whose bank-robber father was once on the FBI’s most wanted list.
The 64-year-old had a home in a tranquil golf course retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, 80 miles (130 kilometers) east of the gambling hub and, according to a brother, showed no sign he was poised to commit mass murder.
Saying his family was in shock, Paddock’s brother told US media he could not understand what motivated his elder brother.
“Where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background or anything like that,” Eric Paddock told CBS News.
“He’s a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite, drove down and gambled in Las Vegas. He did stuff. Eat burritos.”
“It’s like an asteroid just fell on top of our family,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in a separate interview. “We have no idea how this happened.”
But Eric Paddock also told the Washington Post that his brother was a regular player of high-stakes video poker. “He sends me a text that says he won $250,000 at the casino,” he said.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a shooting that killed at least 50 people and wounded over 400 in Las Vegas early on Monday, and said the attacker had converted to Islam a few months ago.
“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 group’s news agency Amaq said in reference to the U.S.-led coalition fighting the group in the Middle East.
“The Las Vegas attacker converted to Islam a few months ago,” Amaq added.
CBS has parted ways with one of the company’s top lawyers after she said she is “not even sympathetic” to victims of the Las Vegas shooting because “country music fans often are Republican,” when discussing the tragic mass shooting that occurred in Las Vegas late Sunday night.
Monday night she issued a statement of apology.
“This individual, who was with us for approximately one year, violated the standards of our company and is no longer an employee of CBS. Her views as expressed on social media are deeply unacceptable to all of us at CBS. Our hearts go out to the victims in Las Vegas and their families,” a CBS spokeswoman told Fox News.
Hayley Geftman-Gold, the network’s now-former vice president and senior counsel, took to Facebook after a gunman opened fire at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, killing at least 59 people and sending more than 520 others to hospitals.
“If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs [sic] will ever do the right thing,” Geftman-Gold wrote in a now-deleted message that was first reported and captured by The Daily Caller.
President Donald Trump on Monday called the shooting on the Las Vegas strip that killed more than 50 people an “act of pure evil.”
In a somber address to the nation from the Diplomatic Room at the White House, Trump said Americans are joined in “sadness, shock and grief” at the attack — the country’s deadliest mass shooting in modern history.
“It was an act of pure evil,” Trump said.
“I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts,” Trump said, praising them “for helping to save the lives of so many” and for quickly locating the shooter. “The speed with which they acted is miraculous and prevented further loss of life.”
“I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness,” Trump said during his brief remarks. “The answers do not come easy.”