Possible terrorist attack in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday night (October 1st) at 10:08 PM PST. A gunman had opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 concert attendees during a Jason Aldean performance at the Route 91 country music concert inside the Mandalay Bay Casino.
As of 1:32 AM, Sheriff Joe Lombardo of Clark County stated in the first public statement about the shooting that the shooter had fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino towards the Route 91 concert at 10:08 PM PST. The shooter had been initially identified as a local resident whose would later be identified as Stephen Paddock. He was with a female companion named Marilou Danley, an Asian female of approximately 4’11 and 111 lbs who is a possible suspect in the attack. As of 1:36 AM, Sheriff Lombardo indicated that over 20 people have been killed and over 100 people have been injured, however this death toll is likely to rise as reports come in. An off-duty Southern California police officer has been shot in the neck during the attack and may have been killed. Two other active police officers have been injured, one critically.
As of 9:20 PST, 58 people have been reported killed in the Mandalay Bay terrorist attack and over 500 people have been injured. The shooter has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, a resident of an upscale retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada.
A large portion of gunfire occurred at the Mandalay Bay casino. Based on the rate of the gunfire, it is believed that the shooter was using a fully automatic weapon and was carrying a large quantity of ammunition, with periods of sustained gunfire lasting 12-15 seconds each in a recording. It is yet unclear what sort of automatic firearm the shooter was using.
Stephen Paddock has been found dead in an apparent suicide by the police as of 12:05 AM PST Monday morning when they had breached the 32nd floor room that he was firing from. Initially it had been believed through social media accounts there were multiple gunmen involved, however as of 12:38 am PST, Las Vegas Metro PD believes that this was only one shooter.
A suspicious device has been found near Luxor in front of an SUV. Counterterrorism and bomb squad are on scene investigating the device. It appears that the suspicious device has proven to be harmless.
Internet celebrity and poker player, Dan Bilzerian, who was an attendee at this concert, described the scene that he witnessed: “Holy f–k this girl just got shot in the f–king head. “So f–king crazy…So I had to go grab a gun, I’m f–king heading back…Some kind of mass shooting…Guy had a heavy caliber weapon for sure…Saw a girl f–king get shot in the face right next to me, her brains f–king hanging out.”.
A witness has reported to Channel 13 Action News that a woman had approached the stage and stated “you are all going to die tonight” before being escorted out of the concert. The woman described by the witness making that statement may be a critical person of interest.
All hospitals in the area have called emergency personnel to come in. Emergency rooms in the area were understaffed as of 1:00 AM PST and doing their best to accommodate injured victims, with witnesses describing the emergency room scenes as “chaotic”.
Some flights have been suspended out of McCarran International Airport due to the attack while incoming flights have been diverted as of 12:50 AM. Inbound and outbound flights have resumed from McCarran International Airport as of 1:05 AM PST as the situation had de-escalated, indicating that the only shooter had been killed.
As of 1:18 AM PST, the Vegas Strip has come off lockdown with tourists, concertgoers and passerby reuniting with their friends and loved ones. All hotels on the strip still remain under lockdown as of 1:21 AM PST.
Much like the terror attacks at the Bataclan theater in Paris on November 13, 2015, the shooters had apparently waited until the end of the concert before opening fire. The Mandalay Bay Casino concert venue is known to have relatively few exits, indicating a possible strategic choice in venue for the terror suspect. This terror act would mark the third terrorist attack at a major concert venue in the last two years, along with the Bataclan theater shooting and the Manchester Arena bombing on May 22, 2017.
ISIS has taken responsibility for the shooting, claiming that Stephen Paddock had converted to Islam months ago. It is yet unclear if this is the case.
Numerous video recordings have emerged of Stephen Paddock appearing at anti-Trump rallies and participating in anti-Republican protests. Due to the high likelihood that country music fans would be Republican, a possible motive for the shooting would be a hate for Republicans by someone on the left. This follows a string of attacks against Republicans and others on the right, such as the June 14, 2017 shooting of Congressmen Steve Scalise among three others at a baseball game by James Hodgkinson, and a fatal stabbing of two men in a Portland, Oregon train by Jeremy Joseph Christian, a Bernie Sanders supporter on May 26, 2017. While the motive for the Mandalay Bay terrorist attack remains unclear at this time and one must not be quick to rush to assumptions, it seems that given Paddock’s record of supporting participating in leftist protest and his target, Stephen Paddock was likely motivated by anti-Republican and anti-American ideology.