Gunman Opens Fire on Las Vegas Concert

At least 58 people were killed, in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history

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People run from the Route 91 Harvest Festival on October 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Jim McMahon

A gunman at a Las Vegas hotel opened fire on a huge outdoor concert festival on Sunday night, killing at least 58 people and wounding hundreds of others, officials said, making it one of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history.

“We believe the individual killed himself,” said Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on CNN.

Online video of the attack outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino showed the singer Jason Aldean performing outside at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music event, interrupted by the sound of automatic gunfire. The music stopped, and concertgoers ducked for cover. “Get down,” one shouted. “Stay down,” screamed another. The shooting sent thousands of people fleeing the area.

Several SWAT teams were sent to the hotel immediately after the first reports of the shooting at 10:08 p.m., and officers who were overheard on police radio reported being pinned down by gunfire. Shortly before midnight, the Las Vegas police reported that “one suspect is down,” and soon thereafter the police said they did not believe there were any more active gunmen.

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Las Vegas police stand guard near the festival grounds after reports of an active shooter.

At least 58 people were killed by the gunman and more than 520 people were injured as of Tuesday morning. The police identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock, 64. Sheriff Lombardo said the police were seeking “a companion” named Marilou Danley, and the authorities later said they were “confident” they had located her.

President Trump issued a statement on Twitter on Monday extending sympathies to the victims and their families: “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and the families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” he wrote.

Video of the shooting captured nine seconds of rapid-fire, continuous bursts, followed by 37 seconds of silence from the weapon amid panicked screaming. The barrage of gunfire then erupted again in at least two more rounds, both shorter than the first.

Video from the shooting showed Jason Aldean, the final performer of the night, running off the stage as the gunfire erupted. Jake Owen, a country singer who was on stage with Aldean when the shooting began, told CNN on Monday that it was like “shooting fish in a barrel from where he was.”

Concertgoers described hearing round after round of gunfire. “Everyone was running—you could see people getting shot,” Gail Davis, one of the witnesses, said. “I’ve never been that scared in my life,” she added. “To have this happen, I can’t wrap my mind around it.”

There were news reports that the terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the shooting. But federal authorities said there were no indications that Paddock had ties to any international terrorist organization.

Ken Belson, Gerry Mullany, and Russell Goldman are reporters for The New York Times.

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