Authorities have identified 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nev., as the suspected gunman in the massacre that left at least 50 dead and more than 200 wounded Sunday night at a Las Vegas casino.
Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel on a large crowd gathered below to watch Jason Aldean perform at the Route 91 Harvest Concert, he was eventually shot and killed by police. Authorities have not yet completed a background check on Paddock, who is identified as a white man, but did find several unspecified weapons in his hotel room, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said at a press conference at 1:30 Monday morning.
Lombardo said at least one off duty Las Vegas police officer was shot and several other officers are believed to be among the dead and wounded.
Police have located the suspect’s partner, Marilou Danley, a 62-year-old Asian female, believed to have been traveling with Paddock prior to the attack.
Meghan Karney described the horrific scene that unfolded after the shots began to rein down on 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.”
Videos taken at the scene show mass hysteria as gun shots rang out and the band fled the stage.
Insane…. this JUST happened.
— Luke Broadlick (@LukeBroadlick) October 2, 2017
Authorities have not yet determined Paddock’s motivation or any ideological commitments that may have prompted the attack.
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