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'Active shooter' near Las Vegas casino


Jonathan Fairfield

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Lone gunman kills 59, injures hundreds, in Las Vegas concert attack

By Devika Krishna Kumar and Alexandria Sage

 

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People walk by a vase of red roses near the scene of a mass shooting at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

     

    LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - A retiree armed with multiple assault rifles strafed an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas from a high-rise hotel window on Sunday, slaughtering at least 59 people in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history before killing himself.

     

    The barrage of gunfire from the 32nd-floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel into a crowd of 22,000 people came in extended bursts that lasted several minutes, sparking panic as throngs of music fans desperately cowered on the open ground, hemmed in by fellow concertgoers, while others at the edge tried to flee.

     

    More than 525 people were injured - some by gunfire or shrapnel, some trampled - in the pandemonium adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip as police scrambled to locate the assailant.

     

    Police identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock, 64, who lived in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada. They said they believed he acted alone and did not know why he attacked the crowd.

     

    The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the massacre, but U.S. officials said there was no evidence of that.

     

    At least a dozen people were in critical condition at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where all of the injured were taken, a spokeswoman said.

     

    The preliminary death toll, which officials said could rise, surpassed last year's massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, by a gunman who pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

     

    The dead in Las Vegas included a nurse, a government employee and an off-duty police officer.

     

    Shocked survivors, some with blood on their clothing, wandered streets, where the flashing lights of the city's gaudy casinos blended with those of emergency vehicles.

     

    Police said Paddock had no criminal record. The gunman killed himself before police entered the hotel room from where he was firing, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.

     

    "We have no idea what his belief system was," Lombardo said. "I can't get into the mind of a psychopath."

     

    Federal officials said there was no evidence to link Paddock to militant organizations.

     

    "We have determined to this point no connection with an international terrorist group," Aaron Rouse, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) field office in Las Vegas, told reporters.

     

    U.S. officials discounted the claim of responsibility for the attack made by Islamic State.

     

    "We advise caution on jumping to conclusions before the facts are in," CIA spokesman Jonathan Liu said in an email.

     

    MULTIPLE GUNS

     

    Lombardo said there were 16 firearms in the room where Paddock killed himself, some with scopes and some that appeared to have been modified to convert them to fully automatic weapons.

     

    Lombardo said the gunman apparently used a "device similar to a hammer" to smash the windows from which he fired.

    Police found at least 18 additional firearms, some explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition at Paddock's home in Mesquite, about 90 miles (145 km) northeast of Las Vegas, along with "some electronic devices that we are evaluating at this time," Lombardo told reporters.

     

    Chris Sullivan, the owner of the Guns & Guitars gun shop in Mesquite, issued a statement confirming that Paddock was a customer who cleared "all necessary background checks and procedures."

     

    "He never gave any indication or reason to believe he was unstable or unfit at any time," Sullivan said, adding that his business was cooperating with investigators. He did not say how many or the kinds of weapons Paddock purchased there.

     

    The shooting, the latest in a string that have played out across the United States over recent years, sparked a renewed outcry from some lawmakers about the pervasiveness of guns in the United States, but was unlikely to prompt action in Congress.

     

    Efforts to pass tougher federal gun laws failed following a number of mass shootings, including the 2012 massacre of 26 young children and educators in Newtown, Connecticut, and the June attack on Republican lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game.

     

    Nevada has some of the nation's most permissive gun laws. It does not require firearm owners to obtain licenses or register their guns.

     

    House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, on Monday called on House Speaker Paul Ryan to create a select committee on gun violence.

     

    "Congress has a moral duty to address this horrific and heartbreaking epidemic," Pelosi wrote.

     

    The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right to bear arms, and gun-rights advocates staunchly defend it. U.S. President Donald Trump, a Republican, has been outspoken in his support for the Second Amendment.

    The White House said on Monday that it was too soon after the attack to consider gun control policies.

     

    "Today is a day for consoling the survivors and mourning those we lost," presidential spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said at a news briefing. "It would be premature for us to discuss policy when we don't fully know all the facts or what took place last night."  

     

    Trump said he would travel to Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with victims, relatives and first responders.

     

    "It was an act of pure evil," said Trump, who later led a moment of silence at the White House in honour of the victims.

    The suspected shooter's brother, Eric Paddock, said the family was stunned by the news.

     

    "We're horrified. We're bewildered, and our condolences go out to the victims," Eric Paddock said in a telephone interview, his voice trembling. "We have no idea in the world."

     

    He said his brother belonged to no political or religious organizations, and had no history of mental illness. Their father had been a bank robber who for a time was listed on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list of fugitives.

     

    Speaking to reporters from his doorstep in Orlando, Florida, he described his brother as "a wealthy guy" who liked to play video poker and take cruises. He seemed to have been settling into a quiet life when he moved back to Nevada from Florida.

     

    'JUST KEPT GOING ON'

     

    Video of the attack showed terrified crowds fleeing under rapid gunfire as the shooter took aim from a distance of around 1,050 feet (320 m).

     

    "People were just dropping to the ground. It just kept going on," said Steve Smith, a 45-year-old visitor from Phoenix, Arizona.

     

    "Probably 100 shots at a time," Smith said.

     

    Las Vegas's casinos, nightclubs and shopping draw some 3.5 million visitors from around the world each year and the area was packed with visitors when the shooting started shortly after 10 p.m. local time (0400 GMT).

     

    Mike McGarry, a financial adviser from Philadelphia, was at the concert when he heard hundreds of shots.

     

    "It was crazy - I laid on top of the kids. They're 20. I'm 53. I lived a good life," McGarry said.

     

    The back of his shirt bore footmarks from people who ran over him in panic.

     

    Shares of MGM Resorts International <MGM.N>, which owns the Mandalay Bay, fell 5.58 percent on Monday to $30.77 a share.

     

    (Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen, Chris Michaud and Frank McGurty in New York, Susan Cornwell and Mark Hosenball in Washington, Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Ali Abdelaty in Cairo and Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Grant McCool, Jonathan Oatis, Andrew Hay, Toni Reinhold)

     

     

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    Las Vegas police investigate reports of shooter near casino

     

    (Reuters) - Las Vegas police said early on Monday they were investigating reports of an active shooter at the Mandalay Bay Casino on the city's famous strip.

     

    One Twitter user posted that the hotel was on lockdown, while another, citing police scanners, posted there were two shooters on the 32nd floor of the hotel who had shot at a bodyguard and police. Authorities could not be reached to confirm those details.

     

    (Editing by Chris Michaud; Editing by Nick Macfie)

     

     
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    Two dead, 24 wounded by gunfire in Las Vegas, says hospital

     

    (Reuters) - At least two people died early on Monday and 24 were hospitalised with suspected gunshots wounds in Las Vegas, a local hospital spokesman said, as police investigated reports of an active shooter in the city.

     

    The reports emanated from the Mandalay Bay Casino on the city's famous strip.

     

    One Twitter user posted that the hotel was on lockdown, while another, citing police scanners, said two gunmen who had shot at a bodyguard and police were on the 32nd floor of the hotel.

     

    Witnesses heard numerous gunshots at the casino hotel, where police tactical teams were searching for the attacker, according to reports on CNN and in the New York Times.

     

    It was not immediately clear how many people were injured.

     

    A representative of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police could not be reached immediately.

     

    (Editing by Chris Michaud and Frank McGurty in New York; Editing by John Stonestreet)

     

     
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    At least 20 killed at shooting rampage at Las Vegas concert

    Devika Krishna Kumar

     

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    video screenshot

     

    LAS VEGAS, Nevada (Reuters) - A gunman opened fire at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, killing at least 20 people and wounding more than 100 others before the suspect was killed by police.

     

    Police described the suspect as being a local Las Vegas man who acted alone, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said at a briefing. But authorities were seeking an Asian female who police described as a companion of the suspect, he said.

     

    They said that rumours of other shootings in the area were false. Off-duty police were believe to be among the victims.

     

    Witnesses on social media said the shooting broke out on the last night of the three-day Route 91 Harvest festival, a sold-out event attended by thousands and featuring top acts such as Eric Church, Sam Hunt and Jason Aldean.

     

    U.S. media, including Fox News, reported that Aldean was performing around 10:45 p.m. local time on Sunday when the rampage began but that he had been bundled safely off stage at the event outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in the Nevada gambling mecca. CNN reported all the artists were safe.

     

    Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known primarily for its gambling, shopping and entertainment.

     

    Police have disclosed no information that would suggest a motive for the shooting or revealed the identify of the suspect.

     

    Even so, the rampage was reminiscent of a mass shooting at a Paris rock concert in November 2015 that killed 89 people, part of a coordinated attack by Islamist militants that left 130 dead.

     
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    20 minutes ago, smutcakes said:

    Police are reporting 20 dead and 100 injured. Shooter down, apparently lived locally, looking for his companion Marilou Danley.

     

    Read that as well elsewhere, 20+ dead, over a 100 injured.  Identity of shooter has not been released.  Sad to say, but the ethnicity of the shooter will determine the narrative.  If Middle Eastern or illegal alien, our POTUS will be all over this like stink on sht.  If just a random white guy, he probably won't care.  May even insists that "if concert goers all had guns, this wouldn't have happened!"

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    1 minute ago, webfact said:

    Even so, the rampage was reminiscent of a mass shooting at a Paris rock concert in November 2015 that killed 89 people, part of a coordinated attack by Islamist militants that left 130 dead.

     

    24 minutes ago, smutcakes said:

    Police are reporting 20 dead and 100 injured. Shooter down, apparently lived locally, looking for his companion Marilou Danley.

     

    Islamist terrorist, or yet another nutter who due to America's gun laws and Nevada's open carry laws found it all too easy to exercise his second amendment right to obtain and then use a weapon?

     

    The name of his companion suggests the latter.

     

    No doubt the police will confirm one way or the other once they have the facts.

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    5 minutes ago, Berkshire said:

     

    Read that as well elsewhere, 20+ dead, over a 100 injured.  Identity of shooter has not been released.  Sad to say, but the ethnicity of the shooter will determine the narrative.  If Middle Eastern or illegal alien, our POTUS will be all over this like stink on sht.  If just a random white guy, he probably won't care.  May even insists that "if concert goers all had guns, this wouldn't have happened!"

     

    Get your facts straight.  First, Nevada is an open carry state.  That means people can openly carry guns, but need a permit to carry a concealed weapon.  Second, the gunman was not in attendance at the concert, he fired from an elevated position in the Mandalay Bay hotel.  While the Las Vegas Metro (probably the most corrupt police department in the US) hasn't released the identity of the shooter, his Asian-American companion, Marilou Danley, is being sought by the police.

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    All the cameras, surveillance, informants, and wiretapping will never do anything to stop this stuff. I really don't know why they keep at it. The anti-terror people need to rethink their entire strategy. Three of these events in one day.

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    5 minutes ago, zaphod reborn said:

     

    Get your facts straight.  First, Nevada is an open carry state.  That means people can openly carry guns, but need a permit to carry a concealed weapon.  Second, the gunman was not in attendance at the concert, he fired from an elevated position in the Mandalay Bay hotel.  While the Las Vegas Metro (probably the most corrupt police department in the US) hasn't released the identity of the shooter, his Asian-American companion, Marilou Danley, is being sought by the police.

    What freakin facts?  We're all just opining in the dark at the moment.  So don't be so high and mighty, you don't know any more than the rest of us. 

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