No fewer than 58 people have been killed and around 500 injured at an open-air country music festival in Las Vegas in the deadliest mass shooting in US history, The Telegraph report.
Terror spread through the city’s famous strip as 64-year-old gunman Stephen Paddock launched an attack from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, unloading hundreds of rounds of ammunition, from a cache of weapons, at concert-goers.
Police confirmed the attacker shot himself dead just as a police SWAT team burst into the hotel room from where he sprayed rapid fire on the crowd for several minutes.
Described as a ‘lone wolf’ who lived in a remote desert retirement village, Paddock was holed up with more than 10 guns after he is believed to have checked into the hotel on Thursday.
The attacker’s motive was unknown, but police believe he acted alone. They said he was ‘not believed to be connected to any militant group’ despite a claim of responsibility from Islamic State, adding ‘We have no idea what his belief system was.’
Addressing the nation on Monday afternoon, US President, Donald Trump, described the shooting as an ‘act of pure evil’, adding that he would visit emergency services in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
The Las Vegas sheriff had earlier been seeking Paddock’s female ‘companion’, Marilou Danley, as a ‘person of interest’.
After she was located overseas, police said the 62-year-old who was believed to have lived with Paddock was not involved in the shooting.
An estimated 22,000 people dived for cover as hundreds of rounds of shots rained down on the crowd during the Route 91 Harvest Festival shortly after 10pm on Sunday local time and an off-duty police officer was among the dead.
Las Vegas police said officers found more than 10 guns in the attacker’s hotel room after entering to find he had fatally shot himself.
The shooting came towards the end of the three-day festival while headliner, Jason Aldean, the American country music singer, was on stage.
Aldean posted on Instagram that he and his crew are safe, as he said, “My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved.”