The massacre on the Las Vegas Strip, in which more than 50 people were killed, is now the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States by surpassing the death toll of the Orlando night club shooting when a gunman believed inspired by the Islamic State opened fire in June 2016, killing 49.
The suspect is a 64-year-old from Mequite, Nevada named Stephen Paddock. He was shot and killed in a gun battle by police. Authorities don’t believe there were any other shooters involved.
Paddock shot at concert-goers from his 32nd floor, high-rise hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort. Paddock opened fire on a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, killing at least 50 people and wounding more than 200 in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
Concertgoers dove for cover or raced toward shelter in a stampede as a hail of machine gunfire rained down from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino around 10 p.m. Las Vegas time.
Police believe Paddock was a “lone wolf” attacker. They did not give further details, on Paddock’s background or possible motives. Speculations online have run wild as some speculate he is a far left Antifa follower, while others suggest he was a recently converted Muslim.
“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo said. “Right now, we believe he was the sole aggressor and the scene is static.”
Paddock’s former companion, a 62-year-old woman identified as Marilou Danley who is known as a “person of interest” in this case was out of the country during the time of the attack but police hope that she will fill police in as to the background of Paddock and why he may have committed this deadly attack.
The gunman was previously known to local police for past run-ins with law enforcement and some reports say he was a registered sex offender who had molested a child.
Mike McGarry, a 53-year-old financial adviser from Philadelphia, said he threw himself on top of his children as shots rang out. “They’re 20. I’m 53. I lived a good life,” McGarry told the Reuters news agency. The back of his shirt had foot marks from people who stepped over him in the crush to flee.
President Trump tweeted “condolences and sympathies” for the victims and their families hours after the shooting.
My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2017
“The president has been briefed on the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas. We are monitoring the situation closely and offer our full support to state and local officials,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Monday morning. “All of those affected are in our thoughts and prayers.”