On Oct. 1, authorities reported a mass shooting situation on the Las Vegas strip while the 91 Harvest Country Music Festival was taking place. Reports and videos from the scene seem to indicate that hundreds of rounds were fired on the crowd of about 22,000 people.
According to ABC News, “At least 59 people were killed and 527 injured as a gunman opened fire on a music festival crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, in what is now the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.”
Online footages of the attack showed chaos as the sound of sudden gunfire interrupted country singer Jason Aldean’s performance, sending him and thousands of terrified people fleeing for cover, many falling down and bleeding among the screaming crowds.
“The gunshots lasted for 10 to 15 minutes. It didn’t stop,” said witness Rachel de Kerf answering reporters from CNN.
The police identified the gunman as 64 year-old Stephen Paddock from Mesquite, Nevada. Paddock was found dead inside his suite at the Mandalay Bay. Authorities believe that he killed himself prior to arrival of the police.
ABC News also reported that a combination of rifles and handguns were found at the scene, with up to 23 weapons in Paddock’s room. While he used multiple rifles in the attack, it is not yet clear whether Paddock utilized them all.
According to the New York Times, the terrorist group ISIS later took credit for the attack as they claimed that Paddock was “a Soldier of the Islamic State.” However, the group did not provide any further evidence for this claim and authorities have not yet determined a motive.
Responding to the incident, President Donald Trump referred to the shooting as “an act of pure evil.”