At least 58 are dead and more than 530 were left injured when a gunman opened fire at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, police confirm. Jason Aldean was performing at the time of the shooting.
UPDATE 11:25 p.m. ET: Police recovered 23 guns from Stephen’s hotel room, according to CNN. Another 19 guns were found at his home in Mesquite, Nevada. And late on Monday evening, a large vigil was held at Guardian Angel Cathedral in Las Vegas so the community (more than 300 people) could pay tribute to those who died, according to USA Today. “This evening, I am grateful to all who we have all come together,” Bishop Joe Pepe, of the Diocese of Las Vegas, said as he wiped away tears from his eyes Monday evening. “In the face of this tragedy, we need each other.” (See pics from the vigil in our gallery above.)
Chaos erupted during Jason Aldean’s performance at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on Oct. 1, as a man began firing shots from above, on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. The attack left an estimated 58 people dead, with at least 489 suffering from injuries, although the exact numbers cannot be confirmed at this time. At least four of the injured are in critical condition. Police revealed that a man, who has been identified as a “local resident” named Stephen Paddock, 64, began shooting toward the country music festival around 10:08 p.m. local time. He was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in his hotel room by police. There was also ten guns found in the room. A woman named Marilou Danley was initially sought by officials for questioning in the investigation, and was believed to be a companion of the shooter. By 3:30 a.m. local time, police confirmed that they believed to have the woman in custody, and it was eventually revealed that she was not suspected to be involved.
“The gunshots lasted for 10-15 minutes,” one concertgoer told CNN. “It didn’t stop. We just ran for our lives.” Jason rushed offstage as the shooting began, and later confirmed that he and his crew were safe. Other witnesses recalled hearing sounds like hundreds of “firecrackers.” Photos and videos from the scene showed the horrific event unfold, with people running for their lives or lying on the ground, some covered in blood, as gunshots were going off in the background. Police officers who were off-duty were among the victims left dead, the Las Vegas Police Department confirmed, while at least two officers were also treated for injuries.
“A tragic and heinous act of violence has shaken the #Nevada family,” Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval, wrote on twitter. “Our prayers are w/ the victims & all affected by this act of cowardice.” President Donald Trump also tweeted on the morning of Oct. 2. “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting,” he wrote. “God bless you!
Country singer Jake Owen had finished his set before Jason took the stage, and was among the thousands to hear the gunshots and see the scene unfold. “I witnessed the most unimaginable event tonight,” he tweeted. “We are okay. Others arent. Please pray. Gun shots were ringing off of the stage rigging and road cases. No one knew where to go…thank you LVPD and responders for keeping us safe.”
The local police department has set up a phone line, 1-866-535-5654, for families looking to locate their loved ones. Police are also asking for people willing to donate blood to the victims, with the United Blood Services beginning to take donations at 7:00 a.m. at 6390 West Charleston in Las Vegas and 601 Whitney Ranch Drive in Henderson. There is also a blood drive at the UMC Delta Point Building at 901 North Rancho Lane. We will continue to update you as this story develops.
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