“Hashem is our refuge and stronghold, a help in trouble, very near.” Psalms 46:2 (The Israel Bible™)
At least 50 people were killed and over 400 injured in the deadliest mass shooting attack in American history on Sunday night at a country music concert in Las Vegas. The gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, is dead from a self-inflicted wound.
According to reports, Paddock, a resident of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire with an automatic weapon on the outdoor music festival from a window on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, gunning down at least 50 people at last count.
— Chase Stevens (@CSStevensphoto) October 2, 2017
Paddock was killed by SWAT units, and authorities have apprehended a possible female accomplice, Marilou Danley, described as Paddock’s roommate or companion.
“Right now we believe it’s a sole actor, a lone wolf type actor,” Lombardo told press, dismissing reports of multiple shooters. Officials have said that Paddock, who lived in a retirement community, has no known ties to any extremist group and was not known to police.
The Daily Mirror publishes first photo of Las Vegas shooting suspect 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada pic.twitter.com/htaor4IBQC
— Anna Giaritelli (@Anna_Giaritelli) October 2, 2017
A statement by the Bakersfield Police Department said that several off-duty police officers attending the Route 91 Harvest festival had been killed or injured in the attack.
Eyewitnesses described what sounded like fireworks and flashes of light coming from the hotel tower as performer Jason Aldean abruptly stopped playing. The gunfire continued on and off for five minutes while 40,000 concert-goers attempted to flee and hide.
“Clip after clip after clip after clip, bullets flying everywhere, everybody running. It was really bad,” a witness told KNSV-TV.
EYEWITNESS: Chilling footage of moment active shooter opened fire on concert goers near Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas pic.twitter.com/7OfAwg0ReO
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) October 2, 2017
SWAT teams, police and ambulances quickly arrived on the scene. According to the New York Times, SWAT units began clearing out the hotel from the 29th floor and moving upwards in pursuit of the suspect. However, authorities say that Paddock killed himself before police could reach him.
“More than ten guns” were found in his hotel room, police said.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman tweeted a thank you to first responders and asked that people “pray for Las Vegas.”
Pray for Las Vegas. Thank you to all our first responders out there now.
— Carolyn G. Goodman (@mayoroflasvegas) October 2, 2017
Sheriff Lombardo was reluctant to label the attack as terror-related, telling press, “We have to establish what his motivation was first.
“There’s motivating factors associated with terrorism other than a distraught person just intending to cause mass casualties. Before we label with that, it’ll be a matter of process.”
The most deadly mass shooting attack in US history to date took place last June in Orlando when a Muslim gunman killed 49 people in a gay nightclub. The Las Vegas attack has replaced it as the country’s most fatal mass shooting event.