TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+
  • SPORTS | TAMPA (FNN SPORTS) - NFL Hall of Famer Tony Dungy talks Bucs Ring of Honor, Jameis Winston and the national anthem (Photo by J Willie David, III / Florida National News)

High-rise sniper kills at least 58 at Las Vegas concert

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A gunman on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel-casino rained heavy fire down on a crowd of over 22,000 at an outdoor country music festival, turning the expanse into a killing ground from which there was little escape. At least 58 people died.

It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. In addition to the dead, at least 515 people were injured, authorities said.

Concertgoers screamed, ran in terror and scrambled for cover Sunday night in an attack that at first sounded like firecrackers to many but turned out to be dozens of bullets in rapid-fire bursts, perhaps from a fully automatic weapon.

SWAT teams using explosives stormed the gunman’s hotel room in the sleek, gold-colored glass skyscraper and found he had killed himself, authorities said.

The gunman , identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, a 64-year-old retiree from Mesquite, Nevada, had as many as 10 guns with him, including rifles, they said.

Asked about the motive for the attack, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said: “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath at this point.”

Las Vegas authorities say that 406 people were taken to hospitals and 50 of those are dead, including an off-duty Las Vegas police officer, in a mass shooting at a country music concert. (Oct. 2)

The sheriff said a check of federal and state databases showed Paddock was not on law enforcement authorities’ radar before the bloodbath.

Aaron Rouse, the FBI agent in charge in Las Vegas, said investigators saw no immediate evidence connecting the attack to an international terror organization, despite a claim of responsibility from the Islamic State group.

Country music star Jason Aldean was performing at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when the gunman in the 44-floor Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino apparently used a hammer-like device to smash out windows in his room and opened fire, the muzzle flashes visible in the dark, authorities said.

The crowd, funneled tightly into a wide-open space, had little cover and no easy way to escape. Victims fell to the ground while others fled in panic. Some hid behind concession stands, while others crawled under parked cars.

Source: Harvest Music Festival

Kodiak Yazzie, 36, said the music stopped briefly after the first shots, then started up again before a second round of pops sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.

“It was the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” Yazzie said. “You could hear that the noise was coming from west of us, from Mandalay Bay. You could see a flash, flash, flash, flash.”

Monique Dumas, of British Columbia, Canada, said she was six rows from the stage when she heard what she thought was a bottle breaking, then a popping that sounded to her like fireworks.

Couples held hands as they ran through the dirt lot. Faces were etched with shock and confusion, and people wept and screamed. Some were bloodied, and some were carried out by fellow concertgoers. Dozens of ambulances took away the wounded, while some people loaded victims into their cars and drove them to the hospital.

The shooter appeared to fire unhindered for more than 10 minutes as Las Vegas police frantically tried to locate the man in one of the Mandalay Bay hotel towers, according to radio traffic. For several minutes, officers could not tell whether the fire was coming from Mandalay Bay or the neighboring Luxor hotel.

Investigators gave few details on the weapons used, but police during the attack reported over the radio that it was fully automatic fire.

In an address to the country, President Donald Trump called the attack “an act of pure evil” and added: “In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has.” He ordered flags flown at half-staff.

Hospital emergency rooms were jammed with the wounded. Rep. Ruben Kihuen, a Democrat whose congressional district includes a portion of Las Vegas, visited a hospital and said: “Literally, every single bed was being used, every single hallway was being used. Every single person there was trying to save a life.”

Las Vegas authorities put out a call for blood donations and set up a hotline to report missing people and speed the identification of the dead and wounded. They also opened a “family reunification center” for people to find loved ones.

The dead included at least three off-duty police officers from various departments who were attending the concert, authorities said. Two on-duty officers were wounded, one critically, police said.

“It’s a devastating time,” the sheriff said.

The sheriff said authorities believe it was a “lone wolf” attack but want to talk to Paddock’s roommate, a woman Lombardo said was out of the country at the time of the attack.

Paddock’s brother, Eric Paddock, who lives in Florida, told the Orlando Sentinel: “We are completely dumbfounded. We can’t understand what happened.”

Mayor Carolyn Goodman said the attack was the work of a “crazed lunatic full of hate.”

In its claim of responsibility, the Islamic State group said the gunman was “a soldier” who had converted to Islam months ago. But it provided no evidence, and the extremist organization has been known to make unsubstantiated claims of responsibility for attacks around the word.

The Islamic State group also said it was responsible for a June attack on a Manila casino and shopping complex where 37 died, mostly from smoke inhalation — a claim rejected by authorities, who said the lone attacker was a heavily indebted Filipino gambling addict.

On Monday, the U.S. Homeland Security Department said there was no “specific credible threat” involving other public venues in the U.S.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered the support of the FBI and other federal agencies but noted that the investigation is being led by the sheriff. That was seen as another possible sign the shooting was not thought to be an act of international terrorism.

Interstate 15 was briefly closed after the attack, and flights at McCarran International Airport were suspended for a while.

Nearly every inch of the Las Vegas Strip is under video surveillance, much of it set up by the casinos to monitor their properties. That could yield a wealth of material for investigators as they try to piece together the attack.

Hours after the shooting, Aldean posted on Instagram that he and his crew were safe and that the shooting was “beyond horrific.”

“It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night,” the country star said.

Before Sunday, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place in June 2016, when a gunman who professed support for Muslim extremist groups opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people.

Sunday’s shooting came more than four months after a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people. Almost 90 people were killed by gunmen inspired by Islamic State at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris during a performance by Eagles of Death Metal in 2015.

___

This story has been corrected to give the right spelling for the last name of Kodiak Yazzie and show that the officer in critical condition was on duty at the time of the shooting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

POLITICS & POWER NEWS

National Politics

Brennan gets offers for legal action on clearance revocation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former CIA Director John Brennan said Sunday that he is considering taking…

Trump rages on Mueller following Times report:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday railed against special counsel Robert Mueller in…

White House admits error for false claim on black employment

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has acknowledged error in its false claim that President…

VIDEO: Congressman Darren Soto on Grayson's Attacks During Kissimmee Debate

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL-09) talks with Florida National News after…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

Adam Putnam Joins Gold Star Family, Supporters in Clearwater to Kick Off Day Four of Florida First Bus Tour

Clearwater, FL - Adam Putnam kicked off day four of his Florida First Bus Tour at Frankie’s…

[VIDEO] Bernie Sanders: A Victory for Andrew Gillum an Extraordinary Step for Florida and America

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Former Democratic Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont)…

City of Orlando’s Home-Sharing Ordinance Allows Residents to Rent a Portion of Their Home to Guests

ORLANDO, Fla. – In an effort to expose visitors to authentic Orlando experiences and provide…

VIDEO: Congressman Darren Soto on Grayson's Attacks During Kissimmee Debate

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL-09) talks with Florida National News after…

SPORTS NEWS

MORE SPORTS NEWS

VIDEO: Buccaneers Head Coach Koetter, Jason Pierre-Paul Talk Training Camp Improvements

TAMPA, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - On the penultimate day of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' training…

VIDEO: Tony Dungy Talks Ring of Honor, Jameis Winston and the Anthem

TAMPA, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Former Buccaneers head coach and NFL Hall of Famer Tony…

Horan Leads Portland Thorns to Huge Win in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Coming into Saturday night's game at Orlando City Stadium, the…

Buccaneers Prove Ready in First Preseason Match Against Dolphins

MIAMI, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Thursday, August 9 marked the start of the 2018 NFL…

Orlando Magic Unveil 30 Years of Pure Magic

ORLANDO, Fla. - As part of the Orlando Magic’s 30th anniversary celebration this upcoming season, the…

The Pride's Late Effort Doesn't Earn 3 Points in Draw with Sky Blue FC

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Entering Sunday night's game at home, the Orlando Pride had…

BUSINESS NEWS

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

VIDEO: Elected Officials and Business Leaders Launch the 2018 Hispanic Business Conference

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Elected officials and HCCMO trustees launched the 2018 Hispanic Business…

VIDEO: The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro-Orlando Celebrates 25 Years of Service

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro-Orlando celebrated a quarter-century…

Hispanic Chamber To Host 2018 Hispanic Business Conference in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) will celebrate…

Zignavisual Florida Announces Corporate Re-Branding, Changes Name to iUSE Photography

MIAMI, Fla. -- Zignavisual, a leading real estate photography company serving South Florida realtors since 2016, is relaunching with…

Banco do Brasil so impressed with Valencia Students that they give more money for Student Scholarships

ORLANDO, Fla.,   June 29, 2018  -  Banco do Brasil Americas will celebrate the 2018…

VIDEO: Grenada Consul General Warren Newfield Discusses the Island Nation's Growth

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Grenada Ambassador-at-Large and Consul General in Miami Warren Newfield,…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Walt Disney World Resort to Host Kickoff of ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Nationwide Bus Tour Auditions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is set to host…

Aerosmith to launch residency in Las Vegas next year

NEW YORK (AP) — Aerosmith is the latest act to head to Las Vegas to…

Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town Wow Tampa on The Bandwagon Tour

TAMPA, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Grammy, CMA, and ACM award winning artists Miranda Lambert and…

Guardians cast issues open letter in support of James Gunn

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Pratt and his fellow “Guardians of the Galaxy” castmates are…

Carnival Graveyard: Rust In Pieces Revealed As The Next Original Haunted House Come To Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights

Today, Universal Orlando Resort revealed an all-new original content haunted house coming to Halloween Horror…

New Spooky Experiences Coming to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – There are more nights and new reasons to celebrate the…

LIFESTYLE NEWS

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Walt Disney World Resort to Host Kickoff of ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Nationwide Bus Tour Auditions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is set to host…

Applications Now Open for Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Applications are being accepted now through Oct. 31, 2018, for…

Christopher Comins Donates Trauma Kits to Belle Isle Police, Launching School Safety Initiative

BELLE ISLE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Philanthropist Christopher Comins has been spotlighted in Florida National…

Carnival Graveyard: Rust In Pieces Revealed As The Next Original Haunted House Come To Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights

Today, Universal Orlando Resort revealed an all-new original content haunted house coming to Halloween Horror…

New Spooky Experiences Coming to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – There are more nights and new reasons to celebrate the…