A weekend of excitement in Las Vegas, Nevada ended in terror and chaos as a lone gunman opened fire on a crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino: a moment that will be known as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, fired multiple rounds into the crowds below his room on the 32nd floor of the hotel. CNN reports that Paddock shot and killed over 50 people and injured more than 400 before turning the weapon on himself to commit suicide only moments before authorities were able to break into his hotel room. Police found more than 10 rifles in Paddock’s hotel room, according to CNN.
The entire period of gunfire lasted about 10 minutes. Festival attendees ran, hit the ground and took cover under any protection they could find. According to NBC news reports, members of the crowd were fleeing in a panic as they saw other attendees drop to the ground just feet away from them after being shot during Paddock’s massacre.
Jason Aldean and Jake Owen were performing at the time of the shooting. The performers claimed to have taken shelter in their tour buses.
The gunman had no prior criminal history and no “derogatory information” outstanding on his record beyond a citation, according to Las Vegas Law Enforcement.
The shooter’s motives are unknown at this time, but law enforcement issued a search warrant for Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nevada — less than 100 miles from the scene of the shooting.
President Trump has issued a statement expressing his condolences for the victims of this horrific tragedy, calling the shooting an “act of pure evil” in his emergency address early Monday morning. Trump expressed his plans to visit Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Rebecca Brusseau is a news reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @r_brusseau.