At least 59 people are dead and hundreds are injured after a Nevada man wielding an automatic weapon opened fire on an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas from a top floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Sunday night. The massacre is now the deadliest mass shooting* in modern U.S. history.
In a press release on Monday morning, police said that at least 406 people had been taken to the hospital following the shooting. That number was later changed to 515. The death toll also rose from 50 to 59.
There were an estimated 22,000 people at the concert.
Shortly after midnight local time, Las Vegas police announced that one suspect was down and no other shooters are believed to have been involved. Police said on Monday that the suspect, who has been identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, was found dead in his hotel room after several SWAT teams stormed the hotel and worked their way up to the 32nd floor, where the shots were coming from.
A Las Vegas police officer later told CNN that there were at least eight guns and a number of rifles in the suspect’s hotel room. Another former officer told CBS News that the suspect’s position was given away because there was so much smoke coming from his gun that it triggered the room’s smoke detectors.
Country singer Jason Aldean was on stage at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, a three-day outdoor country music festival, when the rampage began. In videos of the concert posted to social media, bursts of gunfire can be heard ringing out beginning just around 10 p.m. local time.
Warning: the following clips and images are disturbing.
As CNN reported on air Monday morning, police were speaking with a person of interest they had sought, a woman who was apparently a companion of Paddock’s named Marilou Danley. Police described Paddock as the “primary aggressor.”
Law enforcement were also carrying out a search warrant of Paddock’s room at the Mandalay Bay Resort, according to CNN, where a SWAT team reportedly used explosives to break down the door and kill the suspect after the shooting began. Another warrant is being executed at Paddock’s residence.
Not much is currently known about Paddock, except that he had no prior contact with police, a rarity for suspects accused of carrying out acts of mass violence. The victims’ names have not yet been released.
Aldean, who was performing for the last night of the festival, posted a message to the public on his Instagram account.
“It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night,” he wrote.
On Twitter, President Trump offered “warmest condolences and sympathies” after being briefed on the situation, according to a White House press pool report.
Update, 11:02 AM: In a televised addressed Monday morning, Trump called the shooting “an act of pure evil” and praised the life-saving work of local first responders.
Trump also ordered that “our great flag” be flown at half-mast to honor those who were killed and emphasized that Americans’ “bonds of citizenship” will unite the country in the wake of this tragedy. He said he would visit Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Update, 6:36 PM: Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said on Monday afternoon that the death toll had risen from from 58 to 59 victims. The number of injured has also risen from 515 to 527.
*Some context on naming any mass shooting as the “deadliest” in U.S. history: as the National Association of Black Journalists noted following the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, more than 100 black people were gunned down in the East St. Louis Massacre in 1917, and more than 100 black residents were gunned down in an 1873 mass shooting in Colfax, Virginia.
Going further back in our nation’s bloody history, some 250 Native Americans were killed by U.S. troops at Wounded Knee in the late 1800s and 300 died at the hands of a white mob in the Tulsa Massacre.
This is a developing story and is being updated. For more news from Splinter, follow us on Facebook.