In what is being termed as the deadliest mass shooting in the US history, a gunman killed at least 59 people and wounded more than 500 at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, raining down rapid fire from the 32nd floor of a hotel for several minutes before he was shot dead by police. Police warned the death toll may rise. The area was packed with visitors when the shooting broke out shortly after 10 pm local time (0400 GMT).
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack but according to authorities the gunman had no apparent connections to international terror groups. As reported by Reuters, the Las Vegas shooter converted to Islam months ago, said the Islamic State news agency Amaq. Empathising with those who lost their lives, US President Donald Trump said the shooting ‘was an act of pure evil’.
Las Vegas shooting highlights:
4:37 pm: Vegas hospitals overwhelmed as dozens slain, scores hurt. US President Donald Trump heads to Puerto Rico to survey damage.
12.50 pm: Warner Brothers cancelled the red carpet for the Hollywood premiere of “Blade Runner 2049”, in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. In a statement to Entertainment Weekly the studio said, “In light of the tragic events of last night, Warner Bros. Pictures, Sony Pictures, and Alcon Entertainment are cancelling the red carpet for tomorrow’s screening of ‘Blade Runner 2049’. We join the rest of the country in sending heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all those affected by this tragedy.”
12.30 pm: Police is still looking for clues to explain why a retiree with a penchant for gambling but no criminal record set up a sniper’s nest in a high-rise Las Vegas hotel and poured gunfire onto a concert below, slaying dozens of people before killing himself.
12.10 pm: The American flag is being flown at half-staff at all public buildings across the nation in the wake of the mass shooting.
11.50 pm: Comics with late-night shows decried the Las Vegas mass shooting as a confoundingly repetitive American tragedy, with Jimmy Kimmel and Trevor Noah lashing out at politicians who oppose gun control. “When someone with a beard attacks us, we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls. We take every possible precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Kimmel said. “But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans then there’s nothing we can do about that [because] the second amendment, I guess. Our forefathers wanted us to have AK-47s is the argument, I assume.”
11.30 pm: James Cabrera and his wife, Sonia Pena, drove to Las Vegas from La Habra, California, overnight after their 21-year-old daughter Jessica called them from the music festival. Jessica yelled, “They’re shooting at us. People are falling, I love you!,” Cabrera recalled. Later they learned their daughter escaped unharmed and hid in a bathroom overnight at the MGM hotel until morning.
11.10 pm: Jake Owen, the country singer who was playing at the Las Vegas music festival where the mass shooting took place, said there was chaos for a “pure seven to 10 minutes.” News agency PTI quoted Owen: “We were literally standing 50 feet from where Jason (Aldean) was on stage, and all of a sudden, you heard what sounded — you know, it was kind of a thing where you were like, ‘Is that gunfire?’ And it just got faster and faster, almost it was an automatic rifle. You could hear it ringing off the top of the rafters of the stage. That’s when you saw people fleeing. At that point, people on stage just started running everywhere possible. And it was pretty chaotic, for sure.”
10.50 am: Terror outfit Islamic State claimed the gunman was “a soldier” from its ranks who had converted to Islam months ago. In a statement released by the group’s news agency Aamaq, IS named the purported attacker as “Abu Abd el-Bar al-Amriki (the American),” saying he responded to calls by the group’s top leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to “target the countries of the Crusader coalition” battling the extremist group in Iraq and Syria. Authorities said they haven’t found any evidence of a connection between Paddock and the terror group so far.
10.30 am: The gunman, 64-year-old retired accountant Stephen Craig Paddock, killed himself before officers stormed Room 135 in the gold-colored glass skyscraper. The avid gambler who, according to his brother, made a small fortune investing in real estate had been staying there since Thursday and had busted out windows to create his sniper’s perch roughly 500 yards from the concert grounds, AP reported.
10.15 am: Religious leaders, elected officials and mourners have gathered at multiple prayer vigils in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman spoke to mourners in the setting sun Monday evening outside the downtown City Hall. Several faith leaders led the group in prayer. The crowd later joined in song and held candles. Several miles away at a cathedral off the Las Vegas Strip, mourners and casino workers gathered to honor the victims and first responders. The vigils were among a number of memorials being held around the city, Associated Press reported.
10.10 am: The Eiffel Tower went dark last night in tribute to the victims of the attacks in Las Vegas and Marseille. “Tonight we will turn off the Eiffel Tower from midnight in homage to the victims of the attacks in Marseille and Las Vegas,” Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo wrote, adding the hashtag “we are united”.
10.09 am: Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock had 23 guns in his hotel room. Two officials familiar with the investigation told the AP that Paddock had two bump stocks. They are investigating whether those stocks were used to modify weapons used in the massacre, according to the officials, who were briefed by law enforcement and spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still unfolding.
9.40 am: Among those killed in the mass shooting at Las Vegas was a police records technician. According to Manhattan Beach Police Department, Parker breathed her last in the hospital. “She was employed with the Manhattan Beach Police Department for 10 years and will be greatly missed,” the department said in a statement. She was among the four department employees who were attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival while off-duty. Another personnel suffered minor injuries.
8.45 am: Prayer vigils were organised at various places in honour of those affected by the Las Vegas shotting.
8.00 am: Authorities have said that the gunman attached what is called a ‘bump-stock’ to two of his weapons, which converted the semi-automatic firearms into fully automatic ones. A semi-automatic round requires a trigger pull for each round fired, whereas in an automatic rifle, one trigger pull can unleash continuous rounds until the magazine is empty.
6.30 am: Here is what we know so far about the Las Vegas shooting incident:
In the deadliest mass shooting incident in modern US history, a lone gunman armed with multiple assault rifles opened fire at an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay hotel into a crowd of 22,000 people, slaughtering 59 and injuring over 525. He then killed himself.
The gunman has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, who lived in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada. Although Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the massacre, US officials have said there is no evidence confirming the same. The motive behind the attack is also unknown.
The most seriously injured victims were sent to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where at least a dozen people are in critical condition.
03:45 am: Speaking during a press briefing, Sheriff says that the death toll has climbed to 59 people. At least 527 people injured in Vegas shooting. He also said that the gunman had ammonium nitrate in his car.
03:25 am: The investigating officials say that at least 17 guns were found in Las Vegas shooter’s hotel room, also devices to convert guns to automatic fire.
02:00 am: Brother of the slain gunman says that the Las Vegas shooter was multi-millionaire real estate investor, reports AP
12:58 am: The US government confirmed that there is no credible evidence of a threat to other public venues of the country. The officials are taking extra precautions in and around the country to maintain an increased level of security.
12:33 am: According to the FBI, the gunman is believed to have no connection to any international terror group, the BBC news reported.
12:25 am: British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed condolences for the victims of mass shooting in Las Vegas in a telephonic conversation with US President Donald Trump. Trump thanked the immediate responders for their actions. Meanwhile Canadian President Juustin Trudeay also offered his deepest condolences to those who lost lives in the deadly shooting.
“We stand with the United States, and share their pain and horror at such a senseless and cowardly act of violence,” he said. “Las Vegas has long been celebrated by people from around the globe, including many Canadians. We grieve with this city and the United States. Such acts only strengthen our resolve to stand together, united. This city is a destination for people from around the world, and we are following up on reports of Canadian victims. Consular officials are in close contact with local authorities,” Trudeau added
11:34 pm: Paying tribute to the Las Vegas shooting victims, the Eiffel tower will go dark tonight, said the Paris Mayor as quoted by news agency AFP.
11:24 pm: Deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas was ” shocking in its cruelty,” expressed Russian President Vladimir Putin in a message to US President Donald Trump. “The crime that has taken the lives of tens of peacefu civilians is shocking in its cruelty,” Putin said according to a statement from the Kremlin, reported AFP.
11:04 pm: Following the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the stocks of US casino has fallen, reports Reuters.
09.45 pm: Aware of Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for Las Vegas shooting but advise caution on jumping to conclusions, says CIA
09.30 pm: The FBI says, “No connection has been found between Las Vegas shooter and an internatoinal terrorist group”
09.00 pm: Death toll in the attack has increased to at least 58 and the 515 people have been wounded, says Las Vegas Sheriff
08.22 pm: Donald Trump orders flag to fly at half mast after Las Vegas shooting. He says, shooting ‘was an act of pure evil’.
08.00 pm: Our Consulate in San Fransisco continues to monitor the situation on a real time basis. No reports have been received of any Indian nationals amongst those affected in the Las Vegas shooting incident: MEA Spokesperson
07.30 pm: The Islamic State claims responsibility for Las Vegas shooting. Las Vegas shooter converted to Islam months ago, says Islamic State news agency Amaq
07.00 pm: Pope Francis has called the killing of more than 50 people by a gunman in Las Vegas a “senseless tragedy”. “Deeply saddened to learn of the shooting in Las Vegas, Pope Francis sends the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all those affected by this senseless tragedy,” said a message sent to the Roman Catholic bishop of the Nevada city.
06.30 pm: Las Vegas Police say 406 people have been transported to area hospitals after concert attack
06.00 pm: No ‘specific credible threat’ to other public venues in US after Las Vegas shooting, says Homeland Security
05.25 pm: Reacting to the incident, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was horrified by the attack and said the country stood ready to help however it could. “I am horrified by the awful attack at a music festival in Las Vegas this morning,” he said in a statement. “The United Kingdom stands with the American people against this indiscriminate violence. My thoughts are with all those caught up in it.” “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is in contact with Las Vegas authorities to establish whether any British people were caught up in the attack and we are ready to help however we can.”
5.01 pm: Two on-duty LVMPD officers were injured during the shooting. One is in stable condition after surgery and the other sustained minor injuriesL Las Vegas police
4.40 pm: President Donald Trump offers his condolences over the loss of many lives. “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!,” he tweeted.
4.20 pm: News agency AFP, citing police, has named the Las Vegas gunman as Stephen Paddock.
4.09 pm: BREAKING Police say over 50 people were killed in the shooting and over 200 others injured.
“We have located the vehicles in question, and we are confident we have located the female person of interest,” said Las Vegas police.
3.45 pm: Schools in Clark County District have been given the go ahead by security officials to reopen. The Clark County School District statement on twitter said: “students & employees directly affected by the tragedy on The Strip will be excused” attending classes.
03.30 pm: The Governor of Nevada took to Twitter to offer his condolences and prayers.
A tragic & heinous act of violence has shaken the #Nevada family. Our prayers are w/ the victims & all affected by this act of cowardice.
— Governor Sandoval (@GovSandoval) October 2, 2017
3.00 pm: British Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain’s thoughts are with the victims of what she called an “appalling attack” in Las Vegas, where a gunman opened fire at a country music festival. “The UK’s thoughts are with the victims and the emergency services responding to the appalling attack in Las Vegas,” May said in a post on her official Twitter feed.
2.30 pm: Las Vegas police are currently on the lookout for two vehicles — Hyundai Tucson Nevada (114B40) and a Chrysler Pacifica Nevada (79D401) — associated with the shooter.
2:12 pm: Las Vegas sheriff says more than 20 people dead and more than 100 people injured at concert attack, according to the AP.
1.35 pm: At least 14 of the 24 injured are said to be critical, according to the BBC.
1.24 pm: Meanwhile, limited flight activity has resumed at McCarran International Airport in Nevada.
1.10 pm: Las Vegas police tweeted a statement: “At this time we do not believe there are any more shooters.”
1.00 pm: Jake Brown, a singer who performed at the three-day music festival, said his heart goes out to Vegas.
“Hearts out to Vegas. Route 91 concert, stage I played two nights ago. Musicians, fans, workers, you are all in our prayers right now..,” he tweeted.
Another fellow performer, Lee Brice tweeted: “Praying for everyone here in Vegas. I witnessed the most unimaginable event tonight. We are okay. Others arent. Please pray.”
This world is sick 😔
— Kane Brown (@kanebrown) October 2, 2017
12.52 pm: For those just joining us, here is a quick recap. The shooting happened on the last day of the Route 91 Harvest festival. Police confirmed that one of the suspects is down. However, two people were killed and 24 others are being treated for gun wounds. Unconfirmed reports suggest that another suspect is currently holed up inside the nearby Mandalay Bay Casino.
12.42 pm: It appears one of the suspects is holed up inside the Mandalay Bay Casino. Gunfire can be heard from the upper floor of the hotel-cum-casino. Police are investigating.
12.29 pm: Las Vegas police: “Confirming that one suspect is down. This is an active investigation. Again, please do not head down to the Strip at this time.”
12.20 pm: The Vegas police made an appeal to media not to “livestream or share tactical positions” of security forces.
12.15 pm: BREAKING Two people were killed and 24 injured in the shooting, according to the BBC.
12.10 pm: UPDATE: “Flights in and out of McCarran Airport have been temporarily halted in response to reported shooting incident on Las Vegas Strip.”
12.05 pm: Flights heading towards the McCarran Airport in Las Vegas are being diverted..
11.58 am: CNN is reporting that multiple people are being treated at a nearby hospital for gunshot wounds.
11.55 am: The official Twitter handle of Las Vegas police asked people to avoid the south end of the strip. “Please avoid heading to the south end of the Strip. Las Vegas Blvd is shut down at Tropicana, southbound past Russell Rd at this time,” it tweeted.
11.50 am: The BBC is reporting that a gunman open fired at a country music festival being at the famous strip.