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Las Vegas shooting leaves more than 50 dead

UNITED STATES: Police have revealed that more than 50 people were killed at Las Vegas concert after a lone gunman they named as Stephen Paddock opened fire on thousands of fans at a country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday night (Oct 1).

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By AFP

Monday 2 October 2017, 05:57PM


A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer stands in the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Ave. after the mass shooting at a country music festival nearby. Photo: AFP

A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer stands in the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Ave. after the mass shooting at a country music festival nearby. Photo: AFP

More than 100 others were wounded when he opened fire, police have confirmed, in what media are already calling “the deadliest mass shooting in US history.”

Police earlier today said Paddock was killed after being “engaged” by officers who responded to reports of multiple gunfire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, a hotel-casino next to the concert venue in the gambling hub.

Revelers screamed and fled in panic as a steady stream of automatic gunfire rang out at the venue shortly after 10pm local time – about midday, today (Oct 2) Phuket time – footage captured on smart phones showed.

“We have in excess of 100-plus injured and excess of 20-plus that have died at this point,” Las Vegas Metro Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told an early morning press conference, before the death toll was reconfirmed as “more than 50”.

Two of those killed are believed to be off-duty police officers, said Lombardo.

“This is an ongoing investigation, but we are comfortable that the primary aggressor in this event… has expired or passed away, and is no longer a threat,” he added.

Thousands of fans were attending the concert next to the Mandalay Bay which was part of a three-day country music festival known as Route 91.

Like firecrackers’

Witnesses told how the gunman opened fire with an initial long burst, and then appeared to reload as he continued his spree.

“We heard (what) sounded like a glass breaking, so you looked around to see what’s going on and then heard a pop, pop, pop,” Monique Dekerf told CNN.

“You’d think for a moment okay we’re fine, there’s no more gunfire, then it starts again.”

Her sister Rachel said it sounded like “the shots were coming from the right side… it sounded like they were right beside us too… it was right there.”

Best-selling country singer Jason Aldean was on stage and near the end of his concert when the shooting began.

“We were watching the concert having a great time, then we heard what sounded like firecrackers,” witness Joe Pitz told the local Las Vegas Sun news outlet.

“I guess it was an automatic weapon going off but it literally sounded like firecrackers.

“Then soon enough there was commotion on the Mandalay Bay side of the stage. They were motioning for medics to come and safety people to come and Jason Aldean ran off the stage.

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“Everybody in the vicinity went down. I don't know if they were ducking or if they were but it was chaos.”

Beyond horrific’

It was the deadliest shooting in the United States since 49 people were killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida in June 2016.

It was also the latest in a series of recent deadly attacks at concert venues.

Twenty-two people were killed while leaving a concert in the northern English city of Manchester in May when a suicide bomber detonated a nail bomb in the foyer.

Ninety people were killed in November 2015 at the Bataclan venue in Paris during a concert by the US band the Eagles of Death Metal.

Earlier today, Lombardo would not release Paddock’s name, but told reporters that he had been identified and is a local resident.

The sheriff, however, issued an appeal for information about his female traveling companion, identified as Marilou Danley.

“We have not located her at this time and we are interested in talking to her for follow-up,” Lombardo said.

“We are pretty confident there is no longer a threat other than we are attempting to locate the person of interest.

“It’s on ongoing investigation. Right now, we believe he is the sole aggressor at this point.”

A shocked Aldean told his fans via Instagram that he and his band was safe.

“Tonight has been beyond horrific,” the singer wrote.

“I still don’t know what to say… My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight.

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

 

 

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Foot | 02 October 2017 - 18:26:50

I lived in Las Vegas for 15 years before retiring to Thailand.

In my opinion, I don't think the name or information should be made public if the terrorist is killed.  Many do what they do for the publicity or, in their warped minds, become some sort of martyr.  I do understand the need to do so if not killed.

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