A gunman killed more than 50 people and wounded at least 200 others on Sunday night when he opened fire on fans at a US country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip, police said.
The gunman, who police said was a local resident identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, was killed after being “engaged” by officers who responded to report of gunfire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, a hotel-casino next to the concert venue.
“We believe the individual killed himself prior to our entry,” Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told a news conference.
He said officers found “in excess of 10 rifles” upon entering the 32nd floor hotel room from which a gunman opened fire at concertgoers below, killing at least 50 and injuring hundreds.
Revellers screamed and fled in panic as a steady stream of automatic gunfire rang out at the venue shortly after 10:00pm local time, footage captured on smart phones showed.
“We have in excess of 200-plus injured and excess of 50-plus that have died at this point,” Las Vegas Metro Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told an early morning press conference. 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 is — has expired or passed away, and is no longer a threat.”
The sheriff said they believe this was a “lone wolf” attack but said they are looking for a roommate of the dead suspect as a person of interest.
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.
Witnesses told how the gunman opened fire with an initial 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.”