The gunman was identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, a white male, from Mesquite, Nevada, a small town about 80 miles from Las Vegas. This shooting was the worst in modern U.S. history.
SWAT teams storm his hotel room and found he had killed himself. No motives have been ascertained at this time. The shooter struck at during the last song on the last day of the concert. According to Fox reports, he had been there since last Thursday.
Country star Jason Aldean was performing at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day annual event, before a crowd of 22000. At about 10 pm Sunday night, during the last song of the evening, a series of “pops” were heard. Concert goers believed they were hearing only fireworks. Then the music stopped and the band ran for cover. Flashes could be seen from the Mandalay Bay hotel. The shooting lasted at least 10 minutes.
President Trump tweeted his condolences to the victims of the massacre, “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” Attorney General Sessions has spoken with Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardi and Homeland security is lending support to local authorities.
Nevada Governor Sandoval tweeted, “A tragic & heinous act of violence has shaken the #Nevada family. Our prayers are w/ the victims & all affected by this act of cowardice.”
According to Paddock’s brother Eric, he has no history of mental illness. ““We are completely dumbfounded,” he said. “We can’t understand what happened.”
President Trump in a late morning statement described this as an act of “pure evil.” He thanked the first responders who prevented further loss, and called their response speed “miraculous” and pledged support to the families of the victims. The flag at the White House will be flown at half-staff.
A breaking rumor is that ISIS has claimed responsibility and that Paddock was converted to Islam months ago. This is not confirmed, and may be simply hubris from ISIS.