Terror in Las Vegas

Noah Cloonan

At least 58 people were killed and over 500 people were injured at an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history on Oct.1.

Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada has been identified as the shooter.

Paddock was located on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino when he opened fire into a crowd of over 22,000 people on the final day of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Music Festival.

The gunshots broke out at 10:08 p.m., according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo.

Multiple witnesses say that the gunfire continued for “10-15 minutes.”

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval described the scene in Las Vegas as a “war zone.”

The panic occurred at the height of the concert while Jason Aldean, the headline singer, was performing.

Paddock was shooting out of the window in his room that police say he broke out with a hammer-like device, according to Lombardo. Police were able to locate the room that Paddock was in on the 32nd floor of the hotel and were able to respond with force at 11:20 p.m.

The SWAT team that was on the scene breached the door and upon entering the room found Paddock had been killed and authorities believe that he had killed himself.

Police searched the room and found 23 rifles. So far, there has been no evidence that Paddock obtained the weapons in an illegal manner, but authorities say that the guns were altered from semi-automatic rifles to perform as fully automatic.

The motive of the shooting is not yet known, but authorities have said that there appears to be no link to a foreign terror group.

Paddock rented two rooms and had been staying at Mandalay Bay since Sept. 28. Police are searching security footage to see verify that he was working alone.

Lombardo said that the department had no prior knowledge of Paddock or his intentions.

“We had no knowledge of this individual,” Lombardo said in a statement to the press. “I don’t know how it could have been prevented.”

The home where Paddock had been living was located in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada. The home was searched after the attack and there was a variety of weapons and ammunition found in the home according to sources.

Paddock’s father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, was on the FBI’s most wanted list from June 10, 1969 until May 5, 1977 for bank robberies. Benjamin Paddock died a few years ago, according to his son, Eric Paddock.

President Trump commented on Twitter immediately following the attack saying, “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!”

Trump also ordered the White House to fly their flag at half staff until Oct. 6 and hosted a moment of silence on the afternoon of Oct. 2.

Aldean turned to Instagram to comment on the massacre.

“Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still don’t know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that me and my crew are safe. 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,” Aldean wrote.

Aldean is scheduled to continue his tour in Columbus, OH at the Schottenstein Center on Oct. 19.