A gunman perched on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas casino unleashed a hail of bullets on an outdoor country music festival below, killing at least 50 people as tens of thousands of concertgoers screamed and ran for their lives, officials said Monday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
More than 400 other victims were taken to the hospital, authorities said.
SWAT teams using explosives stormed the gunman’s hotel room and found he had killed himself, authorities said. He had as many as 10 guns with him, including rifles, they said.
There was no immediate word on the motive for the bloodbath.
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said authorities believe it was a “lone wolf” attack. And the U.S. Homeland Security Department said there was no “specific credible threat” involving other public venues in the U.S.
Country music star Jason Aldean was performing Sunday night at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival in front of a crowd of more than 22,000 when the gunman opened fire from inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across the street.
The gunman was identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada. He had checked into the hotel room on Thursday, authorities said. (AP)
Photo credits: David Becker/Getty Images (4), John Locher/AP (2), Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Paul Buck/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock, Ronda Churchill/AP,
Decorative sugar skulls line the the front of the colorful, four-tiered altar. Cempasúchiles in bloom are scattered between painted skeletons, unlit candles and plates of food resting on pink papel picado, an intricately designed tissue paper.
Three banners hang above the display. In the center, La Catrina, the female skeletal figure that has become an icon for the occasion, is painted with a declaration: Día De Muertos. Day of the Dead.
Adolfo Arguello came to the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C., to admire this lavish Day of the Dead altar and note the ofrendas he was missing for his altar at home. It’s the first one he and his wife, who moved to D.C. about a year ago, will have in their home – and the first Day of the Dead holiday for their 7-month-old daughter, Maia.
“I want her to understand what it means to my culture,” he says, looking at the grand display.
Day of the Dead is traditionally celebrated in Mexico on Nov. 1 and 2 – All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, respectively. Celebrants make ofrendas, or offerings, to the spirits of loved ones who have died and leave them at their gravesites or place them on makeshift altars at home.