At around 10 p.m. while country singer Jason Aldean was performing on the last night of the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, Stephen Paddock open fired on tens of thousands of people in the crowd. The Associated Press is calling the tragedy the ‘deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.’
The 64-year-old gunman from Mesquite, Nevada, launched the assault from his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino which was right across the street from the venue. While his motives for the shooting are still unknown, he was relentless in his execution. At least 50 people have been reported dead including two off-duty police officers. Paddock also injured over 400 people.
A SWAT team tracked Paddock down at his hotel room and used explosives to gain access. The Miami Herald reported that he committed suicide when he realized that police were closing in on him. Paddock was pronounced dead at the scene. There were no other shooters found in the room, but Yahoo News reported that as many as 10 rifles were in his suite.
— LVMPD (@LVMPD) October 2, 2017
It was believed at one point that 62-year old Marilou Danley was a person of interest in the case. They are apparently roommates. She was located out of the country and police say that Paddock used some of her identification to help pull off the crime.
Lombardo has been reluctant to label Paddock a terrorist or call the massacre a terrorist attack. The sheriff said that the man didn’t have any known connections to terrorism.
“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo said. “Right now, we believe he was the sole aggressor and the scene is static.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 2, 2017
NBC reported that Paddock lived in a Mesquite retirement community, had a pilot’s license, owned two airplanes, and had a license to hunt in Alaska. The Orlando Sentinel spoke to Paddock’s brother Eric who could shed no light on his sibling’s motives.
“We are completely dumbfounded,” Eric said. “We can’t understand what happened.”
Stay tuned to The Black Loop as the story continues to unfold.