Over 50 killed in Vegas shooting, gunman identified as Stephen Paddock

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NEVADA: A gunman opened fire at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, killing more than 50 people and wounding more than 200 others before the suspect was killed by police.

Police named gunman Stephen Paddock as being a local Las Vegas man who acted alone, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said at a briefing.

But authorities were seeking an Asian female who police described as a companion of the suspect, he said. They said that rumours of other shootings in the area were false. Off-duty police were believe to be among the victims.

Witnesses on social media said the shooting broke out on the last night of the three-day Route 91 Harvest festival, a sold-out event attended by thousands and featuring top acts such as Eric Church, Sam Hunt and Jason Aldean.

US media, including Fox News, reported that Aldean was performing on Sunday night when the rampage began but that he had been bundled safely off stage at the event outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in the Nevada gambling mecca.

“Confirming that one suspect is down. This is an active investigation. Again, please do not head down to the Strip at this time,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said on Twitter.

Police said on Twitter that at this time they did not believe there are any more shooters.

Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known primarily for its gambling, shopping and entertainment. Video on the festival’s website showed stage set up outside the front of the Mandalay Bay.

The hotel is near McCarran International Airport, which said on Twitter it had temporarily halted flights after the shooting. Later, the airport said that some flights had resumed.

One Twitter user posted that the casino hotel was on lockdown, while another, citing police scanners, said two gunmen who had shot at a bodyguard and police were on the 32nd floor, although there was no confirmation from police.

Video clips posted online showed what sounded like automatic weapons as panicked concertgoers fled or dropped to the ground screaming.

Witnesses heard numerous gunshots at the hotel, where police tactical teams were searching for the attacker, according to reports on CNN and in the New York Times.

 

 

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