News & Politics

The Las Vegas Massacre Is Officially the Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History

Officials report at least 50 dead, with the death toll expected to rise.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Robert Cravens

At least 50 people have died, and more than 200 have been injured after a 64-year-old man fired shots into a crowded country music festival. A motive is not yet known.

The shooting occurred on late Sunday near the end of a set by country music star Jason Aldean, part of the three-day Route 91 Harvest country music festival performance held across the Las Vegas Boulevard from the Mandalay Bay hotel. Police said that the shooter was apprehended from the 32nd floor of that hotel, which is where he died. Witnesses said that the gunfire appeared to be coming from an upper floor of the hotel.

The shooter was identified by Las Vegas police as Steven Paddock, 64. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Sheriff Joseph Lombardo has told reporters that although his department has not completed its investigation into Paddock's background, which they hope will shed light on his motives, they have located a number of weapons in Paddock's Las Vegas hotel room.

"Right now we believe it’s a solo act, a lone wolf attacker. We are pretty confident there is no longer a threat," Lombardo said.

Law enforcement officials are also searching for Marilou Danley, who is believed to have associated with Paddock. It is unclear whether Danley is the same woman who one concert attendee said on television had been ejected from the venue after shouting that everyone present was going to die.

"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 on his Instagram page.

 

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and his work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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