In one of the deadliest shooting incident in Las Vegas, a retiree armed with multiple rifles strafed an outdoor music festival from a high rise window on Sunday. The shooting killed atleast 59 people while many were injured. He killed himself after slaughtering the 59 people. He is believed to have acted alone but the motive is not known. Police identified him as Stephen Paddock, 64, who lived in a retirement community in Nevada. He fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel into a crowd of about 22,000 people. The gunfire came in extended bursts which lasted several minutes as terrified fans desperately cowered on the ground while many tried to flee.
It is reported that more than 525 people were injured by shrapnel or gunfire, while some were trampled in the pandemonium adjacent to the LA Strip. Atleast a dozen individuals were in a critical condition at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas. The Islamic State Militant group claimed the responsibility for the massacre but the US officials said that there was no such evidence. The death toll could surpass last year’s record massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando by a gunman who pledged allegiance to an Islamic State.
Police mentioned that Paddock had no criminal record and he killed himself before police entered the hotel room. The Federal Officials have also determined that there was no evidence of his link to any militant organizations. 16 rifles were found in the room where the gunman killed himself. Some were with scopes while some appeared to have been modified to convert them into machine guns. He is said to have used a device similar to a hammer in order to smash the windows of the hotel room from which he fired. He had been staying in a two room suite and more than 10 suitcases were found there. A search of the suspect’s car turned up a supply of ammonium nitrate which is a compound used in explosive. Further, police found at least 18 additional firearms, some more explosives and thousands of ammunition at his home in Mesquite, Nevada.
The shooting which has played out across the United States in recent years has sparked an outcry from the lawmakers about the pervasiveness of guns in the United States. Nevada has some of the nation’s most permissive gun laws and does not require the owners of firearm to obtain any licenses or register their guns.
The gunfire erupted while music star Jason Aldean was on stage and the video of the attack shows a terrified crowd fleeting as the shooter took aim from a distance of 320 m. Las Vegas’s casinos, shopping and nightclubs draw more than 3.5 million visitors from across the world each year. The area was packed with visitors when the shooting started shortly after 10 pm local time. Trump said he would travel to Las Vegas to meet the victims, relatives and first responders.