More than 50 people are dead and over 500 people are injured after a lone gunman reportedly opened fire from a perch above the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Sunday night, according to police. The suspected shooter was reportedly shot dead by police. He is being described as a 64-year-old white male, but his name has not yet been released to the public.
One witness reports seeing other bystanders ducking for cover on the Vegas strip outside the resort as “nonstop gunfire” rang out. Meanwhile, many tourists hid in their hotel rooms.
Another witness recalled a person dying in their arms during the melee. Other injured bystanders reportedly tended to the wounded.
At the time of the shooting, a rock music was taking place across the street. Concertgoers were reportedly caught off-guard by the mayhem. They were attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, and certainly weren’t expecting a shooting.
Las Vegas Police Department said that the suspected gunman was on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. Police believe this man is a local resident of the area.
Authorities are searching for Marilou Danley, who is believed to be the companion of the shooter. Officers are also looking for two vehicles, a Hyundai Tucson and Chrysler Pacifica, both with Nevada plates. Two officers were reportedly hospitalized as a result of the shooting.
“We were just at the concert there, and Jason Aldean was playing,” said a concertgoer named Mike Cronk, 48, who is also a retired teacher. “Kinda sounded like some fireworks going off. I think there was the first kinda volley, and then all of the sudden second volley. My buddy’s like ‘I just got hit, ya know.’ He got hit three times. Then people started diving for the ground. And it just continued.”
“It was pretty much chaotic,” Cronk continued. “Lots of people got hit. …It took a while to get him out. We had to get him over the fence and hiding under the stage for a while, ya know, to be safe. And finally we had to move him because he had three chest wounds.”
Cronk and his group reportedly found an ambulance for the victim, but it was too late, “and basically the one guy ended up dying in my arms because he was bleeding,” he said. “And my buddy got in there. We got three more people in the ambulance. … But I just got a message from my buddy — and he’s going to be okay.”
Here’s a video of the madness from above…
Shooting in Las Vegas. People fleeing (video from the Mandalay Bay hotel) pic.twitter.com/hs98J5uK6T
— Eiki Hrafnsson (@EirikurH) October 2, 2017
ATF and FBI agents are responding the incident, and an investigation is currently underway. Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Police Department are recommending that people avoid the area. As a result of the shooting, flights in and out of McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas were temporary halted.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said via Twitter, “Pray for Las Vegas. Thank you to all our first responders out there now.”
One performer at the country rock concert across the street from the shooting also sent out a prayer for the city. Jason Aldean sent out an Instagram message that says, “Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still dont 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. #heartbroken #stopthehate”
Aldean also said, “Pray for Las Vegas.”
One witness, Michelle Leonard reported “mass confusion” while people fled the carnage. She was located in a booth near the main entrance, and said that the shooting just “kept going nonstop,” but also said that it seemed like it went on for more than a minute.
Leonard said that she injured her leg as she tried to escape the chaos. She said, “I had no idea of where it was coming from or where to run to.”
Here’s more raw footage of the incident…