A mass shooting has taken place at a country music concert, attended by more 40,000 people, near the famed Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, according to reports from Las Vegas police.
At least 59 people have died and nearly 527 injured. The death toll surpasses that of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando last year making it the deadliest mass shooting incident in the United States history.
Off-duty police officers are believed to be among the dead.
U.S. President Donald Trump used social media to extend condolences to what he described as a "terrible Las Vegas shooting."
My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2017
Police confirmed that one suspect – a local – was killed. Law enforcement believes it was the lone wolf attack. The suspect was shooting at concert patrons from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay.
NBC News has named the suspect as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock.
Paddock residence in Mesquite – a retirement city with a population of about 20,000 – is being searched.
The police in the area have said they have not had any interactions with the suspect, who did not have a criminal record – no calls, no arrests, no record of a traffic stop.
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas police confirmed that Marilou Danley, who was listed as a person of interest, along with the suspect's two vehicles – a Hyundai Tucson with Nevada plate number 114B40 and a Chrysler Pacifica with Nevada plate number 79D401 – have been located.
The Mandalay released a statement on their twitter account following the shooting.
One concertgoer told CNN: “We hit the floor, so everyone was just literally laying on top of each other, trying to get out of the way.
“The shots just kept coming so we were going down, and when we got down there was a man who was shot right there. They were trying to take him out, he was all bloody, and he was unconscious. One of my friends was helping him out and they got him out and we ran.”
“Everyone’s hiding everywhere, under the bleachers, anywhere they could. Everyone’s telling us to run, run as fast as you can. My husband and I ran out to our car and there were people hiding underneath my car for cover. And there was a gentleman that was shot and he said can you help me so I put him in my car, I had six people in my car. People without shoes, running just to get away.”
Horrified to learn about dead and wounded in Las Vegas. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends and the US.— SwedishPM (@SwedishPM) October 2, 2017
PM – The UK’s thoughts are with the victims and the emergency services responding to the appalling attack in Las Vegas.— UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) October 2, 2017
The Twitter accounts of Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May expressed saddest for the devastating attack on the Las Vegas strip.
A spokeswoman for University Medical Center, Danita Cohen, said the facility treated "several" people who suffered gunshot wounds.
The police cordoned off Las Vegas Boulevard. “We're investigating reports of an active shooter near/around Mandalay Bay Casino. Asking everyone to please avoid the area,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officials said in a brief statement to their Twitter.
Please avoid heading to the south end of the Strip. Las Vegas Blvd is shut down at Tropicana, southbound past Russell Rd at this time.— LVMPD (@LVMPD) October 2, 2017
The incident, which took place at about 10 p.m., caused panic among the Route 91 Harvest country music festival attendees who ran for safety.
Singer Jason Aldean was closing out the three-day festival when the shots were fired. The artist wrote on his Instagram, "Tonight has been beyond horrific," expressing he was heartbroken by the tragedy.
Route 91 and Mandalay Bay are located on the south end of the Vegas strip near the McCarran International Airport, which temporarily suspended flights to avoid compromising the police investigation.