LAS VEGAS — A gunman perched high on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas Strip casino unleashed a shower of bullets down onto an outdoor country music festival, killing 58 people and leaving 527 others injured as thousands of frantic concert-goers screamed and ran for their lives, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Monday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
President Trump called the attack “an act of pure evil” and said the FBI and Department of Homeland Security were working with local authorities in the investigation. Mr. Trump spoke with Nevada’s governor and the mayor and sheriff of Las Vegas, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. Mr. Trump observed a moment of silence for the victims Monday afternoon and was to travel Wednesday to Las Vegas.
Officials said Tuesday afternoon that all but three victims had been identified.
The gunman has been identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada. While the investigation into his motives continues, the FBI special agent in charge in Las Vegas, Aaron Rouse, said Monday that investigators had found “no connection with an international terrorist group.” Late Monday evening, officials said there were no known threats in the Las Vegas area, according to Las Vegas Asst. Sheriff Todd Fasulo.
Responding to a question from CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell, Lombardo said video cameras were found both inside and outside the hotel room the gunman used for the shooting. Lombardo said he anticipates Paddock was “looking for anybody coming to take him into custody.” Lombardo said he was not aware of any transmissions from the cameras.
A hotel security guard who approached the room during the rampage was shot through the door and wounded in the leg. Lombardo called his actions “heroic.”
As part of the investigation, authorities are evaluating more than 60 body camera videos, along with common space cameras. Based upon the amount of ammunition and evidence found at the scene, police say they believe the incident was a “premeditated” shooting.
Lombardo released body cam footage at a Tuesday evening press conference that showed the terror from the scene.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said 47 weapons had been recovered from the hotel room, Paddock’s residences in Mesquite and Verdi, Nevada. Paddock had devices attached to 12 weapons that enable semiautomatic rifles to mimic fully automatic gunfire, ATF special agent in charge Jill Schneider confirmed. The little-known devices, called “bump stocks,” have been around for less than a decade, and Schneider said officials had determined they were legal.
The device basically replaces the gun’s shoulder rest with a “support step” that covers the trigger opening. By holding the pistol grip with one hand and pushing forward on the barrel with the other, the shooter’s finger comes in contact with the trigger. The recoil causes the gun to buck back and forth, “bumping” the trigger. Technically, that means the finger is pulling the trigger for each round fired, keeping the weapon a legal semi-automatic.
Authorities said loved ones or friends can call 1-800-536-9488 to report anyone missing in the wake of the fatal shooting. Anyone in the Las Vegas area who would like to report information related to the shooting should contact authorities by dialing 311.
During a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, authorities announced a GoFundMe account that has been set up to assist the victims of the shooting has surpassed $3.7 million.
Country music star Jason Aldean was performing Sunday night at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival when the gunman opened fire across the street from inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. On Tuesday, Aldean canceled his upcoming shows for the weekend.
Police and SWAT teams quickly descended on the concert and the casino, and officers used explosives to get into the hotel room where the suspect was inside, authorities said. Officials said Paddock shot and killed himself before a SWAT team breached the door.
The shooter: Stephen Paddock
Investigators are still trying to discern the motive of gunman Stephen Paddock and retrace the steps that led to his deadly rampage.
Authorities recovered a total of 42 guns belonging to the shooter — at least 23 firearms were found in his Mandalay Bay hotel suite, Fasulo said Monday evening, and an additional 19 guns were found in a search of his home in Mesquite.
Owners of at least three gun stores in Nevada and Utah said they legally sold a total of six firearms to Paddock, including a reported handgun, two shotguns and three rifles, CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues reports.
“He was visiting all the local firearm shops, is what he told everybody,” said Chris Michel, owner of Dixie GunWorx in St. George, Utah.
Lombardo said authorities found explosives and several thousand rounds of ammo along with some electronic devices that police were still evaluating Monday night.
Earlier, officials said they discovered ammonium nitrate, an explosives component, in his vehicle.
Paddock brought the weapons into the hotel himself and used “a device similar to a hammer” to break the window before he began firing, Lombardo said.
At casinos over the weekend, he used the ID of his girlfriend, 62-year-old Marilou Danley, who had worked at a Reno casino for three years, Pegues reports.
At a press conference Tuesday, Lombardo said Danley was in the Philippines. She was not in Las Vegas at the time of the shooting, but Lombardo described her as a person of interest in the investigation, and said investigators have questions for her when she returns from overseas.
A law enforcement source said authorities have located her, but it was unclear how cooperative she has been, CBS News producers Pat Milton and Andy Triay report. Late Tuesday evening, a U.S. official told CBS News that Danley had arrived back in the U.S. and was met at the airport in Los Angeles by FBI agents.
It was still unclear whether she had agreed to be interviewed by authorities and, if so, when that interview might take place. The Las Vegas police say Danley is still considered a “person of interest.”
Records show that Paddock had been married twice, in 1977 and in 1985, to different women in Southern California. Both marriages ended in divorce, although it was unclear when.
CBS News has confirmed that Paddock was employed with the U.S. government at the Postal Service and IRS over a span of 10 years. Paddock worked off and on for the USPS from 1975-1976, and full-time a letter carrier from 1976-1978, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. He worked for the IRS from 1978-1984 and worked in auditing for the Defense Contract Audit Agency from 1984-85.
Lombardo said Paddock was not known to law enforcement in Las Vegas.
His brother, Eric Paddock, told reporters Monday that the gunman was a multimillionaire who made much of his money investing in real estate. He said his brother was an accountant for many years and he wasn’t aware of him having financial difficulties. In fact, he said in a second news conference at his Florida home on Tuesday, Stephen Paddock had provided money to help family members including their elderly mother live comfortable lives.
“Steve took care of the people he loved. He helped make me and my family wealthy. He’s the reason I was able to retire. This is the Steve we know, we knew. The people he loved and took care of,” Eric Paddock said. He also described his brother as “intelligent” and “successful.”
A law enforcement source confirmed Tuesday that investigators are looking into whether Stephen Paddock may have planned an earlier attack at a concert in Las Vegas in September, CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton reports. The source said investigators are looking at whether he may have first had his sights on the “Life is Beautiful” festival on Sept 22 to Sept. 24. This year’s three-day festival featured numerous concerts including Chance The Rapper.
The source, who was briefed on the police investigation, said Paddock had apparently tried to get a room at the Ogden condo hotel and another hotel in downtown Las Vegas, but apparently the specific suites he requested were booked. The source speculated that Paddock may had been seeking rooms that were strategically located to launch an attack.
The U.S. Homeland Security Department says there is no “specific credible threat” involving other public venues in the U.S. after the shooting.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed on Monday that Paddock had recently converted to Islam and was acting on behalf of the group, but offered no evidence. U.S. officials dispute that claim, telling CBS News there are no signs that Paddock had ties to radical Islamic groups or showed signs of being radicalized.
Country star Jason Aldean was in the middle of a song when the shots came rapidly: Pop-pop-pop-pop. Video of the shooting then showed Aldean stopping and the crowd getting quiet as if they were unsure of what had just happened. The gunman paused and then fired another volley of muzzle flashes from the gold glass casino as more victims fell to the ground while others fled in panic. Some said they hid behind concession stands and other crawled under parked cars.
Authorities say Paddock fired at the crowd for nine minutes.
Gail Davis, who was at the Las Vegas outdoor country music concert Sunday night, witnessed the terrifying scene.
“We went there to see Jason Aldean,” she said. “We were standing, like, maybe halfway up. He came on and about 20 to 10, he sang about five songs and all of a sudden we heard about three or four little pop, pop, pops, and everybody looked around and said, ‘Oh, it’s just firecrackers.’ And then we heard pop, pop, pop, and it just kept going and going, and my husband said, ‘That’s not firecrackers. That sounds like a semi-automatic rifle.’ And then everybody started screaming and started to run.
“I looked over to my right where this girl had been standing right beside me, and she had fallen — first, she stood there and she grabbed her stomach and she looked at her hands and her hands were all bloody, and she was wearing, like, a little crop top and, you know, blue jean shorts and cowboy boots, and she looked at her hands and her hands were bloody, and she just kind of screamed and she just fell back.”
Kodiak Yazzie, 36, said the music stopped temporarily when the first shots began and the tune even started up again before the second round of pops sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.
“It was the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” Yazzie said. “You could hear that the noise was coming from west of us, from Mandalay Bay. You could see a flash-flash-flash-flash.”
Chris Bethel, who was staying two floors down from the 32nd floor, told CBS News’ John Blackstone “the walls and the windows were vibrating. You could feel the compression, the sound.”
“I haven’t had any sleep. I close my eyes — I relive the moment,” Bethel said.
Thousands in the crowd fled, or tried to. Monique Dumas from British Columbia, Canada, said she was at the concert, six rows from the stage when she thought she heard a bottle breaking, and then a burst of popping sounds that sounded like fireworks. She said as she made her way out it was “organized chaos” as everyone fled. “It took four to five minutes and all that time there was gunfire.”
“It’s a devastating time,” Sheriff Lombardo said.
Police shut down the usually busy Las Vegas Boulevard and authorities across the state and federal ranks converged onto the scene as dozens of ambulances ferried those struck by gunfire. Nearby Interstate 15 and flights at McCarran International Airport were briefly closed. Hospital emergency rooms were jammed with victims delivered by ambulance. Others loaded the wounded into their cars and drove them to hospitals.
Jose Baggett, 31, of Las Vegas, said he and a friend were in the lobby of the Luxor hotel-casino — directly north of the festival — when people began to run, almost like in a stampede. He said people were crying and as he and his friend started walking away minutes later, they encountered police checkpoints where officers were carrying shotguns and assault rifles.
“There were armored personnel vehicles, SWAT vehicles, ambulances, and at least a half-mile of police cars,” Baggett said.
Among those killed were two off-duty police officers who were attending the concert. Two on-duty officers were wounded, including one who underwent surgery and was upgraded to stable condition early Monday, police said.
Hours after the shooting, Aldean posted on Instagram that he and his crew were safe and said the shooting was “beyond horrific.”
“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 said.
The shooting prompted reactions from politicians on both sides of the aisle in Washington and around the country.
President Trump said the nation must stay unified, and that although we “feel such great anger at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens, it is our love that binds us today and always will.”
“In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has,” Mr. Trump said Monday morning at the White House. “Our unity cannot be shattered by evil” and “our bonds cannot be broken by violence.”
Mr. Trump also issued a proclamation ordering flags be flown at half-staff until sunset Oct. 6. The proclamation covers flags at the White House and all public buildings, military posts, naval stations and naval vessels throughout the U.S. and all territories. It also extends to embassies, military facilities and other sites overseas.
At the daily White House briefing on Monday afternoon, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said now is not the time to talk about gun control.
“There’s a time and place for a political debate, but now is the time to unite as a country,” Sanders said. She said Mr. Trump is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise says he agrees with Mr. Trump that the shooting was “an act of pure evil.”
Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, returned to the Capitol last week after he was shot and critically wounded in June as he and fellow Republicans practiced for a congressional baseball game. Scalise said he prays for the victims of the shooting and that the whole nation grieves with their loved ones.
Scalise encouraged people across America to stand together in solidarity to support the Las Vegas community, “especially by giving blood and encouraging others to do the same. In the face of unspeakable evil, our whole nation must respond with countless acts of kindness, warmth and generosity.”
However, other leaders refused to separate the tragedy of the Las Vegas shooting from the contentious issue of guns in America.
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut said it’s time for Congress to take action. Murphy, a leading gun-control proponent, said mass shootings had become an “epidemic” in America.
“It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren’t public policy responses to this epidemic,” he said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said in a statement: “Today, our nation woke up to news of the worst mass shooting in our history, claiming the lives of at least 58 innocent men and women in Las Vegas. Nearly 12,000 Americans have been killed by guns in 273 mass shootings in 2017 – one for each day of the year.”
She urged House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, to create a Select Committee on Gun Violence to come up with “common sense legislation to help end this crisis.”
However, action in the Republican-controlled Congress is unlikely.
House Speaker Paul Ryan ordered flags over the Capitol lowered to half-staff and said “the whole country stands united in our shock, in our condolences and in our prayers.”