A gunman firing from a Las Vegas hotel rained a rapid-fire barrage on a huge concert festival outside, sending thousands of people fleeing until SWAT units found and killed him. More than 20 people died and more than 100 others were injured, officials said.
The shooting happened near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Video posted online showed the country singer Jason Aldean performing outside the hotel at Route 91 Harvest, a country music festival, interrupted by the sound of automatic gunfire. The music stopped, and concertgoers ducked for cover. “Get down,” one shouted. “Stay down,” screamed another.
Several SWAT teams were sent to the hotel immediately after the first reports of the shooting at 10:08 p.m., and officers reported being pinned down by gunfire, according to emergency radio traffic. Shortly before midnight the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reported that “one suspect is down,” and soon thereafter the police said they did not believe there were any more active gunmen.
Confirming that one suspect is down. This is an active investigation. Again, please do not head down to the Strip at this time.
At this time we do not believe there are any more shooters. More information to come shortly from @Sheriff_LVMPD.
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of Clark County told reporters early Monday morning that more than 20 people were killed and “well in excess of 100-plus injured.” He did not identify the dead gunman, but he said the police were seeking “a companion” named Marilou Danley, a woman he described as Asian and 4-foot-11.
Video of the shooting captured nine seconds of rapid-fire, continuous bursts, followed by 37 seconds of silence from the weapon amid panicked screaming. The barrage of gunfire then erupted again in at least two more rounds, both shorter than the first.
In the confusion after the shooting, the police also descended on the Ali Baba Restaurant, about a 10-minute drive from the Mandalay Bay, and they also investigated reports of a shooting at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino, not far from the concert ground.
The police reported clearing out the Mandalay Bay’s 29th floor and working their way up to the 32nd floor. A police Twitter post described reports of an “active shooter” near or around the Mandalay Bay casino.
We’re investigating reports of an active shooter near/around Mandalay Bay Casino. Asking everyone to please avoid the area. #LVMPDnews
Video from the shooting showed Mr. Aldean, the final performer of the night, running off the stage as the gunfire erupted.
Two concertgoers, Robyn and Matt Webb, described hearing round after round of gunfire.
“It just kept coming,” Robyn Webb told The Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It was relentless.”
They said they saw about 20 people bleeding in the street.
“That’s when we knew for sure it was real,” Matt Webb said.
The police reported closing off about a mile of Las Vegas Boulevard and asked the public to steer clear of the area.
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.
Police radio reports suggested that at least three people were transported to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center for treatment. The police were told not to bring additional casualties — unless the injuries were life-threatening — to University Medical Center, another nearby hospital, because it was at capacity.
A photo posted by a Las Vegas Review-Journal photographer showed emergency responders carrying off one injured person in a wheelbarrow.
McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas said that some flights destined for the airport were diverted because of police activity. The airport is just east of the Mandalay hotel, and after the shooting there were reports of people fleeing the concert by running onto an airport runway.
The hotel itself was placed on virtual lockdown after the shooting, guests said.
“We went into the hotel and they started shutting down casinos,” Todd Price, a guest of Mandalay Bay, told CNN. “We tried to get into our rooms, and they shut down the elevators and started to get everybody out.”
The Route 91 Harvest Festival bills itself as “three days of country music on the Vegas Strip,” and Sunday night’s performance was the last of the festival. The site of the concert, the Las Vegas Village and Festival Grounds, run by MGM Resorts, sprawls over 15 acres and has a capacity of 40,000 people. The festival’s website said this year’s three-day concert was sold out.
Austin Ramzy, Alexandra Stevenson and Tiffany May contributed reporting.