Last night, a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort on the Las Vegas Strip. As of mid-day today, 58 people have died and 515 people are being treated for injuries at Las Vegas hospitals. The shooting attack is already the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
What happened last night? And who caused it?
According to Las Vegas Metro Police, the suspect opened fire from his 32nd story hotel room on the closing night of the Route 91 country music festival nearby. When police responded to the emergency call, they breached his room and found him dead.
The suspect lived in this neighborhood in the Sun City retirement community in Mesquite. Earlier today police found multiple guns and ammunition at his Mesquite home, but did not provide further details. According to NBC News, the suspect was a heavy gambler who bet more than $10,000 a day on multiple occasions.
“Were it not for [Metro Police], we would have had a much larger death count.”
– Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak (D)
At this morning’s press briefing, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo stated that authorities have found no ties so far to any terrorist organization. Local police and the FBI are searching the suspect’s properties in Mesquite and Northern Nevada to find more evidence to better determine his motive.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is briefing the press on #vegasshooting. As of now, 50 people were killed and some 406 people are being treated for injuries at local hospitals.
Posted by Nevada Forward on Monday, October 2, 2017
We spoke briefly this morning with Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak, who described the attacker as a “lone wolf”. “There’s no proof anywhere that this individual had any ties to any organization,” Sisolak stated. “This individual didn’t show up on anyone’s radar.”
Sisolak also sought to reassure Nevadans that federal, state, and local authorities are doing all they can to ensure the safety of Las Vegas area residents and tourists following last night’s shooting. “This community is safe. I’m confident Metro has everything under control.” He then credited police for their quick response last night. “Metro does a terrific job. Were it not for them, we would have had a much larger death count.”
“At some point here very soon, we need to have a conversation. Why did this happen? How did this person obtain so many weapons?”
– Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Las Vegas)
Following the press briefing, we spoke with Rep. Ruben Kihuen about what happened and how the community is responding. Kihuen revealed that his brother Jorge works at Mandalay Bay, but was not working there last night. “The first thing I did was send him a text message. […] He finally replied about an hour. Thankfully, he’s OK.”
When asked about this being the latest in a string of deadly mass shootings throughout the nation, Kihuen stated he eventually wants his Congressional colleagues to address gun violence. “At some point here very soon, we need to have a conversation. Why did this happen? How did this person obtain so many weapons?”
Kihuen then reminded his fellow Nevadans of how they can help survivors in need. “There are so many heroes in this situation. They’re working hard to save as many lives as they can,” Kihuen said. “There are over 500 wounded. They need our help.”