A gunman who fired upon thousands of people attending a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip has killed at least 58 people, police say. Some 515 people were injured in the mass shooting and panic that ensued. At least one of the dead is an off-duty police officer who was attending the concert.
The suspect in the case is also dead. Police say they're still trying to learn what could have motivated such an attack.
“The Clark County Fire Department estimated that approximately 406 people were transported to area hospitals,” the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says.
Gunfire at the multi-day Route 91 Harvest concert was reported around 10:08 p.m. Sunday, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said at a news briefing. He later added that the shooter, acting as a “lone wolf,” has been identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, a white male who is a resident of Nevada.
Responding to reports that Amaq, a news outlet associated with ISIS, says that the terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack — and that Paddock had converted to Islam — FBI Las Vegas Special Agent in Charge Aaron Rouse said that the agency has “determined, to this point, no connection with an international terrorist group.”
The killing of dozens of innocent people has prompted questions about how to define the horrible crime — particularly whether it could most accurately be called domestic terrorism.
When asked about that distinction, Lombardo said, “We have to establish what his motivation is first. And there's motivating factors associated with terrorism other than a distraught person just intending to cause mass casualties.”
Paddock's brother Eric, who lives in Orlando, Fla., says the family doesn't know why Paddock might carry out a deadly shooting.
“We have absolutely no idea whatsoever,” Eric Paddock said to reporters gathered outside his home Monday morning. “We have no idea why he did this. And that's what you're going to find out. I can't imagine. When you guys found out why this happened, let us know. I have no idea whatsoever.”
Visibly distraught, Eric Paddock said the family sends its condolences to everyone affected by the attack. He said he was “dumbfounded” after being told that his brother had killed dozens of people. As for the guns Stephen Paddock reportedly used, Eric Paddock noted that his brother doesn't have a military background and asked, “Where the hell did he get automatic weapons?”