At least 50 dead, more than 200 hurt in Las Vegas shooting

People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas
PHOTO: AFP

LAS VEGAS, Nevada - A gunman killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 200 at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, raining down rapid fire from the 32nd floor of a hotel for several minutes before he was shot dead by police.

The death toll, which police emphasised was preliminary and tentative, would make the attack the deadliest mass shooting in US history, eclipsing last year's massacre of 49 people at an Orlando night club.

Thousands of panicked people fled the scene, in some cases trampling one another as law enforcement officers scrambled to locate and kill the gunman. Shocked concertgoers, some with blood on their clothes, wandered the streets after the attack.

The suspect was a local Las Vegas man who acted alone and was not believed to be connected to any militant group, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters. "We have no idea what his belief system was," Lombardo said.

"Right now, we believe he was the sole aggressor and the scene is static."

59, more than 500 wounded in Las Vegas shooting

  • Las Vegas Boulevard remains closed near the mass shooing site at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017.
  • A sign reading "Blood Donations Needed" is seen in Las Vegas Boulevard after a mass shooing at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017.
  • Las Vegas Boulevard lights-up with with signs for the victims and first responders after a mass shooing at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017.
  • The W Las Vegas displays a message for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting, October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman speaks during a prayer vigil, in honor of those affected by the shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, in front of Las Vegas City Hall in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017.
  • Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore, Tiffany Tyler and the Rev. William McCurdy hold candles during a prayer vigil outside Las Vegas City Hall in response to Sunday's mass shooting on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • A man holds a program after an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017.
  • People mourn during an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017.
  • A woman prays during an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017.
  • A man mourns during an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017.
  • A woman mourns during an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017.
  • People attend a candlelight vigil at the University of Las Vegas student union October 2, 2017, after a gunman killed at least 58 people and wounded more than 500 others when he opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada late October 1, 2017.
  • People attend a candlelight vigil at the University of Las Vegas student union October 2, 2017, after a gunman killed at least 58 people and wounded more than 500 others when he opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada late October 1, 2017.
  • Mourners attend a candlelight vigil at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting, October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Mourners light candles during a vigil at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting, October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • At least two people were killed and 24 were hospitalised after a shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, a local hospital spokeswoman said, and police said one suspect was down.
  • The spokeswoman for the University Medical Center hospital said 14 of the wounded were in a critical condition. All had suffered gunshot wounds, she said.
  • Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said on Twitter: "Confirming that one suspect is down. This is an active investigation. Again, please do not head down to the Strip at this time."
  • It was not immediately clear whether the suspect was killed or injured. Officers were due to give more information shortly.
  • Police had earlier said they were investigating reports of an active shooter near the Mandalay Bay Casino.
  • The New York Times reported that the shooting appeared to be at a country music festival and that police were investigating reports of shooting at other venues on the city’s famous strip.
  • Police made no immediate comment about that on social media.
  • One Twitter user posted that the casino hotel was on lockdown, while another, citing police scanners, said two gunmen who had shot at a bodyguard and police were on the 32nd floor.
  • Video clips posted online showed what sounded like automatic weapons as panicked concertgoers fled, dropped to the ground screaming.
  • Witnesses heard numerous gunshots at the hotel, where police tactical teams were searching for the attacker, according to reports on CNN and in the New York Times.
  • Flights at Mccarran International Airport were temporarily halted after the reported shooting, the airport said on Twitter.

Authorities were seeking a woman they named as Marilou Danley, the suspected gunman's roommate. Lombardo described her as Asian, 4 foot 11 inches (1.5 m) tall, 111 pounds (50 kg).

He gave no details of whether she was suspected of involvement in the attack but described her as an "associate".

Police had located two cars that belonged to the suspect and also believed they had located the woman.

This undated portrait released Oct 2, 2017 by the Las VegasMetropolitan Police shows Marilou Danley the alleged companion or roommate of the gunman, who was killed after being "engaged" by officers who responded to report of multiple gunfire coming from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay.Photo: AFP

Lombardo said rumours of other shootings or explosives such as car bombs in the area were false. Video taken of the attack showed panicked crowds fleeing as sustained rapid gunfire ripped through the area.

Las Vegas's casinos, nightclubs and shopping draw some 3.5 million visitors from around the world each year and the area was packed with visitors when the shooting broke out shortly after 10 p.m. (0400 GMT).

Mike McGarry, a 53-year-old financial adviser from Philadelphia, said he was at the concert when he heard hundreds of shots ring out.

"It was crazy - I laid on top of the kids. They're 20. I'm 53. I lived a good life," McGarry said. The back of his shirt bore footmarks, after people ran over him in the panicked crowd.

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