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2 Oct, 2017 05:55

Las Vegas shooting: At least 59 dead, over 500 injured in Mandalay Bay attack

Las Vegas shooting: At least 59 dead, over 500 injured in Mandalay Bay attack

At least 59 people died and as many as 527 were injured in the US’s worst-ever mass shooting, at a music festival near the Mandalay Bay Casino, Las Vegas. The gunman rained fire from the 32nd floor of a hotel for several minutes before taking his life prior to police arrival.

FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES: Deaths, injuries after shooting at Las Vegas music fest near Mandalay Bay Casino

The gunman in the Las Vegas attack has been named as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock.

Police said in a statement that Paddock, a “white male from Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire on a crowd of more than 22,000 concert-goers from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel on Sunday evening at approximately 10:08pm.”

As many as 406 people have been transported to hospitals following the lone-wolf attack, the statement added.

Police said that among the dead is an off-duty Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer. “There were also two on-duty officers injured, one of whom was upgraded recently from critical to stable condition. The other sustained non-life-threatening wounds.”

Las Vegas police say the woman they were seeking, 62-year-old Marilou Danley, is no longer considered a “person of interest” in the mass shooting, AP reported.

Shortly after the attack, police said they were looking for the woman believed to be the gunman’s roommate.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said officers confronted the suspect, believed to be a local resident, on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, just across the street from the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival.

Several officers from the Bakersfield Police Department were attending the music concert when the assailant opened fire. One was shot and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

University Medical Center spokeswoman Danita Cohen told the Los Angeles Times that the hospital is still evaluating the condition of “many patients” with gunshot injuries.

There were reportedly so many gunshot victims that local residents took injured people to the emergency room in their cars.

Lombardo said this appears to be a ‘lone wolf’ attack, with the suspect believed not to be connected to any militant organization.

Two off-duty police officers were killed in the attack, he confirmed. A third is in a critical condition, and a fourth was wounded.

“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo told reporters. “Right now, we believe he was the sole aggressor and the scene is static.”

The shooter appeared to be using an automatic weapon, according to witness reports.

“There was blood everywhere,” one witness said.

“People were hit within 20 feet of us,” witness Rick Messick, who said he was in the front row of the concert, told CBS2.

“There were several people laying in the parking lot … they were trying to stop the bleeding,” he added.

READ MORE: ‘Horror show’: Vegas eyewitnesses recount chaos of Mandalay Bay shooting

Jose Baggett, 31, a Las Vegas resident, said he and a friend were in the lobby of the Luxor hotel-casino, north of the festival venue, when people started crying and running in all directions.

As Baggett and his friend walked away, they saw police checkpoints with officers carrying shotguns and assault rifles.

“There were armored personnel vehicles, SWAT vehicles, ambulances, and at least a half-mile of police cars,'' Baggett told AP.

Footage emerged on social media apparently showing people fleeing the concert venue.

The video was filmed by Twitter user Eiki Hrafnsson‏, who says that he is currently at the Mandalay Bay hotel which is on lockdown. Some commenters wrote that their relatives are also trapped in the hotel, while others said that they were running from “the active shooters,” implying that there may be more than one.

Another video has been captured, apparently during a music concert at Mandalay Bay with multiple gunshots audible in the background.

Las Vegas Boulevard is currently shut down at Tropicana and 15 freeway is closed to traffic from Tropicana to Russell Road, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.