Las Vegas shooting death toll rises to 58, with 515 injured

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-03 03:42:16|Editor: Yamei
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U.S. President Donald Trump (R) attends an event at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on Oct. 2, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday called a mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert that has killed more than 50 an "act of pure evil," adding that he will visit the city on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

LAS VEGAS, the United States, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- A gunman opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas in the U.S. state of Nevada on Sunday night, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500 others in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, police said on Monday.

More than 22,000 people were attending the outdoor music festival when the gunman rained bullets from a high-floor hotel room of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, the police said.

The police identified the gunman as 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock, a white male from Mesquite, Nevada. They said they believed he acted alone and did not know his motive for attacking the crowd.

The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for the massacre, but U.S. authorities said there was no immediate evidence of any terrorist link.

In a brief statement at a news conference Monday morning, FBI special agent Aaron Rouse said the bureau had "determined to this point no connection of an international terrorist group."

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday called the mass shooting an "act of pure evil," adding that he will visit the city on Wednesday.

Trump tweeted earlier to send his "warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families" of the shooting.

The shooter opened fire from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay hotel on Sunday night at approximately 10:08 p.m. local time, Joseph Lombardo, sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMDP), told reporters.

Shortly before midnight, SWAT teams responded to the call, breached the gunman's hotel room and found the suspect had killed himself.

There are more than 10 rifles in the room where Paddock killed himself, Lombardo said. As for his motive behind the shooting spree, the sheriff said "I can't get into the mind of a psychopath at this point."

The gunfire that interrupted the concert was initially mistaken for fireworks. Thousands of panic concertgoers screamed and sought for cover when it turned out to be dozens of bullets in rapid-fire bursts.

Country singer Jason Aldean was on stage when the gunfire broke out at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival, a three-day country music event, according to the City News Service.

Aldean called Sunday night's shooting "beyond horrific."

The sound of an automatic weapon being fired can be heard in a video clip posted online by people attending the country music concert during the attack. The kind of firearm that made the noise was reportedly not easy to purchase in the United States.

Among the dead is a police officer who was off-duty at the time. His name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

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, according to LVMPD.

University Medical Center of Las Vegas told Xinhua earlier that two injured people later died in the hospital while the death toll at other hospitals were unknown so far.

"Twenty-six patients were admitted to the hospital, at least two have passed away, 12 are in critical condition, rest of the patients are being evaluated," said Danita Cohen, spokesperson for University Medical Center.

Luo Xianlin, a Chinese tourist, told Xinhua that he was walking on the street two blocks away when the shooting happened, and ran into Ceasar Palace Hotel with a crowd of frantic people.

"I didn't hear any sound of opening fire, but I ran with other people. Some stayed in the lobby. My four Chinese colleagues and I hid in a room with seven Guatemalans and two Germans for four hours," he said.

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