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At least 50 killed after gunman opens fire on Las Vegas Strip, sheriff says

© David Becker, Getty/AFP | People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas after gunfire was heard on October 1.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-10-02

At least 50 people are dead and more than 200 people were wounded after a gunman opened fire at a concert on the Las Vegas Strip, a local sheriff said Monday.

The shooter rained down rapid fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino for several minutes before he was confronted and shot dead by police, said Las Vegas Metro Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo.

The suspect, who police said was acting alone, has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock.

"This is an ongoing investigation, but we are comfortable that the primary aggressor in this event is ... has expired or passed away, and is no longer a threat," Lombardo told an early morning briefing.

The 50-person death toll, which police emphasised was preliminary, would make the attack the deadliest mass shooting in US history, eclipsing last year's massacre of 49 people at an Orlando night club.

Concert-goers reported seeing muzzle flashes from the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay hotel across Las Vegas Boulevard from the country music festival and the sound of automatic gunfire. Witnesses said they saw multiple victims as they fled the bullets that were spraying the concert venue. Some later huddled in the basement of the nearby Tropicana hotel and casino.

Mike McGarry, a 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 from people who ran over him as the crowd panicked.

Dozens of patrol vehicles descended on the Strip after authorities received reports of an active shooter near the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. Some officers took cover behind their vehicles while others carrying assault rifles ran into the Mandalay Bay hotel.

Authorities shut down part of the Las Vegas Strip and Interstate 15 while some of the flights destined for the McCarran International Airport were diverted or suspended due to the shooting.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS and AFP)

Date created : 2017-10-02

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