50+ Killed, Hundreds Hurt in Las Vegas Strip Massacre

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LAS VEGAS — A “crazed lunatic” turned an outdoor concert into a bloodbath, killing 58 people in what is now the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

Thousands of country music fans ran for cover Sunday night as a gunman fired hundreds of bullets from a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, officials said.

At least 515 people were hurt in the gunfire and ensuing stampede at the Jason Aldean concert, police said.

“About five feet from me, you could see a guy with a bullet wound right in his neck, motionless,” witness Taylor Benge said. “From there on … people just started dropping like flies.”

Alexandria Cheplak, 25, called her father as she ran from the bullets.

“Everyone’s dying around me,” Jon Cheplak recalled her saying. “Everyone’s dying. They shot my friend … I’ve got to get out of here.”

The gunman, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, unleashed a hailstorm of bullets from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Monday.

But why the massacre happened remains a mystery.

“I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath,” the sheriff said. Mayor Carolyn Goodman described the gunman as “a crazed lunatic full of hate.”

Latest developments

Sonny Melton was identified as one of those killed. His employer, Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tennessee, said Melton was a registered nurse. His wife survived the shooting.

— Police had no prior knowledge of the gunman before the attack, Sheriff Lombardo said. “I don’t know how it could have been prevented,” he said.

— Paddock bought multiple firearms in the past, but investigators believe the firearms were purchased legally, a law enforcement official said. The official said initial reports suggest at least one rifle was altered to function as an automatic weapon.

— Police found 10 rifles inside Paddock’s hotel room, Lombardo said. “We believe the individual killed himself prior to our entry,” the sheriff said.

Festival turns into massacre

The massacre started about 10:08 p.m. Sunday (1:08 a.m. ET Monday) at the Route 91 Harvest festival, Lombardo said.

Benge was enjoying the concert with his sister when he heard a relentless onslaught of at least “200 to 300” bullets.

“The firing went on forever,” witness Kimberly Chilcote said.

She and her husband ran in short bursts — sprinting and hiding to avoid being targeted.

“There were purses and shoes everywhere … there were bodies and blood,” she said. “We just kept running.”

Benge lauded the heroics of his sister, who “threw herself on top of me and said, ‘I love you, Taylor,'” he said.

“Even after an hour and 30 minutes, I didn’t know if I was safe.”

Witness Bryan Hopkins said he survived by jumping into a walk-in freezer at the Mandalay Bay hotel.

“There must have been, I don’t know, 23 to 30 of us inside this freezer,” he said.

Corrine Lomas recalled the heroism of fellow concertgoers, risking their lives to save others.

“A lot of really good people (were) holding people’s wounds shut, trying to help them while everybody was just ducked down,” she said.

The investigation

Police said they believe Paddock acted alone. “Right now, we believe it’s a sole actor, a lone-wolf-type actor,” the sheriff said.

So far, the massacre has no known link to overseas terrorism or terror groups, a US official with knowledge of the case said.

And a woman who was described as a “person of interest” after the attack is now not believed to be involved in the shooting, police said in a statement.

“Marilou Danley is no longer being sought out as a person of interest,” the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said. “LVMPD detectives have made contact with her and do not believe she is involved with the shooting on the strip.”

The gunman’s brother, Eric Paddock, said he was stunned to learn Stephen was believed responsible.

“We’re still just completely befuddled. Dumbstruck,” Eric Paddock said outside his home in Orlando, Florida.

He described his brother, a retired accountant, as “a wealthy guy. He liked to play video poker. He went on cruises.”

The last time Eric Paddock spoke to his brother was when Stephen texted him, asking how their mother was doing after losing power from Hurricane Irma.

Eric Paddock said he knew his brother owned a few handguns and maybe one long rifle, but said he did not know of any automatic weapons.

Blood donations needed

With hundreds of victims still hospitalized, officials feared the death toll will keep rising.

The sheriff implored the community to donate blood. And hundreds of Nevadans did exactly that.

Shanda Maloney tweeted a photo while she stood in line at 4:30 a.m.

“This. Is. Vegas. This is our community. These are our people. Thank you to everyone here donating,” she tweeted.

Maloney told CNN she also gave transportation to anyone who needed it after the attack.

“I just started picking people up and giving people rides,” she said.

Aldean speaks out

Aldean posted a statement on Instagram saying that he and his crew were safe.

“My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night,” he wrote.

Country singer Jake Owen, who was on stage with Aldean, said children were among the crowd.

“I saw kids on their parents’ shoulders tonight,” he said. “This is something they’ll never forget.”

Trump says he will visit Las Vegas after massacre

10 minutes of gunfire

Rachel De Kerf filmed her escape, starting just after the first shots were fired.

“The gunshots lasted for 10-15 minutes. It didn’t stop,” she said. “We just ran for our lives.”

Her sister, Monique Dumas, said everyone dropped to the ground as as the gunman sprayed bullets.

“It seemed there was a pause in the gunfire, and the people in the yellow shirts were telling the people to ‘go, go, go, go,’ ” she said. But “the gunfire never ended, it seemed like it went on and on and on.

A concertgoer told CNN affiliate KLAS that frantic concertgoers piled on top of each other, trying to get out of the shooter’s line of fire.

“My husband and I ran out toward our car, and there were people hiding underneath my car for cover,” she said.

“There was a gentleman who was shot and he said, ‘Can you help me?’ And so I put him in my car, and I had like six people in my car — people without shoes, running, just to get away.”

Read: Country music world stunned by shooting

‘Like shooting fish in a barrel’

Audio of the shooting suggested that the shooter had used a military-style weapon, CNN law enforcement analyst James Gagliano said.

“Automatic weapon(s) like that — had to be numbers of magazines or a very large drum,” he said.

“It sounded to me like a belt-fed weapon, a military-style weapon. And then to be shooting down, to use the analogy, it was like shooting fish in a barrel in that space.”

MGM Resorts, which owns the hotel the gunman fired from, tweeted its condolences.

As local hospitals rushed to treat hundreds of patents, some relatives were still trying to find their loved ones.

Those looking for friends and family still missing after the attack can call 866-535-5654. Facebook has set up a crisis response page to help people determine whether their loved ones are safe.


  • Truther

    I’m hearing that the real shooter is O J Simpson, who was just released from prison that day in Nevada and was staying in Las Vegas. This is just another government cover up. Wait for the truth to come out on You Tube.

  • Capt Bogart

    First off our nation’s judicial system has failed to protect the people. If its intent was to make money, then the Judicial system has achieved success. In our county, law enforcement risks their lives arresting these people, then the Judicial system fines them, then continues to use the revolving door on these criminals. The Judicial System keeps releasing these people back out to commit their next crime. The system is already counting money from their next occurrence.

  • Meanwhile

    Meanwhile, the true terrorists and enemy of the state are saying things like: “not even sympathetic” – “country music fans are often Republican” and “Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer”: Hayley Geftman-Gold & Hillary Clinton. Boycott CBS and their sponsors!

  • El Ma

    I honestly do not understand the gallows “humor” on this dreadful matter. Christ, it’s only been hours since this happened, and some of these comments are so callous, cold, and vapid. Jeezuz……….I guess 20% of population really is some level of sociopath.

      • El Ma

        Y’know, LOST IN LAPORTE STALKER, you’re one of “those people” that fixates on someone that remotely threatens your scant intellect. Instead of commenting on this tragic event with a scintilla of compassion, you use it to inflate your flaccid ego and pretend you’re so much more than you really are: a fat, bald, craven little thing that is pitiful, pitiable, and empty. Buh-bye.

  • El Ma

    “Now,” is not the time to discuss gun control – this episode just happened, and people are going to be raw, horrified, angry, and terrified. Let the investigation unfold to learn more about the shooter.

    Thoughts and prayers of condolence, comfort, and courage to everyone.

  • Meanwhile

    Meanwhile in the past hour, more babies were snuffed out of existence than the concert last night without a shot being fired. Archie is OK with over 3000 dead babies.

    • Meanwhile

      I’m talking about the ones that get aborted. Unlike Archie Beal, that was aborted but lived anyway. One would think scissors through the cranium would end someone, but not old Archie, the only thing that died in him was common sense, reason, decency, compassion, and patriotism. So, that makes him the consummate liberal.

  • 🙄

    Here’s a scenario for ya Archie. Someone breaks into your house while your sleeping, they have a gun. What do you do to defend yourself without any guns? Don’t even say bow and arrow cuz by the time you grab it, load ,aim and shoot your dead cuz they shot you cuz they have a bullet in the chamber waiting for you. So your get rid of guns theory fails miserably. I know if anyone tries to break in my house, they’re gonna wish they never did.

  • Get real

    A comment calling Facebook a farce is awaiting moderation. There you go folks – the news telling you what they want or don’t want you to see – or think.

  • Get real

    If 20 Grade School children gone in minutes just before Christmas didn’t ‘open any eyes’ or ‘begin the campaign’ – what makes you think this will? Is it because sane and rational people realize that evil will do whatever it needs to accomplish the mission? Go on, bang your drum. Nobody is listening to your madness.

  • john williams

    The UNABOMER, Timothy McVeigh and the Boston Marathom Bombers never fired a shot Archie, yet they still killed. You have a flawed ideology.

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    All the philosophers below, yet no solutions.

    The reality is that the single shooter madman can’t be stopped. That’s grim reality.

  • Me

    Taking away guns is not the answer, especially in this country w the amount of criminals we have. But, There is something deeply wrong w this country, starting w our politians. It seems everyone is mad about something. Immigration. Taxes, healthcare, student loans, corrupt officials including judges, the list goes on. I’m thinking maybe we should re-evaluate those w gun permits every 2 years to check their mental stability. Kinda like car inspections. After that I’m outta ideas.

  • look in the mirror

    I would like to think there is a sensible (unemotional) middle ground here somewhere between Mr. Beal and Mr. Woehrle — if it stops just one of these massacres might it be worthy of calm and rational discussion? One of the few things our dysfunctional congress has done was to revoke (in February) regulations prohibiting sales to 75,000 people on mental health disability so severe that they need a guardian to handle their finances. I’m all about responsible gun ownership, but c’mon: they can’t get a driver’s license because of their mental state, but they can buy firearms?

    • Get real

      Because your idea of ‘sensible unemotional middle ground’ isn’t sensible or unemotional. And all these ‘feel good’ measures do nothing to prevent the truly evil disturbed people. How many people have been kil-led lately with just a vehicle as the weapon? A firearm is a tool, simple as that.

      • CNN

        Well done, subject – I see our brainwashing is working well on you. Your next missions are to remove more Confederate monuments and disrupt speakers that conflict with our NWO.

      • Get real

        I’ll agree, I’ve been well trained by many NRA instructors. When the civil war starts, you better find a good hiding spot. Have a nice day!

      • Robert

        Leaders Recon reports all clear and the Advanced party has secured the area. LON/LAT to follow. Choke points established. Bring the convoy in!

  • Lloyd SChmucatelli

    Well Archie, like the Weis shooter said in his memoirs. “You’ll never stop this, all you can do is ensure it.”

    He was talking about these types of things and I fear he may be right. Removing guns won’t stop it and you know that. A billion guns spread around 300 million people? They can remove some from some folks, but not all from all folks.
    It sounds good at election time though!!!

  • seen it all

    When guns go corruption takes over ( with guns) , Idiots who spew gun control and don’t understand what they are talking about aren’t helping matters. The illegal drug trade is the one involved with illegal guns and there is wherein lies the problem – Illegal guns .

  • Jeff Woehrle

    Your premise is flawed. You are assuming that people who wish to break the law will somehow follow the law when it comes to not having firearms. Murder is already illegal. This individual had no regard for that law. What makes you think he’ll obey the law that you are suggesting?

    Liberals tend to think emotionally rather than rationally. Emotion does not make good public policy. Private gun ownership by American citizens is here to stay.

    • look in the mirror

      “Liberals tend to think emotionally…”. Liberals at least *think* — that is the meaning of being liberal: to consider an issue in its totality and come to a conclusion that can be nuanced, flexible and even change if necessary. If you are not liberal (even if you hold “conservative” views as I do on many issues), then your point of view is, by definition, simply emotional.

    • I looked in the mirror

      Liberals don’t think for themselves, they’re sheep. ‘Oh look, everyone else is taking a knee, I should too’. Ask any liberal protester what they’re protesting – it’s always good for a laugh.

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