Names of Las Vegas victims emerge as police reveal gun stockpile – as it happened

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Names of Las Vegas victims emerge as police reveal gun stockpile – as it happened” was written by Matthew Weaver (now), Naaman Zhou, Sam Levin and Alan Yuhas (earlier), for theguardian.com on Tuesday 3rd October 2017 14.14 UTC

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The US is at a defining moment on guns, argues Shannon Watts founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

In an opinion piece for the Guardian she asks: “Do we want to keep experiencing these horrific shooting tragedies because the gun lobby has convinced Congress that we should allow guns for anyone, anywhere, any time – no questions asked? Or will we demand safety in our daily lives – at church, school, concerts and movie theaters?”

As we grieve the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas, we must start talking openly and honestly about how to solve our nation’s gun violence crisis. For Congress, that means demanding they reject National Rifle Association leaders’ radical and deadly agenda. In Nevada, that means elected officials enforcing the law their constituents enacted last November.

Doing what we’ve been doing for decades – essentially letting the gun lobby write our country’s gun laws – has led to America having the highest rate of gun homicides of any developed nation. Clearly it’s time to do exactly the opposite of what gun lobbyists have instructed us to do: use our voices and votes to save lives. We can’t be silent anymore.

Updated

Broadcasters in Canada have confirmed the identity of a third Canadian killed in the attack as Calla Medig, of Jasper Alberta.

“My heart is numb knowing such a tragedy struck our small community,” Tessa Mac of Jasper said in a Faceook post. “Heaven is an even brighter place now that they have you Calla.”

CBC spoke to Las Vegas bartender, Heather Gooze, who spent five hours by the side of Canadian Jordan McIldoon before he died from his gunshot wounds. She used his phone to break the news to his girlfriend and speak to his parents. “I couldn’t just leave him by himself,” she said.

Jessica Klymchuk of Valleyview, Alberta was also killed in the attack.

What we know so far

  • At least 59 people have been killed and 527 injured in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. The victims so far identified included an off-duty Las Vegas policeman, a San Diego lawyer, and three Canadians.
  • Police have named Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old retired accountant from Mesquite, Nevada, as the gunman.
  • Police found an arsenal of 42 firearms, explosives and thousands of ammunition rounds in both his Las Vegas hotel room and Mesquite home.
  • Experts believe an accessory known as a bump-stock was probably used in the attack. It modifies a semi-automatic weapon to fire at an automatic rate.
  • There is still no known motive behind the attack, or any known links between Paddock and other organisations.
  • The suspect’s girlfriend was named as a person of interest, but police said he acted alone and that authorities would interview the woman after she returned from a trip to Tokyo.
  • Survivors of previous mass shootings and late night chat show hosts have expressed outrage at the inability of US politicians to control guns and stand up to the powerful National Rifle Association. Theresa May said the UK could not understand US gun laws.
  • Donald Trump has deferred questions about gun control saying “We’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by.” Speaking to reporters he described Paddock as “very sick” and “demented”.
  • Jason Aldean, the country music singer who was performing at the time of the attack, says it highlighted a “scary” change in the US and the world. In a new post on Instagram he said: “Something has changed in this country and in this world lately that is scary to see.”
  • Hoaxes and fake news spread rapidly online, in some cases with boosts from Facebook and Google algorithms.

Updated

Last November, Nevada voters narrowly approved a new gun control law that would have required private sellers to conduct the same criminal background check on buyers that licensed gun dealers already use. Closing the loophole was one of the lone bright spots for gun control advocates in an election that put the National Rifle Association’s chosen candidate, Donald Trump, in the White House.

But Nevada’s new gun law has never been enforced. Days before it was slated to go into effect, the state’s Republican attorney general released a legal opinion concluding that citizens were “excused from compliance”, calling the new law unenforceable …

Enforcing Nevada’s new background check law may not have made any difference to how easily the perpetrator of Sunday’s attack on a country music concert was able to stockpile dozens of guns.

Law enforcement officials have said Stephen Paddock had no serious criminal record, which would likely mean that a background check would not have flagged him as unfit to purchase a gun. At least one gun store in Mesquite, Nevada, where Paddock lived, confirmed that it had sold him several guns legally, and that he had passed a background check. But Nevada’s new law, if it had been enforced, might have provided another paper trail to help law enforcement track down the sources of some of Paddock’s other guns.

Trump: ‘we’ll talk about gun laws as time goes by’

Donald Trump deferred questions about gun laws as he headed for a trip to Puerto Rico. Asked about the issue he told reporters: “We’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by.”

Pressed on the matter before boarding a helicopter, Trump added: “We’ll deal with that later”.

Asked if the shooting was an act of domestic terrorism, Trump said: “He was a sick man, a demented a man. A lot of problems, I guess, and we’re looking into him very very seriously. But we are dealing with a very very sick individual.”

Updated

Stephen Paddock’s home town of Mesquite, Nevada is a place that caters to firearms enthusiasts.

New guns can be bought at the local Walmart superstore, and there are a wide array of secondhand weapons on sale at a nearby pawn shop. If residents want to target-shoot in the desert, they need only drive about 10 minutes away, down a dirt track across the Arizona border, and visit the Smoking Gun Club range.

Still, Mesquite, which is dotted with casinos, golf courses and RVs, appears to be more of a haven for gambling-obsessed retirees than gun fanatics. While the streets were largely empty Monday, casinos were packed full of retirees playing slot machines.

Paddock and a woman identified as his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, 62, lived in Sun City, an exclusive community for retirees, where some residents zip around the quiet, palm-tree-studded streets on golf carts.

The house is in a prime spot in the community: high on a plateau, it has vistas overlooking the city and a neat, well-tended front-yard filled with cactuses and desert bushes.

Police were seen searching the home on Monday.

“This is a 55-and-over community,” said Tom Jennings, a 71-year-old neighbor who lives in Prominence Village, the name the subdistrict where Paddock lived. “People go to bed here at 8pm.”

Jennings said he had never interacted with Paddock but he was known in the neighborhood as “a very normal, everyday, guy”. “But isn’t that the way it always is?” he said. “These guys seem normal and then you wake up one morning and … this.”

Jason Aldean, the country music singer who was performing at the time of the attack, says the mass shooting highlighted a “scary” change in the US and the world.

In a new post on Instagram he called for unity in response to the attack.

Over the last 24 hrs I have gone through lots of emotions. Scared, Anger, Heartache, Compassion and many others. I truly don’t understand why a person would want to take the life of another. Something has changed in this country and in this world lately that is scary to see. This world is becoming the kind of place I am afraid to raise my children in. At the end of the day we aren’t Democrats or Republicans, Whites or Blacks, Men or Women. We are all humans and we are all Americans and its time to start acting like it and stand together as ONE! That is the only way we will ever get this country to be better than it has ever been, but we have a long way to go and we have to start now. My heart aches for the Victims and their families of this senseless act. I am so sorry for the hurt and pain everyone is feeling right now and there are no words I can say to to take that pain away. Just know you all are in my heart and my prayers as we all go through this together. Time to come together and stop the hate!

Updated

Donald Trump has tweeted about his pride in the US in his latest update since the mass shooting.

The president didn’t mention Las Vegas but his message appears to continue a theme from his White House remarks on Monday when he said: “In moments of tragedy and horror Americans come together as one. It always has.”

He also described the shooting as “an act of pure evil”.

Trump is due to visit Las Vegas on Wednesday after a trip to hurricane-hit Puerto Rico on Tuesday.

The Economist has a grim graph showing how the Las Vegas mass shooting is the worst in modern US history.

Updated

Jennifer Irvine, a San Diego lawyer who was attending the country music festival, has been named as one of the victims.

Her publicist and friends confirmed she was one of at least 59 people killed by Paddock.

Jay Jones, Irvine’s publicist told NBC, that Irvine was a smart, charming and driven person.

Writing on Facebook, her colleague Thomas Slattery wrote:

My good friend, colleague, and business partner Jennifer Irvine was killed by a madman at the festival in Las Vegas. A tragic loss of a kind, generous, and beautiful lady. She will be greatly missed.

At least 17 other victims have also been identified.

Updated

What we know so far

  • At least 59 people have been killed and 527 injured in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
  • Police have named Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old from Mesquite, Nevada, as the gunman.
  • Police found an arsenal of 42 firearms, explosives and thousands of ammunition rounds in both his Las Vegas hotel room and Mesquite home.
  • Experts believe an accessory known as a bump-stock was probably used in the attack. It modifies a semi-automatic weapon to fire at an automatic rate.
  • There is still no known motive behind the attack, or any known links between Paddock and other organisations.
  • The suspect’s girlfriend was named as a person of interest, but police said he acted alone and that authorities would interview the woman after she returned from a trip to Tokyo.
  • President Donald Trump said he would visit Las Vegas on Wednesday and called the shooting “an act of pure evil”.
  • Late night chat show hosts in the US have expressed outrage at the inability of US politicians to control guns and stand up to the powerful National Rifle Association. Theresa May said the UK could not understand US gun laws.
  • Hoaxes and fake news spread rapidly online, in some cases with boosts from Facebook and Google algorithms.

Updated

Murrell Sailers gave a vivid description of trying to shelter from the shots. Speaking to AP, he said: “You could just hear the rounds almost like creeping up on you. Doosh, doosh, doosh. It feels like hunting you down.”

Updated

Theresa May has expressed incredulity about US gun laws.

Speaking to LBC radio she said: “I think we can’t understand it because of course we have a different approach to guns. We have very strong gun laws here, and we tightened the gun laws initially after Dunblane because people saw the atrocity which took place there and we took action as a government.

“But of course America has a different approach to guns. It’s up to them to see what they will do now, but I think most people in the UK will say ‘If you look at what’s happened here, surely they will want to do something’.”

Asked whether she was aware of any Britons killed or injured in the shooting, she said: “At the moment, I don’t believe there were any British casualties, but there were certainly British people in the area who will have witnessed what was absolutely an appalling attack, completely senseless, random attack, by an individual who I understand had quite an arsenal of weapons in the hotel room.”

Updated

The former Donald Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka has rounded on Hillary Clinton after she called for more gun controls in the wake of the attack.

The former Democratic presidential candidate urged politicians to stand up to the powerful National Rifle Association, which is currently lobbying Congress to support measures to allow gun owners to use silencers.

Gorka accused Clinton of trying to politicise the attack.

Gorka lost his job as a deputy assistant to Trump on national security in August.

Updated

Mass shootings in the US have become a national sickness, requiring a national cure, writes Richard Wolffe in an opinion piece for the Guardian.

We can’t pray it away. It’s a public health crisis that kills more Americans than HIV, Parkinson’s disease and hypertension. But in spite of repeated medical calls for more studies, we’re not going to admit that because Congress has blocked such research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for two decades.

In truth, this is no time for silence. We don’t stop talking about air safety after a passenger jet goes down. We don’t stop talking about terrorism after another Isis attack. Gun violence is not an act of nature: it’s not an unpredictable earthquake or unexpectedly severe hurricane.

Updated

The shooting in Las Vegas dominates newspaper front pages across the world.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal has tweeted a preview of Tuesday’s front page.

Monday’s papers in the city were going to press as news of the shooting was unfolding.

Trevor Noah, the South African host of the popular Daily Show, has mocked America’s unwillingness to discuss gun control in the wake of the shooting.

He pointed out that in his two years of presenting the show there have been 20 mass shootings and every time politicians have insisted this is not the time to talk about gun laws.

He said the country appeared to be keener to blame hotel security than the ready availability of weapons.

“We live in a world where people will put a gun before your lives,” Noah said.

Updated

Two of the survivors of the Las Vegas mass shooting, have defended US gun laws.

Caren Mansholt told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that she crouched down as low as possible as multiple rounds of bullets were fired into the crowd from a hotel room where 23 guns were found.

She said such attacks would not be prevented by tighter gun laws.

“I do believe there is a time and a place for gun ownership. I believe that we have the right to protect ourselves as needed,” she said.

Rusty Dees, who was with Mansholt at the time, said: “The biggest problem for me and for many was that we didn’t hear anybody returning fire. I’m very concerned that we had no one outside to protect us. Unfortunately for me being unarmed and unable to do a whole lot decided it was time to get out of there.”

Echoing an argument put forward by the former Fox News broadcaster Bill O’Reilly, Dees added: “It’s a tragic cost of freedom, that people can do bad things. If you can find a gun law that would prevent this from happening I could sign up today, but I am proud of our country’s second amendment rights and I’m glad we are allowed to defend ourselves.”

Updated

Theresa May has paid tribute to off-duty British troops who helped in the aftermath of the attack.

Soldiers from the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards were taking time off in the resort after training at the Fort Irwin US army base in California when the attack occurred, according to the Daily Mirror.

A source told the paper:

Due to their experience, the guys who heard the noise knew instantly it was gunfire. Their training immediately kicked in and they rushed to the festival to help.

All soldiers in the cavalry are given medical training designed to preserve life on the battlefield.

“The injuries they were seeing were the ones they are well versed in treating.

Speaking to Sky News, the prime minister said: “I understand there were some British troops nearby who went in and helped people who were affected by this. I would like to thank them for what they did.”

May said the attack raised a number of questions. “We have also experienced a number of lone-wolf attacks here in the UK. This is what makes the job of the security services and of our police so difficult.”

But she stopped short of backing calls for a change to US gun laws.

Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain she is reported as saying: “I think it’s up to America what gun laws they put in place”.

Updated

The latest

  • At least 59 people have been killed and 527 injured in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
  • Police have named Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old from Mesquite, Nevada, as the gunman.
  • Police found a huge arsenal of 42 firearms, explosives and ammunition in both his Las Vegas hotel room and Mesquite home.
  • Experts believe an accessory known as a bump-stock was probably used in the attack. It modifies a semi-automatic weapon to fire at an automatic rate.
  • There is still no known motive behind the attack, or any known links between Paddock and other organisations.
  • The suspect’s girlfriend was named as a person of interest, but police said he acted alone and that authorities would interview the woman after she returned from a trip to Tokyo.
  • President Donald Trump said he would visit Las Vegas on Wednesday and called the shooting “an act of pure evil”.
  • Hoaxes and fake news spread rapidly online, in some cases with boosts from Facebook and Google algorithms.

Updated

Jimmy Kimmel: ‘They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country’

Jimmy Kimmel, who teared up several times during his opening monologue, has delivered an impassioned speech on the need for gun law reform.

“Las Vegas happens to be my home town and [Bandleader] Cleto’s hometown and Cleto senior’s home town,” the host said, holding back tears.

“This morning we have children without parents and fathers without sons, mothers without daughters … I don’t know why our so-called leaders continue to allow this to happen. Or, better question, why do we continue to let them allow it to happen?”

 

In a speech that touched on previous massacres in Orlando, Newtown and San Bernadino, Kimmel showed his audience pictures of 56 senators, including John McCain and Marco Rubio, who voted not to close a loophole that allowed people to buy guns without a background check from gun shows or online.

“A number of other lawmakers who won’t do anything about this because the NRA has their balls in a money clip, also sent their thoughts and their prayers today, which is good. They should be praying. They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country, because it’s so crazy.

“In 1980 we had a big fire at the MGM in Las Vegas. It was horrible, 85 people died, you could see the fire. I was 13 years old, I’ll never forget it. A man jumped out the window.

“Then a few months later there was another fire at the Hilton and five people died. So you know what they did? They changed the laws.

“I want this to be a comedy show,” he said. “I hate talking about stuff like this. I just want to laugh about things every night, but that, it seems to be becoming increasingly difficult lately. It feels like someone has opened a window into hell.”

Updated

‘Bump-stock’ could have enabled automatic fire

Associated Press are reporting that an accessory known as a bump-stock was discovered in Paddock’s Las Vegas hotel room, which may have enabled him to fire into the crowd at near-automatic levels.

AP are citing two officials on the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity. They said two bump-stocks were discovered in Paddock’s room, but were still investigating whether they were actually used in the attack.

The accessory works by using a gun’s own recoil to bump against the user’s trigger finger – enabling an increased rate of fire. With a bump-stock, someone can get around restrictions on automatic weapons by firing a semi-automatic weapon at nearly an automatic rate.

Previously, the Guardian’s Lois Beckett spoke to firearms expert Massad Ayoob who speculated that a bump-stock had been involved in the shooting.

While automatic weapons are heavily regulated, semi-automatic guns are widely available and bump-stocks are perfectly legal to buy.

The website of Bump Fire Systems advertised the device for $99.99, saying it permitted “simulated full-auto firing” that was “absolutely legal”.

Updated

Here is the full video of the 7pm police press briefing from earlier today. Police revised the total number of guns found, said that there was no continuing threat to Las Vegas, and said there was no known motive at this time.

Hoax watch

Time for a recap of some of the hoaxes, false reports and rumours that may still be floating around.

This piece from Buzzfeed rounds up some of the deliberate misinformation being put out there on Twitter and Facebook. It includes fake reports that the suspected gunman was “anti-Trump”, Muslim or an anti-facist – spread by far-right troll accounts – as well as false photos of victims and missing people.

A rumour that Marilou Danley – Stephen Paddock’s girlfriend who was initially identified as a person of interest by police – “warned” people of the attack is also false.

In a press conference earlier, Assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo also debunked a rumour that there were multiple shooters.

The sheriff’s department has been very adamant that they have no good information about Paddock’s motives at this time.

Finally, this piece from Sam Levin shows how the flow of misinformation, especially in the early hours of the incident, spread on Google and Facebook.

Candlelight vigils are taking place across the state tonight.

Students and staff at the University of Nevada have gathered to support victims of the mass shooting, while religious leaders and the Las Vegas mayor, Carolyn Goodman, spoke at an evening mourning ceremony outside city hall.

The Las Vegas strip has also gone dark out of respect for the victims.

The GoFundMe for shooting victims has just hit $2.5m.

Set up by county commissioner Steve Sisolak, it’s been identified by local authorities as the best way for the public to donate to those affected, after blood banks announced they had enough to last a few days.

At the press briefing an hour ago, the fund was on $2.3m, with Sisolak revealing one individual donation hit $400,000. Organisers have now set a new target of $3m.

Here’s the latest wrap-up from the Guardian’s Lauren Gambino, with more detail on the growing stockpile of weapons, accessories and explosives, including ammonium nitrate, authorities continue to discover in the home and hotel room of Stephen Paddock.

Authorities found 23 guns, including a handgun, in the hotel room of the gunman. At least some were equipped with scopes, devices that help the shooter identify targets at a range, police said.

Read the full article here:

Mesquite: “People go to bed here at 8pm”

From the Guardian’s Paul Lewis, on the ground in Nevada, here’s a look at the town of Mesquite, where police discovered 19 firearms in Paddock’s home. A place for “gamblers and gun lovers”:

Mesquite is a place that caters to firearms enthusiasts.

New guns can be bought at the local Walmart superstore, and there are a wide array of secondhand weapons on sale at a nearby pawn shop. If residents want to target-shoot in the desert, they need only drive about 10 minutes away, down a dirt track across the Arizona border, and visit the Smoking Gun Club range.

Paddock lived in Sun City, an exclusive community for retirees, where some residents zip around the quiet, palm-tree-studded streets on golf carts.

“This is a 55-and-over community,” said Tom Jennings, a 71-year-old neighbor. “People go to bed here at 8pm.”

Read the piece here:

Updated

The Guardian’s Tokyo correspondent Justin McCurry has this from Japan:

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has expressed his “shock and outrage” over the shooting in a message to Donald Trump.

“I am immensely shocked and utterly outraged to learn about the shooting incident in Las Vegas which claimed the lives of a number of innocent civilians and is said to be possibly the worst incident in the US history.

“I wish to convey my sincerest condolences to all the victims and their families and hope that those who were injured will recover as soon as possible.
“We cannot tolerate such indiscriminate and massive shooting incident for any reason and I resolutely condemn it. Japan expresses its sincere solidarity with the Government of the United States and the people of the United States as they try to overcome this difficult time.”

Former Fox News presenter Bill O’Reilly has called the Las Vegas shooting “the price of freedom” in a post on his personal website arguing against stricter gun control laws.

“The murderer had a number of deadly weapons in his room and you can count on the gun control debate to ramp up,” he said. “But … I can tell you that government restrictions will not stop psychopaths from harming people.

“This is the price of freedom,” he continued. “Violent nuts are allowed to roam free until they do damage, no matter how threatening they are.”

“There was only one shooter”

Fasulo says blood donations are at capacity and those looking to donate should wait until “at least tomorrow afternoon or even the next day”. Similarly, it’s difficult to distribute the number of food donations they have received.

He says the best way to contribute at the moment is to donate to the official GoFundMe, set up by Steve Sisolak, the Clark County commissioner, which has now raised $2.2m over 30,000 donations.

He also opened his briefing by dispelling rumours that there were multiple shooters.

“We are aware of the rumours that there was more assailant,” he said. “There is no evidence or information to support that theory. We believe there was only one shooter and that was Stephen Paddock”.

He said the death toll has not changed since the last update.

Updated

42 guns found

Assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo has provided the final planned press briefing for tonight. He’s updated the number of guns found in Paddock’s various homes and rooms across Nevada to 42 firearms, as well as a stock of explosives and thousands of rounds of ammo.

The latest confirmed figure is 23 guns in his hotel room in the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, and 19 in his home in Mesquite.

Updated

“Those conversion kits are out there in society”

Here’s Thomas Ahern, a former agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, on the gunman’s potential use of an automatic , or converted near-automatic weapon, which he described as a “weapon of war”.

Earlier reports, from firearms expert Massad Ayoob, raised the possibility that Paddock had fitted his gun with a special device to fire at a rate “faster than almost any human being is able to pull a trigger”.

Ahoob said he may have fitted a semi-automatic gun with a “Hellfire or a bump-fire device”, which are legal to obtain.

Speaking to Associated Press, Ahern then talked through how this process of conversion may have worked:

“There are ways that a semi-automatic can be converted to a fully automatic rifle and fire like a machine gun. That’s through a mechanism called an auto sear. In this conversion kit is a metal piece that is dropped into the trigger mechanism of the gun that converts the gun from firing semi-automatic to fully automatic. Those conversion kits are out there in society.”

 

The Guardian’s New Zealand correspondent Eleanor Ainge Roy has this on Prime Minister Bill English’s response to the mass shooting:

The New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English has offered his condolences to the people of the United States in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre.

“The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the victims and their families affected by this senseless tragedy,” Mr English said in a statement.

“Our thoughts are also with the first responders and the emergency services for their selflessness and heroism in carrying out their duties in the wake of such horror.”

“Minister of Foreign Affairs Gerry Brownlee has also written to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Governor of Nevada Brian Sandoval to convey New Zealand’s condolences.”

The New Zealand Consulate-General in Los Angeles is in contact with the local authorities and there is no indication at this stage that any New Zealanders have been caught up in the incident.

Huge arsenal of guns and explosives continues to grow

Naaman Zhou here, taking over our live coverage of the Las Vegas shooting. In roughly half an hour (7pm local time) there will be a press conference from law enforcement with more details on the unfolding investigation.

Meanwhile, information about the size of the suspected shooter’s arsenal is slowly trickling out. Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told press earlier they discovered 18 firearms after a raid on Paddock’s Mesquite home – effectively doubling his arsenal after at least 17 guns were found in his hotel room in Las Vegas.

We’re now looking at more than 35 guns, explosives and “several thousand rounds” of ammunition, as well as reports from experts that he may have also obtained a special mechanism to fire at near-automatic speeds.

Here’s Lombardo’s full summary of the Mesquite discovery:

“We retrieved an excess of 18 additional firearms. Some explosives and several thousand rounds of ammo, along with some electronic devices we are evaluating at this point.”

 

Updated

The latest

Guardian writer Andrew Gumbel has written about comparisons to the first modern mass shooting in the US in 1966 when a gunman fired from an observation deck on the 28th floor in Texas:

The carnage in Las Vegas on Sunday may be the worst mass shooting in American history, but this is not the first time that a lone gunman has fired indiscriminately on a crowd from above.

To many in law enforcement who have studied mass killings, the rampage on the Vegas Strip immediately recalled the first mass shooting of the modern era, in which a 25-year-old ex-marine enrolled at the University of Texas rained fire from the 28th-floor observation deck of a clock tower on campus on 1 August 1966.

Read the full story here:

The Guardian’s Beijing bureau chief Tom Phillips has an update on Chinese president Xi Jinping’s response to the mass shooting:

Chinese president Xi Jinping has sent his condolences to Donald Trump over the Las Vegas shooting, according to China’s official news agency Xinhua.
Xinhua said Xi “extended deep sympathy to the US government and people, profound condolences to the victims, and sincere solicitude to those wounded”.
Xi lamented how the shooting had caused “heavy casualties” and also “wished a quick recovery of the injured”.

Updated

Las Vegas police have released a new phone number for families searching for loved ones:

The FBI has also put out new information for witnesses and survivors:

Swat team at suspect’s Reno home

Police have gathered outside a Reno, Nevada home owned by Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock. From the Associated Press on the scene:

A dozen officers carrying rifles were at the house in an upscale neighborhood near the state line with California on Monday afternoon. They closed a two-block stretch around the house in a neighborhood that has a community clubhouse with a tennis court and a billiard room.

Three Swat team trucks and a bomb squad truck accompanied police.

Police have already found dozens of weapons at the suspect’s hotel room, his home in Mesquite and in his car.

In Reno, neighbor Dee McKay told the AP she last saw Paddock in June. She said the gunman was a professional gambler and that the home’s garage had a safe the size of a refrigerator.

Tributes around the globe

The Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building have both gone dark to pay tribute to Las Vegas:

And some images at a vigil in Las Vegas, which is happening now::

Updated

Here is footage from the sheriff’s latest update on the casualties and ongoing investigation. The next update from his office is expected at 7pm local time.

 

Here’s a detailed timeline of the shooting and aftermath from Guardian reporters Dan Hernandez and David Smith:

Just after 10pm: Rapid fire rings out. At first, few realise the extent of the unfolding horror, assuming the sounds are part of the show. But as bullets continue to rain down, the music stops and Aldean rushes off stage. “He literally dropped his guitar, threw it down and sprinted to the side,” said witness. Brian Claypool.

Read the full account here:

Some updates on the ongoing donation efforts to support victims, including one GoFundMe page that has raised more than $1.6m towards a $2m goal:

More victims identified

Officials and relatives have continued to identify more of the 59 people who died in the shooting. Angie Gomez, a former high school cheerleader, was one of the victims, her former school in California announced:

An off-duty Las Vegas police officer and military veteran named Charleston Hartfield has also been identified:

Read more about the victims here.

The latest

There were few significant updates at the latest press conference from law enforcement. Officials say the next update is scheduled for around 7pm local time. Here’s a summary of the latest announcements:

  • A total of 59 people have died, not including the suspect, and 527 people have been injured.
  • Police said authorities found several pounds of ammonium nitrate, a material used to make explosives, in the suspect’s car.
  • At least 17 guns were found in the hotel room of the shooter.
  • The shooter is believed to have fired roughly 500 yards from his hotel room to the site of the concert.
  • The suspect had a girlfriend, who is currently in Tokyo, according to police, who are continuing to investigate her and plan to meet with her when she returns.
  • Police are preparing to raid another property of the suspect in Reno, Nevada.
  • Authorities still have no information to share about a possible motive for the shooting.
  • Several gun dealers have come forward and said they sold weapons to the suspect, who reportedly passed background checks.
  • The suspect may have attended another music festival in Las Vegas one week ago.

Sandy Hook Promise, a group formed by several family members of the victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, have released a statement expressing frustration at the “cyclical” gun control debate and calling for action:

Over the past five years, we have witnessed how we generally respond (or don’t) as a country to mass shootings like Las Vegas. It’s usually a cyclical conversation, starting with debate between banning assault weapons or arming more Americans, moving then to a focus on mental illness and “good guys vs bad guys” and finally to policy proposals that may relate directly to what occurred, but possibly not, and no federal legislation changes will pass. By the end of next week this story will be almost gone as if it never happened, even while those most impacted are still reeling from shock and grief.

We are asking Americans, in the name of these victims and to protect those still living, do something – let’s move from rhetoric and focusing on just “the gun” to more focus on “the shooter” and steps we can be taking as a country to identify and stop them before it’s too late.

Sheriff Joe Lombardo told reporters that the suspect shot through a doorway and struck a hotel security guard in the leg. The shooter also had fertilizer and ammonium nitrate in his car at the casino, he said.

A swat team is also preparing to enter the suspect’s home in Reno shortly.

Lombardo said he didn’t have much information to share about the suspect, but that he appeared to be “reclusive”. The sheriff said it’s possible that the gunman attended a three-day music festival called Life is Beautiful in downtown Las Vegas one week ago.

Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman, speaking at the press conference, has said that first responders saved thousands of lives by acting quickly and getting to the scene within minutes. Victims didn’t know what was happening when the suspect first started firing, she added:

They’re thinking it’s fireworks or it’s part of the technology of the music being played. They were thinking it’s coming from different areas.

There were 22,000 people at the event, she noted.

Nevada US senator Dean Heller said at the conference: “We’ll never forget 1 October 2017. It’s a day we’ll remember for years to come.”

Updated

Officials say victims have suffered a wide range of injuries, including gunshot wounds, shrapnel wounds, injuries from people jumping fences while trying to escape and more:

Officials say the local coroner’s office is still working to identify victims and provide updates to families. Asked if the coroner was able to handle the number of bodies, an official said yes, but added, “I don’t know if anyone can be fully equipped to handle this.”

Some further information for victims’ families:

Death toll rises to 59

Officials in Las Vegas are providing an update at a press conference now. The official death toll is now at 59, and police say 527 people have been injured.

Police also say authorities have found 18 firearms, explosives and several thousands of rounds of ammunition at the suspect’s home in Mesquite, Nevada.

State of emergency declared

Clark County, which has jurisdiction over the Las Vegas strip, has just declared a state of emergency:

Gunman passed background check, store owner says

Sam Levin here, taking over our live coverage of the shooting in Las Vegas, where officials are expected to soon provide an update. Chris Michel, owner of a Utah gun store, has spoken out about meeting suspect Stephen Paddock and selling to him. Michel told the Associated Press:

There were no red flags. I had no idea he would be capable of this.

The owner of Dixie GunWorx said Paddock visited the store several times this year and purchased a shotgun after passing a federal gun background check. The suspect allegedly told the store owner he was “new to the area” and visiting local gunshots. He bought the shotgun in February from the store located in St George, Utah, which is a 40-minute drive from Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nevada.

Another store in Mesquite that reportedly sold firearms to the suspect has also released a statement, saying Paddock “never gave any indication or reason to believe he was unstable or unfit at any time”:

Country musician embraces gun control

The lead guitarist of a country music band playing Route 91 Harvest festival, where a gunman murdered 58 people on Sunday night, has said the horrific experience of the attack has changed his views on gun laws in America.

“I’ve been a proponent of the [second] amendment my entire life,” Caleb Keeter posted on Twitter. “Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was.”

In the chaotic hours after the attack, which began around 10pm, the members of the Josh Abbott Band were eventually able to post a message on social media, saying that the band and crew were safe.

“I’ll never unhear those gunshots; and our band [and] crew will never forget how that moment made them feel,” singer Josh Abbott wrote on Twitter. “Our hearts are with all the victims.”

But Keeter went further, describing the ordeal as a revelation. He said that members of the band’s crew have concealed handgun licenses, and legal firearms on the bus.

“They were useless,” he said. “We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think that we were part of the massacre and shoot us. A small group (or one man) laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of access to an insane amount of firepower. Enough is enough.”

Keeter said that he spent the harrowing moments of the shooting “writing to my parents and the love of my life a goodbye” – and “a living will because I felt like I wasn’t going to live through the night”.

Around him, his friends, bandmates and crew were trapped, under fire. “These rounds were powerful enough that my crew guys just standing in a close proximity of a victim shot by this fucking coward received shrapnel wounds.”

The feeling, he wrote, “was enough for me to realize that this is completely and totally out of hand.”

“We need gun control RIGHT. NOW,” he added. “My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it.”

Many country musicians have shied away from politics in recent years, fearing a backlash from fans – as the Dixie Chicks suffered for their opposition to the Iraq war. Exceptions include Lee Greenwood and Toby Keith, who performed at the inauguration of Donald Trump, who has promised to defend gun rights from attempts to regulate firearms. Keith defended the performance, noting that he played events for Republican and Democratic presidents: “I don’t apologize for performing for our country or military.”

The National Rifle Association, the pro-gun lobbying group, has also established an arm called NRA Country that features country music artists, and encourages musicians and fans to “celebrate the lifestyle”. In April, Trump called himself “a true friend and champion” of the lobbying group.

“No longer will the government be trying to undermine your rights and your freedoms as Americans,” the president said at an annual NRA conference. “Instead, we will work with you, by your side.”

Over the years, Keeter has argued in favor of gun rights, arguing on Twitter that if current laws were “actually enforced, the people committing the shootings wouldn’t have these guns.” In 2012, he went so far as to say “I fear giving the ability to regulate our weapons to the institution that makes gun ownership a necessity.”

He said he regretted that on Monday. “I saw this happening for years and did nothing,” he wrote. “I’d like to do what I can now.”

Also on Monday, Democrats in the Senate and House called for universal background checks on gun purchases and a commission to research gun violence prevention.

The Trump White House resisted those calls, with spokeswoman Sarah Sanders saying: “There is a time and place for a political debate. But this is a time to unite as a country.”

“It would be premature to discuss policy when we don’t fully know all the facts or what took place last night.”

Updated

The gunman’s brother, Eric Paddock, describes the suspect – and his surprise and horror – to reporters outside his home in central Florida.

Facebook and Google promoted false news stories that, in the early, chaotic hours during and after the Las Vegas attack, misidentified a man as the shooter, Sam Levin reports.

Before authorities named 64-year-old Stephen Paddock as the suspect, some falsely identified the gunman as someone named Geary Danley. It’s unclear where exactly the hoax originated, but rightwing users aggressively promoted his name, seizing on evidence that he was a liberal.

On 4chan, the anonymous message board and a favorite platform of the “alt-right”, some noted that Danley was a registered Democrat. Soon after, Gateway Pundit, a conspiracy-laden blog that now has White House credentials, published an evidence-free story headlined “Las Vegas Shooter Reportedly a Democrat Who Liked Rachel Maddow, MoveOn.org and Associated with Anti-Trump Army”. The piece was based on a review of Facebook “likes”.

Despite the fact that the claims were unproven and coming from non-credible sources, Facebook’s “Safety Check” page, which is supposed to help people connect with loved ones during the crisis, ended up briefly promoting a story that said the shooter had “Trump-hating” views, along with links to a number of other hoaxes and scams, according to screenshots. At the same time, Google users who searched Geary Danley’s name were at one point directed to the 4chan threadfilled with false claims.

The successful manipulation of social media algorithms to politicize a tragedy speaks to a relatively new pattern of online abuse – from the careless and accidental, like the misidentification of the suspect behind the Boston marathon bombing in 2013, to overt exploitation and targeted disinformation.

“It’s getting more polarized. There’s this mad scramble to paint the guy as a Democrat or a Republican, so they can cheer,” Brooke Binkowski, managing editor of fact-checking website Snopes.com, said in an interview. “A lot of this is pushed by trolls deliberately to muddy the conversation.”

Google, Facebook and Twitter have faced repeated accusations that they allow propaganda to spread on their sites and reach large audiences. The tech corporations have typically blamed their algorithms and offered vague pledges of improvement.

The Mandalay Bay shooting was no exception. Google said in a statement: “Unfortunately, early this morning we were briefly surfacing an inaccurate 4chan website in our Search results for a small number of queries. Within hours, the 4chan story was algorithmically replaced by relevant results. This should not have appeared for any queries, and we’ll continue to make algorithmic improvements to prevent this from happening in the future.

Facebook attempted to downplay its role in promoting false stories, saying in a statement: “Our Global Security Operations Center spotted these posts this morning and we have removed them. However, their removal was delayed, allowing them to be screen captured and circulated online. We are working to fix the issue that allowed this to happen in the first place and deeply regret the confusion this caused.”

The first of the 58 victims of the Las Vegas shooting are starting to be identified, with details of their lives emerging from family, friends and social media. Jamiles Lartey reports:

Sonny Melton, 29, who lived in Big Sandy, Tennessee, and worked at a nearby hospital, was the first victim publicly identified. Family members confirmed to the news station WSMV that he was killed in the gunfire.

His wife, Heather Melton, told WZTV that her husband had shielded her from bullets on the ground when the shooting began. “He saved my life and lost his,” she said.

A friend of the couple told the Paris (Tennessee) Post-Intelligencer that the two had gotten married about a year ago.

“I want everyone to know what a kindhearted loving man he was, but at this point I can barely breathe,” Heather Melton wrote to USA Today.

The couple both worked at Henry County medical center in Tennessee, he as a registered nurse, she as an orthopedic surgeon. “The thoughts and prayers of the entire HCMC family are with Sonny and Heather’s families,” the center’s chief executive, Thomas Gee, said in a statement.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that a 23-year-old British Columbia man, Jordan McIldoon, was also among the dead, according to his parents. Another concertgoer posted on Facebook on Sunday night that McIldoon had “died in [her] arms”.

“We only had one child,” McIldoon’s parents told CBC. “We just don’t know what to do.”

Local outlets in Bakersfield, California have confirmed with family members that 20-year-old Bailey Schweitzer was killed in the attack. Jessica Klymchuk, an Edmonton, Alberta, woman, has also been confirmed dead in the shooting.

Stephen Paddock owned several rental properties, had an expired pilot’s license, and enjoyed gambling, the AP reports, drawing from public records, interview with family and the nascent police investigation.

The gunman’s brother, Eric Paddock said that he had not talked to his brother in six months and last heard from him in a text message sent after Hurricane Irma.

“It was like, ‘You ok?’ ‘Yeah,’” he said. “We talked when we had something to talk about.”

He also recalled another recent text showing “a picture that he won $40,000 on a slot machine. But that’s the way he played.”

Police searched Paddock’s home in Mesquite, near the Arizona border about 80 miles north-east of Las Vegas, and did not find any bombs or traps that they feared there.

He bought the property for $369,000 in 2015, according to property records. Court documents suggest he co-owned rental property in California and Texas. His brother described him as “wealthy”, and someone who enjoyed online poker and cruises.

Police also searched a two-bedroom home Paddock owned in a retirement community in Reno, 500 miles from Mesquite.

He previously lived in another Mesquite, the Dallas suburb, from 2004 to 2012, according to Mesquite, Texas, police Lt Brian Parrish. Paddock owned at least three separate rental properties, Parrish said, and there was no indication the police department had any contact with him over that time, Parrish said.

He has been divorced at least twice, including marriages that ended in 1980 and 1990. One of the ex-wives lives in Southern California, where a large gathering of reporters congregated in her neighborhood.

Los Angeles police Sgt Cort Bishop said she did not want to speak with journalists. He relayed that the two had not been in contact for a long time and did not have children.

Records also showed that Paddock had gained a pilot’s license in November 2003, and that he had temporary Alaska fishing licenses in 2009 and 2010.

In 2012, Paddock sued the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Resorts in Nevada, saying he slipped and fell on a wet floor there. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed by a judge and settled by arbitration.

Reached by telephone, Paddock’s lawyer at the time, Jared Richards, said he could not comment because of client confidentiality concerns.

Citing unnamed law enforcement sources, NBC and the Wall Street Journal are reporting more details of the police responseto the shooting.

According to NBC, police first received a call about the shooting at 10.08pm on Sunday night. An hour and 12 minutes elapsed before they breached the hotel room door, at 11.20pm, around which time the gunman killed himself.

Part of the delay, NBC reports, was officers’ struggle to determine which floor and room where the gunman was firing from.

“As soon as they got on the floor they knew that that’s where the shots were coming from,” the network’s Pete Williams reported. “Whether they knew that from the smell of gunfire or the sound of gunfire we’re not sure.”

Sheriff Joe Lombardo said earlier Monday that he could not confirm reports that smoke from the gunfire set off the hotel room’s fire alarm, which could have directed police to the room.

According to the Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed official, police found 18-20 guns in the room, including automatic rifles and guns in the style of AR-15s and AK-47s. Police have not publicly described what kind of weapons the gunman used.

Lauren Gambino, reporting from Washington DC, attended a press conference by former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who survived a 2011 shooting that killed six and injured more than a dozen others.

“What we’re hearing today at the Capitol and the White House are thoughts and prayers,” her husband, said Mark Kelly said, in remarks delivered outside the Capitol.

“Your thoughts and prayers aren’t going to stop the next shooting. Only action and leadership will do that.”

Giffords and Kelly, who have become prominent advocates for stricter gun control laws since the 2011 shooting, were due to campaign for Democratic Virginia’s gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, but changed their plans after the massacre in Las Vegas.

“We don’t have to accept this as normal. it’s not normal. It’s not inevitable. It’s an epidemic that needs to be cured,” Kelly said.

He lambasted members of Congress for cowing to political interests, and for considering legislation that he said could create even more chaos during mass shooting situations.

“Imagine how much worse last night’s shooting could have been if the gunman had a silencer,” he said, referring to a bill that would make it easier to buy silencers, devices that reduce the noise emitted from the firearm.

“Imagine the confusion for first responders if they arrived on the scene to a bunch of civilians wielding their own guns attempting to return fire.”

Kelly listed a number of measures he said would help reduce the number of gun deaths each year, including laws to expand background checks, to ban people convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a firearm, to stiffen penalties for straw purchases, and to invest in research on the causes and effects of gun violence.

At the end of his remarks, Giffords leaned over the podium to conclude. “The nation is counting on you,” she said.

Gun control advocates have mobilized in force since the 20 children were killed at Sandy Hook elementary school, in 2012. And while they have made marginal gains on the state level, the groups, which include Kelly and Giffords’ Americans for Responsible Solutions, and members of Congress such as Connecticut senator Chris Murphy, have had little success at the national level.

Asked why the legislative campaign has failed to make a dent in the wake of so many deadly mass shootings, Kelly pointed to an sharp imbalance in resources and entrenched politicization. Though he had little optimism that the current Congress would act, he urged voters to hold legislators accountable at the ballot box.

Updated

Video of the last briefing by Nevada authorities, including Las Vegas Metro sheriff Joe Lombardo.

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, has written Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker, to demand action on gun control in the aftermath of the shooting.

“Congress has a moral duty,” she writes, “to address this horrific and heartbreaking epidemic.”

Charged with the solemn duty to protect and defend the American people, we must respond to these tragedies with courage, unity and decisive action.

First, Congress must pass the bipartisan King-Thompson legislation to strengthen the life-saving background checks that keep guns out of the wrong hands. But this is only a first step.

I urge you to create a Select Committee on Gun Violence to study and report back common sense legislation to help end this crisis. The bipartisan committee would make recommendations to prevent unpseakable tragedies such as the mass shooting in Las Vegas and to restore confidence in the safety of our communities.

The White House, however, has resisted calls to action.

“There is a time and place for a political debate. But this is a time to unite as a country,” said spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

“It would be premature to discuss policy when we don’t fully know all the facts or what took place last night.”

The suspect’s brother, Eric Paddock, has told television networks that their father was a bank robber who spent time on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list, but that he was not a part of the family’s life.

“My father was on the top 10 list for a while. His name was Benjamin Hoskins Paddock. We didn’t know him. I didn’t know him. He was in jail and broken out of jail.”

Paddock echoed police about his brother’s non-existent criminal record. “He doesn’t even have parking tickets,” he said.

“He was a wealthy guy and he liked to play video poker. He went on cruises. He sent his mother cookies, big crazy boxes of cookies and stuff.”

Archived newspapers from the 1960s show that Benjamin Paddock was wanted for bank robberies in Arizona. A clipping from 6 October 1960, from the Arizona Republic, calls Paddock “a three-time bank robber”and “garbage disposal sales and service man” from Tucson. The article says he was arrested and indicted that year for robbing Phoenix banks of about $25,000.

A 1971 clipping from the Tucson Daily Citizen said that the bank robber was named to the FBI’s list after he escaped a Texas prison in 1968. The article says that before his 1960 arrest Paddock lived in Tucson with a wife and four children.

An FBI poster from the era names Benjamin Hoskins Paddock – along with several aliases, including “Chromedome” and “Old Baldy” – as an “armed and dangerous” suspect convicted of bank robbery, automobile larceny and “confidence game”.

Paddock was captured in Oregon 10 years after his escape from prison, according to law enforcement officials cited by NBC News.

Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman, who earlier pleaded for blood donations from whomever can give in the Las Vegas area, tweets a message of gratitude and perseverance.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan police and Nevada Emergency Management meanwhile have more instructions for people who want to help, or are still struggling to find missing loved ones.

What we know so far

  • At least 58 people were killed and more than 515 were injured at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, in one of the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
  • The gunman fired for several minutes into a 22,000-person crowd from the windows of a 32nd floor hotel room, in the Mandalay Bay resort. Videos show chaos amid the gunfire, as people scrambled for cover, ran from the stage and struggled to save each other’s lives.
  • Police believe the gunman killed himself around the time a Swat team descended on his room. He had checked in there on 28 September, and police found at least 10 weapons with him.
  • Authorities identified the shooter as Stephen Paddock, 64, from Mesquite, Nevada, about 80 miles to the north-east. They were searching properties in his name.
  • Police do not know the motive behind the shooting; the gunman had no prior record in state or federal databases, save a minor traffic violation. The FBI said they have found “no connection to international terrorist organizations”.
  • President Donald Trump called the shooting “an act of pure evil,” and said he will go to las Vegas on Wednesday.
  • The gunman’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, was named as a person of interest but police said the gunman acted alone at the hotel. Danley is abroad and cooperating with police.
  • The gunman’s brother expressed horror and shock, saying Paddock had no background with weapons. “No religious affiliation, no political affiliation, he just hung out,” he told television networks. “He’s just a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite, drove down and gambled in Las Vegas.”
  • Nevada authorities pleaded for blood donations from people in the Las Vegas area. Governor Brian Sandoval said the scene was “basically a war zone” – “we need blood.”

Updated

In a pattern repeated after high-profile mass shootings for years, shares in the US’s two largest gun companies have risen sharply after the Vegas attack.

Sturm Ruger, America’s largest firearms manufacturer, is up over 4%. American Outdoor Brands (formerly Smith & Wesson) is up over 5%. Such rises are typical after a mass shooting as investors bet fear will lead to higher guns sales.

Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 11.27.09 AM
Sturm Ruger shares.
Photograph: Screengrab
Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 11.27.41 AM
American Outdoor Brands.
Photograph: Screengrab

Las Vegas sheriff Joe Lombardo answers a few questions from reporters in the room.

On the 10 weapons found in the gunman’s hotel room: “We do know that he brought the weapons in on his own. In the original briefing we believed that he had [a companion]. We have determined that the female is out of the country. He brought these weapons in on his own.”

On the new property being investigated, he says it was found by searching through property assessor records.

Was the gunman known to law enforcement? “Not at all. We’ve checked all the federal databases and Nevada databases and we have no knowledge of this individual.”

On Marilou Danley, the gunman’s girlfriend who is currently abroad: “We still consider her a person of interest. We have been in contact with her and we plan to engage her upon her return to the country.”

On how he broke the hotel room windows: ”We believe he had a device similar to a hammer to smash through the windows.”

Whether he had tickets to the concert: “I have no idea.”

On the gunman’s actions in the hotel: “There will be hours and hours and hours of video surveillance that we will have to recall with the cooperation of the MGM [hotel].”

Whether law enforcement could have acted before the shooting: “I don’t know how it could’ve been prevented if we had no prior knowledge of the individual.”

Whether cleaning services noticed anything: “It has been reported that individuals were going to and fro from his room, and nothing nefarious was noticed, at this point, as we know now.”

On what he knows about the gunman’s final moments: “[I was told] he had killed himself. Exactly – we’ll have to go through our body worn camera and existing video as to whether we engaged him at the same approximate time.”

On motive: “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath at this point.”

Updated

Authorities in Nevada have one united plea for Nevada: give blood.

Dina Titus, a representative for the county, says that while authorities appreciate thoughts and prayers, “we need blood.”

Adam Laxalt, Nevada’s attorney general, says, “We’ve never been hit with such a tough situation.” He makes a similar plea.

Governor Brian Sandoval takes the podium after Laxalt. “I don’t know if I have words to describe what we’re going through, and what these poor unfortunate victims.

“We’re angry, we’re grieving, we’re confused. People are hurting. I want to thank the sheriff and all the first responders, I just had the opportunity to visit some of the patients in the hospital, and it’s unimaginable what people are going through right now.

Sandoval says that for all the horror, this was for first responders “their finest hour” in “what basically was a war zone”.

“We don’t understand what’s happened. And I’m sure we’ll find out a little more as Metro continues to perform its investigation. We need blood, so if anybody could contribute blood, anybody in the Las Vegas area or locally could do that. As we move on we’ll learn more.”

Sandoval stresses this final point. “It was a cowardly, despicable act. There’s not much we can do but we can learn.”

Updated

The Clark County district attorney, Steve Woodson, takes the podium.

“This was a classic WMD. This was a weapon and a man of mass destruction,” he says. “This doesn’t involve politics. All of us are Nevadans. We’re working to get through this.”

The mayor, Carolyn Goodman, speaks next about the gunman.

“This is a crazed lunatic full of hate. We don’t know much about his background. But it’s certainly not an extension about what we believe in.”

FBI: no known international terror link

The sheriff says there is no new information to report about the suspect, but that police have completed their investigation of his hotel room. They have also identified another property associated with the gunman, and executed a search warrant there. Mesquite police have been searching the gunman’s home there, about 80 miles north-east of Las Vegas.

An FBI agent, Aaron Rouse, briefly takes the podium to address the Isis claim, made without any evidence, that the gunman had converted to Islam.

“We have determined at this point no connection to international terrorist organization,” Rouse says.

Updated

Death toll rises to 58

Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo has said the death toll has increased to 58, and there are now 515 people injured.

The number of people that have died associated with this event has increased. It may be 59, Lombardo says, as hospitals struggle to treat the sheer number of people injured.

Jason Burke, the Guardian’s Africa correspondent and author of The New Threat, a work on the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, writes that the public and the press need to be skeptical of claims that the Las Vegas shooter converted to Islam or was somehow linked to an international group.

The Isis claim of responsibility for Las Vegas shooting appears to have been first published on Amaq news agency, an ISIS communication channel which has seen many previous such statements. We need to be very prudent assessing this one. The profile of the attacker alone urges extreme caution, and US officials have already said they have no evidence of any link to the group.

Until around a year ago, Isis claims tended to be reliable. The group used carefully calibrated wording to indicate its degree of involvement of the group, and, if there was some exaggeration, there was limited outright fabrication. The group often provided proof of its involvement through videos recorded by attackers before an incident.

Isis also started quoting “security sources”, which are thought by security officials to be close friends or relatives, contacted by the group, who confirmed an individual’s motivation and loyalties. Sometimes of these appear to have been “interviewed” by Isis after an attack to back up its claim.

But in recent months Isis, facing military defeat and the loss of territories, have repeatedly made claims which have been shown to utterly unjustified. Isis claimed a role in the Westminster attacks in March – and an exhaustive investigation found no link. The group claimed a shooting in a Philippines casino in June, where the attacker was an gambler with large debts and a drinking problem. There are many other examples.

This claim today describes the shooter in Las Vegas as a “soldier” of the Isis, who converted to Islam several months ago. This is theoretically possible of course but seems far fetched, not least because he committed suicide.

Islamic militant groups launch “fedayeen” actions in which death is a near certainty, thus becoming “martyrs”, but they do not ever take their own lives in this way, which is seen as a terrible sin.

Updated

Despite the president’s call to unity, the fault lines of gun policy have already appeared in Congress, where some lawmakers are growing increasingly angry after years of horrific mass shootings.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a Republican, said in a statement that the “evil tragedy horrifies us all” and that “the whole country stands united in our shock, in our condolences, and in our prayers.”

Some Democrats have taken a sterner line. Chris Murphy, the Connecticut senator who has campaigned for gun control since the Newtown school massacre in 2013, pleaded for action.

“This must stop,” he said. “It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren’t public policy responses to this epidemic.

“There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It’s time for Congress to get off its ass and do something.”

Similarly, Virginia representative Don Beyer, said that the shooting – like the hundreds of others over the last few yearss – is “unfathomable and unacceptable.”

“We have a moral duty to honor their lives with action. We must not, and we will not, become desensitized to gun violence.”

Massachusetts representative Seth Moulton has pledged to protest in the House, as he did after the 2016 shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

The Mandalay Bay hotel, where the gunman took a corner room and fired onto the concert crowd outside, has announced that guests may return to their rooms.

Updated

“Our unity cannot be shattered by evil,” the president continues. He invokes scripture, “we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.”

“Though we feel such great anger at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens it is our love that defines us today.”

He says that he will visit Las Vegas on Wednesday.
“I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness. The answers do not come easy.”

“We can take solace that even in the darkest space can be brightened by a single light, and even the most terrible despair can be lightened by a single ray of hope.”

“We pray for the day when evil is banished and when the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear. May God bless the souls of the lives that are lost. May God give us the grace to heal, and may God provide the grieving families with the strength to carry on. Thank you, and God bless America.”

With that he concludes his remarks.

Trump to the nation: ‘It was an act of pure evil’

President Donald Trump is now addressing the nation on the shooting.

“My fellow Americans. we are joined together today in sadness, shock and grief. Last night a gunman opened fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. He brutally murdered more than 50 people and wounded hundreds more.

“It was an act of pure evil. The FBI and the department of homeland security are working closely with local authorities to assist with the investigation and they will provide updates as to the investigation and how it develops.”

He thanks the Las Vegas police and other first responders. “The speed with which they acted is miraculous. To have found the shooter so quickly after the first shots were fired is something we for which we will always be thankful.”

“We cannot fathom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss. The the families of the victims we are praying for you, we are here for you.”

In memory of the fallen, he says, he has directed flags to fly at half-staff. “In moments of tragedy and horror Americans come together as one. It always has.”

Donald Trump at the White House. A portrait of George Washington hangs behind.
Donald Trump at the White House. A portrait of George Washington hangs behind.
Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Updated

Paddock’s brother: ‘It’s like an asteroid fell from the sky’

The FBI has spoken with Eric Paddock, the brother of the gunman, at his home in central Florida. Paddock has also given a few interviews at greater length.

“He was my brother and it’s like an asteroid fell out of the sky,” Paddock told CNN. He said he last spoke to his brother when Stephen wanted to check in on their mother after Hurricane Irma.

Paddock expressed shock and horror to CBS that his brother could commit such a crime. He had “no religious affiliation, no political affiliation, he just hung out”, Paddock said.

“He’s not an avid gun guy at all. The fact that he had those kind of weapons is just – where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background or anything like that. He’s just a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite, drove down and gambled in Las Vegas. He did stuff. Ate burritos.”

Paddock said that when he heard the news he became scared for Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, worrying that “he might’ve hurt her too”.

Police have said Danley was out of the country, unharmed and speaking with investigators.

Updated

The Las Vegas sheriff, Joseph Lombardo, and President Donald Trump are expected to give respective briefings within the next half hour.

Authorities have so far stressed that they know nothing about the shooter’s motivation. Lombardo said he was not yet ready to label the shooting terrorism.

Mesquite police are reported to have cleared the suspect’s home, north-east of Las Vegas.

Updated

Dan Hernandez, reporting from Las Vegas, has spoken with two more survivors of the shooting.

Brian Schmidt and Anna Power from Bismarck, North Dakota.
Brian Schmidt and Anna Power from Bismarck, North Dakota.
Photograph: Dan Hernandez

“We heard the gunshots, ducked, tried to find cover, [then] once we heard a little break in the popping noise we took off running,” said Brian Schmidt, from Bismarck, North Dakota. “There was no time to think about anything. It was all reaction.”

He said the adrenaline was still flowing, hours later: “As far as sitting down and reflecting on this, that process hasn’t started yet. I have no idea when it will.”

He expressed thanks to city officials for reacting as quickly as they did. “They did everything they possibly could, given the circumstances. From the moment we ran into officers we felt safe.

“We’re just very fortunate to be here.”

Survivors and evacuees who are unable to return to their hotel rooms are taking shelter in a large arena near the Mandalay Bay, the Thomas and Mack Center at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Members of the community have dropped off blankets, water and food, and police are standing guard.

UNLV.

Updated

The suspect’s brother, Eric Paddock, has told a local Florida station his family is “dumbfounded” by the shooting.

“We are completely dumbfounded,” he told WOFL-Channel 35, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “We can’t understand what happened.”

“We have absolutely no idea whatsoever,” Paddock said. “I can’t imagine. When you guys find out why this happened, let us know. I have no idea whatsoever.”

He said he would provide further comment to the press at some later point.

The suspect, Stephen Paddock, lived in central Florida as recently as 2015, according to several media outlets in the state.

Florida Today spoke to residents of Heritage Isle retirement community in Viera, where records show Paddock owned a two-bedroom house from 2013-15. Mick Anderson, who bought the house from Paddock, said he never met or spoke with Paddock during the transaction.

“It was all done through my realtor and his realtor,” Anderson told the newspaper. “The only thing I can tell you is that the documents were regularly late.”

Next-door neighbours Don and Sharon Judy said they saw Paddock and his girlfriend only rarely during the two years he owned the property.

Updated

Local KTNV news has interviewed Anthony Kappenman, a shooting victim who was in the crowd around centre stage when the shooting broke out.

Kappenman said that when he first heard “repetitive popping” he thought it sounded like fireworks. He looked up to the sky to find them.

“On the second burst I instantly knew there were no fireworks.”

Kappenman said he has experience with guns and that he recognised the sound for what it was, grabbed a friend, and “started ushering her toward safety.”

“And then the crowd kind of picked up and realised there was gunfire. It was raining and hitting the concrete so you could hear it,” he said.

As the realisation set in, so did panic. People in the crowd starting running and “trampling” each other, Kappenman said, describing it as “pandemonium”.

“I grabbed my friend and held her close, tried to keep her at a good pace” – and then shots started landing near her. She jumped for cover as the shots grew closer. “I had one probably miss my head by about two inches.”

As he helped his friend back up to get running again, he was struck by shrapnel in his chin – and then shot in the leg. Around them, he said, “people were trying to jump the fence, really anything they could do to scramble to safety”.

The whole episode lasted somewhere between five to 10 minutes, he thinks – an eternity of nearly constant gunfire.

“I was getting to the back of the festival ground and I could still hear shots ringing out,” he said.

Kappenman reached the hospital, where doctors told him the bullet had entered his bone. Another of his friends was hit in the calf; his other friend escaped from injury.

Updated

What we know so far

  • At least 50 people have been killed and more than 400 injured at a country music festival in Las Vegas, in the worst mass shooting in US history. Two police officers, including one who was an off-duty member of the Las Vegas police department, are among the dead.
  • The shooter was named by police as Stephen Paddock, 64. Police say they believe he killed himself before officers raided his his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, from where he fired multiple rounds at concertgoers at the Route 91 harvest country music festival.
  • Police found at least 10 guns in Paddock’s room. He had been staying in the room since 28 September.
  • Paddock was described as a “lone wolf” with no known links to terrorist groups. His motives are unknown and he had no police record. A spokesman for the US Department of Homeland Security says there is no information to indicate a “specific credible threat” to other public venues.
  • Police have found Paddock’s “companion”, Marilou Danley. They said she was out of the country and has been questioned by the police.
  • Paddock’s house in Mesquite, Nevada is being searched. His two vehicles have been found. Public records listed previous addresses for Paddock in Texas and California, as well as a 2010 licence to hunt and fish in Alaska.
  • Donald Trump tweeted his condolences and sympathies. His planned trip to hurricane-hit Puerto Rico has been delayed.
  • Jason Aldean, the country music star who was performing as the shooting took place, described the scene as “beyond horrific”. He said he and his crew were safe, but added: “It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”
  • Concertgoers reported seeing muzzle flashes from the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay hotel and several videos of the aftermath show hundreds of people fleeing in panic as shots continued. Around 22,000 people were attending the concert when Paddock opened fire.
  • Some flights have resumed at the city’s McCarran international airport after all planes were temporarily grounded on Sunday evening.

Updated

The Department of Homeland Security has repeated the sheriff’s assessment of the current situation in Las Vegas. Acting secretary Elaine Duke said in a statement that there is no “specific credible threat involving other public venues” at this moment.

The department is closely monitoring the situation and working with our federal, state, and local partners in responding to and investigating this tragedy.

At this time, we have no information to indicate a specific credible threat involving other public venues in the country. However, increased security in and around public places and events may be experienced as officials take additional precautions.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this incident as we work to support the Las Vegas community.

Updated

Lombardo says the police have found nothing to suggest a motive for Paddock’s attack.

Asked why they did not regard the attack as domestic terrorism, Lombardo said:

We have to establish what his motivation is first. There is motiving factors associated with terrorism other than a distraught person just intending to cause mass casualty. Before we label with that it will be a matter of process.

Asked whether investigators had found anything to suggest a motive, the sheriff said: “We have not located any items within the room or his house [that would indicate motive].”

He also revealed that Paddock had been staying in the room since last Thursday.

We have information that he has been there [in the hotel room] since the 28 September. I have no idea whether he prevented the house keepers from entering the room or not. That is a matter for continued investigation.

Police: ‘Paddock killed himself’

Sheriff Joe Lombardo is giving another press conference. He confirms that more than 50 people were killed and more than 400 were injured in the attack.

He says there is nothing “derogatory” in the background of the suspect, Stephen Paddock.

“We believe the individual killed himself prior to our entry,” Lombardo said.

Some 10 weapons were found in his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.

Updated

A spokesman for the US Department of Homeland Security says there is no information to indicate a “specific credible threat” to other public venues in US after the Las Vegas shooting.

Updated

More than 400 wounded, Paddock found dead

More than 400 people wounded in the attack have been treated in hospital, according to a new update from the police.

In a new press release it confirmed that Paddock was found dead in his room.

The Las Vegas metropolitan police department identified the lone suspect involved in the late night mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip as 64-year-old, Stephen Craig Paddock, a white male from Mesquite, Nevada.

Paddock 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.

The victims were across the street attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert when bullets rang out. LVMPD Swat responded to the call, breached the hotel room and found the suspect dead. The Clark County fire department estimated that approximately 406 people were transported to area hospitals and 50 are dead following Sunday evening’s shooting.

Among the dead is an LVMPD 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.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations is asking for anyone with videos or photos concerning the shooting to call 1-800-CALLFBI or (800) 225-5324. LVMPD and Clark County coroner’s office have set up a hotline for family or friends to report a missing loved one connected to this incident. The hotline is only to take reports on missing people. The number is (866) 535-5654. LVMPD also opened up a family reunification centre at its headquarters at 400 S. Martin L King Blvd in Building B.

The identification process of all of the injured and the deceased will take time, so authorities are asking the public for patience.

Anyone wishing to help is asked to donate blood for the injured victims of the Strip shooting. United Blood Services will start taking donations at 7am at two locations: 6930 W. Charleston in Las Vegas or 601 Whitney Ranch Drive in Henderson. UMC will also be hosting a blood drive in conjunction with United Blood Services.

It will be held at UMC’s Delta Point Building located at 901 N Rancho Lane. There will be updates as to the exact time of the blood drive as more information is available.

Updated

Paddock may have shot himself, according to McMahill.

Speaking to CNN he added: “He was shot. I cannot tell you that it was the police that shot him. He may have self-inflicted that gunshot wound. Those details are still emerging.”

He added: “A number of long rifles were in that room. I would say there were at least eight guns up there.”

McMahill reported that the number of wounded people in the attack is likely to rise above the more than 200 figure given by Lombardo earlier.

He said: “We continue to receive reports from all of our area hospitals where individuals self-transported themselves. So that number of injured individuals I anticipate to continue to climb over the next couple of hours.”

Updated

Las Vegas undersheriff Kevin McMahill says at least eight guns were found in the hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel where Stephen Paddock launched his deadly attack.

“This is a day I wish I never had to see in my 27 years of law enforcement,” he told CNN.

He said the scene was the most disturbing he had ever seen in his career. “We just didn’t see it coming,” McMahill said.

Paddock, 64, was a resident of Mesquite, Nevada, a retirement and golf community of about 20,000 people, a police spokesman confirmed.

“We don’t have a lot on Mr Paddock,” Mesquite police spokesman Quinn Averett said. Mesquite PD records held no report of any contact with Paddock, Averett said. No calls for service, no arrests, not even a record of a traffic stop.

Mesquite is just minutes away from Bunkerville, Nevada, the site of an armed standoff at the Bundy Ranch between federal agents and a ranch family and the citizen militia members who came to support them.

Mesquite typically sees about one murder a year, Averett said.

Public records listed previous addresses for Stephen Paddock in Texas and California, as well as a 2010 license to hunt and fish in Alaska.

Updated

The British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, said Foreign Office staff are trying to establish whether any British citizens were caught up in the attack.

In a statement he said:

I am horrified by the awful attack at a music festival in Las Vegas this morning. The United Kingdom stands with the American people against this indiscriminate violence. My thoughts are with all those caught up in it.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is in contact with Las Vegas authorities to establish whether any British people were caught up in the attack and we are ready to help however we can. Any British people in Las Vegas should follow the instructions of local authorities.

Updated

British tennis player Laura Robson was among the survivors, according to PA.

“I’m OK,” BBC Sport reported her saying on social media.

Updated

Las Vegas police department has so far confirmed that two off-duty police officers were among more than 50 people killed in the attack. One worked for the LVPD. At least two on-duty officers were also injured in the attack. One is in a stable condition after surgery and another with minor injuries.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer stands in the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue after a mass shooting at a country music festival
A Las Vegas metropolitan police department officer stands in the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue after a mass shooting at a country music festival.
Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Updated

The US vice president, Mike Pence, has also tweeted his condolences.

Donald Trump expressed similar sentiments, but apart from one tweet has said nothing else about the attack.

Updated

Police in Mesquite, where Paddock’s home is being searched, say he did not have a criminal record.

“We don’t have a lot on Mr Paddock. He does live here in our city. We have not had any law enforcement contact with him in the past,” Quinn Averett, a spokesman for the Mesquite police department, said.

In their records, there is no report of any contact with Paddock – no calls for service, no arrests, not even a record of a traffic stop.

Mesquite is a quiet city of about 20,000 people, a “retirement and golf community” with three large casinos that averages about one murder a year, Averett said.

Updated

What we know so far

  • At least 50 people have been killed and more than 200 injured at a country music festival in Las Vegas, in the worst mass shooting in US history. Two police officers are among the dead.
  • The shooter was named by police as Stephen Paddock, 64. Several rifles were found in his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, from where he fired multiple rounds at concertgoers at the Route 91 harvest country music festival.
  • Paddock was described as a “lone wolf” with no known links to terrorist groups. His motives are unknown. A Swat team used a controlled explosion to enter his hotel room before shooting him dead.
  • Police believe they have located Paddock’s companion, Marilou Danley, after launching a public hunt for her. She is wanted for questioning and is described as a person of interest.
  • Paddock’s house in Mesquite, Nevada is being searched. His two vehicles have been found.
  • Donald Trump tweeted his condolences and sympathies. His planned trip to hurricane-hit Puerto Rico has been delayed.
  • Jason Aldean, the country music star who was performing as the shooting took place, described the scene as “beyond horrific”. He said he and his crew were safe, but added: “It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”
  • Concertgoers reported seeing muzzle flashes from the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay hotel and several videos of the aftermath show hundreds of people fleeing in panic as shots continued. Around 22,000 people were attending the concert.
  • Some flights have resumed at the city’s McCarran International airport after all planes were temporarily grounded on Sunday evening.

Updated

Trump tweets condolences

The White House says Donald Trump is being briefed about the shooting. He just put out this tweet to express condolences.

The shooting happened during a concert by country music star Jason Aldean. As reported earlier, he put out a statement to express his horror at the events and to reassure fans that he and his crew were safe.

Seven albums into his career, Aldean is one of the most successful country music artists in the world.

Born in Georgia in 1977, Aldean moved to Nashville at the age of 21. He initially struggled to break into the industry following a series of failed record contracts.

Eventually, in 2005, he released his self-titled debut album, which gave him his first No 1 single on the US country charts.

The album went platinum, a record also achieved by Aldean’s following five releases – his sales peaking with 2010’s My Kinda Party, which was certified triple-platinum.

Over the years, Aldean has worked with acts including Bryan Adams, Kelly Clarkson and Ludacris, and in 2015 was announced as the only country musician to become a partner in Jay-Z’s streaming service Tidal.

In 2016, Forbes estimated Aldean’s annual income at $36.5m, making him the fifth highest paid country music act in the world.

Aldean is married to the former American Idol contestant Brittany Kerr, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child. He has two daughters from a previous marriage.

Updated

Here are the main points and quotes from Lombardo’s latest press conference.

Deadliest multiple shooting in US history

We are looking at in excess of 50 individuals dead and over 200 individuals injured … Obviously this is a tragic incident and one that we have never experienced in this valley. My condolences go out to the loved ones.

That number for family and friends to get an update on loved ones is 1866 535 5654.

One Las Vegas police officer among dead

One [of our officers] was critical but is stable and one of my officers was off duty attending the concert and lost his life.

Suspect named

The suspect’s name is Stephen Paddock, with a date of birth of four nine of 1953. As far as history and background, we haven’t completed that part of the investigation.

Several rifles were found in Paddock’s room

We located numerous firearms within the room that he occupied. All’s we know is that they were rifles. We are executing a search warrant on the room. We have officers at his residence, and we will be executing a search warrant there also shortly.

It is going to be a long and tedious investigation. We are bringing in all the resources of the FBI to assist us in this investigation, in particular to their victim witness advocates and their CSI folks to help us process the scene and ensure that we are getting all the evidence that we can possibly obtain.

Police are confident they have located Paddock’s companion Marilou Danley

We have located the vehicles that I had put out in the first briefing. We are confident but not 100% sure that we have located the female person of interest. I want the people to feel confident and calm that we have accomplished a lot in short period of time.

Updated

Deadliest mass shooting in US history

The death toll of at least 50 people killed makes this the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

It surpasses the Orlando shooting at the Pulse nightclub in June 2016 when 49 people were killed.

Updated

One of the dead police officers worked for the LVPD but was off duty at the time, Lombardo says. Another one of the force’s officers is in a critical condition.

Updated

Suspect named

Lombardo confirms that the dead suspect is Stephen Paddock. He says the investigation will be long and protracted.

Updated

50 dead, 200 wounded

Lombardo says police have located Danley and the suspect’s vehicles.

He said more than 50 people are dead and 200 wounded.

Updated

Las Vegas sheriff Joseph Lombardo is about to give another press conference.

Updated

Like NBC, CBS News has also named the dead suspect as Stephen Paddock. This has not been confirmed by police.

A law enforcement source told CBS News a search warrant has been issued for the home of the shooter, identified as Stephen Paddock, of Mesquite, Nevada.

Police there told CBS News the suspect was white, in his 60s, had been living in a retirement community and hadn’t had any run-ins with law enforcement. He wasn’t a veteran, Mesquite police added.

Jake Owen, a country music star who played the set prior to Jason Aldean’s, wrote on Twitter that “gun shots were ringing off of the stage rigging and road cases” during the attack at the Route 91 festival.

He suggested that the gunman was aiming at the stage at times. “No one knew where to go,” he added. “Thank you LVPD and responders for keeping us safe.”

Other country music stars playing the festival have been reassuring fans of their safety, and sending condolences and prayers.

Big & Rich wrote that “everyone in the B&R camp is ok thoughts and prayers to everyone in vegas”.

Dylan Scott sent “prayers to everyone” and lamented “what is wrong with this world,” while Kane Brown tweeted: “This world is sick.”

Josh Abbott said that he and his band were safe, along with his fiancée, who was locked down in her hotel room.

NBC News has named the suspect as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, citing “multiple sources”.

The Guardian cannot verify this. The police say he has been identified as a Las Vegas resident, but have not released his name. His motives are not known. NBC said he has no known terrorist connections.

Updated

Theresa May has expressed her condolences.

Other world leaders, including Sweden’s prime minister, Stefan Löfven, and his Danish counterpart, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, have also expressed their horror at the shooting.

Updated

MGM Resorts, the owners of the Mandalay Bay hotel where the suspect opened fire from the 32nd floor, said the building and others in the area are still on lockdown.

Here’s video footage of that briefing by Sheriff Lombardo (see earlier for the text).

Updated

Police have said little about why they want to track down Marilou Danley, the dead suspect’s “companion”. Sheriff Lombardo gave no details of whether she was suspected of involvement in the attack, describing her only as an “associate”.

On her Facebook profile Danley describes herself as a “proud mum and grandma who lives life to the fullest.”

Marilou Danley.
Marilou Danley.
Photograph: LVMPD/EPA

Updated

‘We ran for our lives’

The streets between Mandalay Bay hotel and Sunrise hospital, a nearby medical center, saw ambulances going back and forth between the scene for several hours, writes Daniel Hernandez in Las Vegas.

Police shut down the south end of the strip corridor, displacing hundreds of tourists. Many of those who ran from the shooter sought refuge in budget motels, parking garages, and apartment complexes near the event. At a gas station across the street, survivors reunited with friends. Some were teary-eyed, still shaking with fear.

Jackie Hoffing, a Las Vegas native, said: “We were there enjoying our time and it was very obvious it was gunfire coming down into the crowd. It was hysteria. There were people trampled. I ran and I jumped walls and I was only with my husband. He stayed with me. We jumped walls, climbed cars, ran for our lives. I’ve never run that hard or been that scared in my whole life.”

Hoffing added: “We’ve been in the motel. We knocked on a random door and went in there and hid in the bathroom for the past two and a half hours. We stopped in the lobby and thought we were safe then they came in and said the suspect is here, everybody has to run. It was another stampede. It was more panic than reality. I was texting my children, I thought we were going to die. I told them ‘I love you’.”

Krista Metz said: “I’m still shaking. Every time I start thinking about it I start shaking again. We took shelter in a condo with 30 other people.”

Desiree Price, from San Diego, said: “I helped someone who was bleeding. (Her shirt and trousers are smeared with blood.) Two girls hid behind a car with us right outside the concert. One girl was shot in her leg, the other had in her shoulder. It didn’t stop so we all ran – we kept going.”

Emily Anderson, 35, from San Diego, said: “I saw a lady get hit in the leg and her boyfriend dragging her out, and everyone was running. It was chaos.”

Updated

Las Vegas police have released a photo of the dead suspect’s companion Marilou Danley. She is wanted for questioning.

In his press conference Sheriff Lombardo said: “She is an Asian female, approximately 4ft 11in, weight of 111lbs. We have not located her at this time and we are interested in talking to her for follow up.”

What we know so far

  • More than 20 people have been killed and well in excess of 100 were injured when a “lone wolf” gunman fired multiple shots at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival from a hotel overlooking the event. Two of those killed were off-duty police officers.
  • The only suspect, whose motives are unknown, was killed by police. A Swat team used a controlled explosion to enter his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino.
  • Police are searching for the suspect’s companion, Marilou Danley. She is wanted for questioning and is described as a person of interest.
  • Jason Aldean, the country music star who was performing when the shooting took place, described the scene as “beyond horrific”. He said he and his crew were safe, but added: “It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”
  • Concertgoers reported seeing muzzle flashes from the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay hotel and several videos of the aftermath show hundreds of people fleeing in panic as the gunfire continued. Around 40,000 people were attending the festival.
  • Some flights have resumed at the city’s McCarran International airport after all planes were temporarily grounded on Sunday evening.

Updated

Here are the main points and quotes from Sheriff Lombardo’s press conference:

‘Lone-wolf’ suspect killed

At approximately 10.08pm we had calls coming of multiple shots being fired from the Mandalay Bay hotel towards the Route 91 concert, on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard.

There was a shooter on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. Officers engaged the suspect at that location. He is dead. He has been identified. He is a local resident. I will not release his name at this time …

We are confident that the primary aggressor in this event has expired, or passed away and is no longer a threat.

We do not know what his belief system was at this time. We believe he is the sole aggressor at this point and the scene is static. We are attempting to locate the person of interest.

Right now we believe it is a sole actor, a lone wolf-type actor and we have the place under control.

Asked if the shooter was part of a militant group, Lombardo said “no”.

At least 20 dead including two police officers

We have well in excess of 100-plus injured and an excess of 20-plus that have died.

I have two police officers who are currently at the hospital, one in critical condition and the other with minor injuries. There were other police officers that were off duty attending the concert, that have expired. We don’t have those individuals identified at this point.

Police searching for suspect’s companion

We are interested in a companion that is travelling with him [the suspect]. Her name is Marilou Danley. She is an Asian female, approximately 4ft 11in, weight of 111lbs. We have not located her at this time and we are interested in talking to her for follow up.

Police search for suspect’s vehicles

[There are] two vehicles we are interested in locating. We have a Hyundai Tucson [of unknown colour] with Nevada plate 114B40 and a Chrysler Pacifica Touring, [of unknown colour], Nevada plate 19D401. These are the plates registered to the suspect that we located at the Mandalay Bay.

No other shooters are at large

There has been multiple conjecture coming through social media that there are multiple shooters at other resorts. That has been proven to be false. Additionally, there have been accusations or beliefs that there is some explosive going off. That is also false. The only explosive contained in this event was our Swat team breaching the room. We are pretty confident that there is no longer a threat other than we are attempting to locate the person of interest.

Plea for video evidence

Anybody that may have cell phone video or any type of video that would be of benefit to the investigation, please respond to the LVPD HQ and we will take custody of that video.

Updated

At least 20 killed

Lombardo said “20 plus” people were killed and “100 plus” were injured. Police officers were among the dead, he said.

Updated

“The primary aggressor is dead … the scene is static,” Lombardo confirmed. The dead man lived locally and his motives were not known. There were no explosives involved in the attack but police used a controlled explosion to get to the suspect, he said.

Updated

Shooter’s companion still at large

The suspected shooter is dead but his companion, Marilou Danley, is still at large, according to Joseph Lombardo, the sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan police department.

Lombardo would not give a name for the dead shooter but confirmed he opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.

Updated

Recording artist Jason Aldean performs during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival at the Las Vegas Village
Recording artist Jason Aldean performs during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival at the Las Vegas Village
Photograph: Mindy Small/FilmMagic

Jason Aldean, the country star who was performing as the shooting took place, has issued a statement to express his horror.

Writing on Instagram he said:

Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still dont know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are 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.

Updated

We’re still waiting for a police press conference that was due to start 30 minutes ago.

Joseph Lombardo, the sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan police department, is due to give an update. Police have confirmed that one suspect is “down” and they do not believe there are any other shooters.

Updated

More harrowing footage shows the scene outside the Mandalay Bay hotel and the festival venue. Some people stayed down and tended to those injured while others fled as multiple shots were heard.

Updated

Several off-duty police officers from Bakersfield, California, were at the concert. One was shot in the shoulder, according to a statement published by the KGET News reporter Danny Freeman.

Updated

Some flights at McCarran International airport have resumed after all flights in and out of Las Vegas were temporarily halted.

Updated

Here’s footage of the Jason Aldean concert initially carrying on as multiple shots are heard.

The performance then stops and festivalgoers flee as gunfire continues.

Updated

Police believe no more shooters

Las Vegas police say they do not believe any more shooters are at large after confirming that a suspect is “down”.

Updated

Jason Aldean performs during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival
Jason Aldean performs during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival
Photograph: David Becker/Getty Images

Witnesses said the country singer Jason Aldean was performing near the end of the concert when the gunfire began.

He was due on stage at 9.40pm, according to the festival programme.

Kodiak Yazzi, 36, told Associated Press that he and his girlfriend were watching Aldean’s performance when he heard what sounded like fireworks.

The music stopped temporarily and started up again before another round of gunfire sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.

Thousands fled as bursts of gunfire could be heard for more than five minutes, Yazzi said.

Updated

The Las Vegas police chief, Joseph Lombardo, is due to give a press conference in about 15 minutes.

It confirmed that one suspect is down.

Updated

One suspect ‘down’

Las Vegas police say one suspect is “down” after the shooting, according to AP.

It quotes the University Medical Center spokeswoman Danita Cohen as saying 26 people had been admitted to the hospital.

Concertgoers reported seeing muzzle flashes from the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino across Las Vegas Boulevard from the country music festival and the sound of what they described as automatic gunfire.

Some later huddled in the basement of the nearby Tropicana hotel casino.

Some officers took cover behind their vehicles while others carrying assault rifles ran into the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino.

Authorities shut down part of the Las Vegas strip and Interstate 15.

Witnesses say country singer Jason Aldean was playing near the end of the concert when gunfire began.

Las Vegas police stand guard along the streets outside the Route 91 Harvest country music festival
Las Vegas police stand guard along the streets outside the Route 91 Harvest country music festival
Photograph: David Becker/Getty Images

Updated

14 people critically injured

The University Medical Center spokeswoman Danita Cohen said the Las Vegas hospital was taking in several people with gunshot wounds.

Reuters quoted a hospital spokesman saying that 14 of those taken to hospital were “critically wounded”.

Updated

This is Matthew Weaver with live coverage of the aftermath of a multiple shooting in Las Vegas.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • At least two people have been killed and 24 injured after a suspect, or suspects, opened fire at a country music festival across the road from the Mandalay Bay casino and hotel.
  • Police have warned the public to stay away and confirmed that the investigation is still active. The authorities received reports of an active shooter near the Route 91 Harvest festival.
  • Those in the hotel report that it is on lockdown. A Twitter feed citing police scanners said two gunmen who had shot at a bodyguard, and police were on the 32nd floor of the hotel.
  • Witnesses heard numerous gunshots at the casino hotel, where police tactical teams are searching for the attacker.
  • Some flights destined for the McCarran International airport in Las Vegas have been diverted due to the shooting.

Updated

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Names of Las Vegas victims emerge as police reveal gun stockpile – as it happened - NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).