This post was originally published at https://www.hercampus.com/school/bu/everything-we-know-so-far-about-deadliest-mass-shooting-us-history when Haley was a contributor for Her Campus' BU chapter. Haley was honored to report on the Las Vegas shooting for Her Campus Media in 2017.
The last thing survivor Lindsay Padgett expected last night was a tragedy. When popping sounds erupted at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, Padgett told ABC News she initially thought they were part of country music star Jason Aldean’s pyrotechnics display. Thanks to a flurry of late-night and early-morning news reports, we now know that the chaos Padgett experienced was actually the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.
“I thought for sure we were all going to die,” Padgett told the news outlet.
Padgett was one of the lucky survivors of last night’s tragic shooting at the festival of 22,000 concertgoers. From the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino at approximately 10:08 pm on Sunday, 64-year-old gunman Stephen Paddock unleashed a hailstorm of bullets on an unsuspecting crowd, killing at least 58 and injuring at least 515. The Washington Post reported that it is unclear how many of last night’s injuries resulted from gunshot wounds versus the chaos of the scene.
The latest reports say Paddock, who shot and killed himself before police entered his hotel room, was armed with at least 10 automatic rifles. Police believe he used a hammer-like device to break down the windows of the hotel room before unleashing fire on the crowd below.
“This is a weapon, and a man, of mass destruction,” Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson told The Independent.
The suspect’s brother, Bruce Paddock, told NBC News that his brother was a law-abiding citizen who had never previously been accused of violence. Law enforcement officials say Paddock, a licensed pilot with an Alaskan hunting license, had made $10,000 in Las Vegas gambling transactions in recent weeks.
Police said Paddock’s traveling companion, Marilou Danley, was located overseas by 6:37 am Monday morning. Danley has now been cleared as a suspect; however, the New York Times reported that police are unsure of the suspect’s motives and whether he acted alone.
Though the Islamic State issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, FBI special agent Aaron Rouse told the Los Angeles Times that they have found “no connection to an international terrorist group.”
Many public figures say they are shocked, saddened and outraged by the tragedy that unfolded last night in Las Vegas.
President Trump called the shooting “an act of pure evil” in his address Monday morning, saying he and First Lady Melania Trump prayed the nation could find “unity and peace.”
Country music singer Jason Aldean, who was performing onstage during the pandemonium, posted on Instagram after the shooting to confirm that he and his crew were safe.
“Tonight has been beyond horrific,” Aldean wrote in his Instagram caption.
Jake Owen, another country music star who performed in the three-day festival, tweeted that he had “witnessed the most unimaginable event tonight” and thanked police and first-responders for keeping the crowd safe.
“We are okay,” Owen tweeted. “Others aren’t. Please pray.”
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department urges people in the Las Vegas area to donate blood to victims in need.
Those who are unable to donate blood in-person may make donations to the Southern Nevada chapter of the American Red Cross. Please click here if you would like to contribute.
To locate missing victims of the Las Vegas shootings, please call (866) 535–5654.