Las Vegas Shooting



Flowers, candles and other items surround the famous Las Vegas sign at a makeshift memorial for victims of a mass shooting Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock opened fire on an outdoor country music concert killing dozens and injuring hundreds. (AP Photo/John Locher)

On October 1, 2017 a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. 64-year-old Stephen Paddock fired hundreds of rifle rounds from his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. The shooting reignited the debate about gun laws in the U.S. with attention focused on bump fire stocks. Twenty-three guns, a large quantity of ammunition, and numerous high-capacity magazines capable of holding up to 100 rounds apiece were found in the suite. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF) determined that the firearms found in the suite, as well as his home, were legal and had been legally purchased in the states of Nevada, California, Texas, and Utah.

Police found a handwritten note that calculated the distance, wind, and trajectory from his 32nd floor hotel suite to the concertgoers he was targeting. They also found a bulletproof vest and breathing apparatus, that Paddock never used. Ammonium nitrate, used in explosive devices, 50 pounds (23 kg) of Tannerite, a binary explosive, and 1,600 rounds of ammunition was found in his trunk. It is said he had “heinous intent” with the material, he did not appear to assemble an explosive device.

During the shooting, police officers were confused whether the shots were coming from the Mandalay Bay or the festival grounds. There were also multiple false reports of additional shooters at other hotels on the strip. They eventually spotted multiple flashes of gunfire in the middle of the Mandalay Bay, and responded to the hotel. After the gunfire settled, police breached Paddock’s room with explosives. Paddock was found dead, having shot himself in the head before the police entered. His motive will remain unknown.

The incident is the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States, surpassing the death toll of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting (49 died).The shooting left at least 58 people dead and nearly 500 injured. The victims’ ages ranged from 20 to 67. The morning after the shooting, lines to donate blood in Las Vegas stretched for blocks. Millions of dollars have also been raised to help the victims and their families.