LAS VEGAS — A gunman perched on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel-casino unleashed a hail of bullets on an outdoor country music festival below, killing at least 58 people as tens of thousands of concertgoers screamed and ran for their lives, officials said Monday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

At least 515 others were injured in the Sunday night attack, authorities said.

SWAT teams using explosives stormed the gunman's hotel room in the sleek, gold-colored glass skyscraper and found he had killed himself, authorities said. He had as many as 10 guns with him, including rifles, they said.

There was no word on a motive for the attack. Aaron Rouse, the FBI agent in charge in Las Vegas, said investigators saw no immediate evidence connecting it to an international terror organization, despite a claim of responsibility from the Islamic State group.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman said the attack was the work of a "crazed lunatic full of hate."

Country music star Jason Aldean was performing Sunday night at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival in front of a crowd of more than 22,000 when the gunman opened fire from inside the 44-floor Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across the street.

The gunman was identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada. He had checked into the hotel room on Thursday, authorities said. Police said he was a retiree with no criminal record in the Nevada county where he lived.

Paddock's brother, Eric Paddock, who lives in Florida, told the Orlando Sentinel: "We are completely dumbfounded. We can't understand what happened."

In an address to the country, President Donald Trump called the attack "an act of pure evil" and added: "In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has." He ordered flags flown at half-staff.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said authorities believe it was a "lone wolf" attack. And the U.S. Homeland Security Department said there was no "specific credible threat" involving other public venues in the U.S.

In its claim of responsibility, the Islamic State group said the gunman was "a soldier" who had converted to Islam months ago. But it provided no evidence.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered the support of the FBI and other federal agencies but noted that the investigation is being led by the sheriff in Las Vegas. That was seen as another possible sign the shooting was not believed to be an act of international terrorism.

Las Vegas authorities put out a call for blood donations and set up a hotline to report missing people and speed the identification of the dead and wounded. They also opened a "family reunification center" for people to find loved ones.

Aldean was in the middle of a song when the shots came rapidly: pop-pop-pop-pop. Video showed Aldean stopping and the crowd getting quiet as if it were unsure of what had happened.

The gunman paused and then fired another volley, the muzzle flashes visible from the casino, as victims fell to the ground while others fled in panic. Some hid behind concession stands, while others crawled under parked cars.

Kodiak Yazzie, 36, said the music stopped temporarily when the first shots began and then started up again before the second round of pops sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.

"It was the craziest stuff I've ever seen in my entire life," Yazzie said. "You could hear that the noise was coming from west of us, from Mandalay Bay. You could see a flash, flash, flash, flash."

Monique Dumas, of British Columbia, Canada, said she was at the concert, six rows from the stage, when she thought she heard a bottle breaking, then a burst of pops that sounded liked fireworks.

Couples held hands as they ran through the dirt lot. Faces were etched with shock and confusion, and people wept and screamed. Some were bloodied, and some were carried out by fellow concertgoers. Dozens of ambulances took away the wounded, while some people loaded victims into their cars and drove them to the hospital.

Police shut down busy Las Vegas Boulevard, and federal and state authorities converged on the scene. Interstate 15 was briefly closed, and flights at McCarran International Airport were suspended.

Hospital emergency rooms were jammed with the wounded. Rep. Ruben Kihuen, a Democrat whose congressional district includes a portion of Las Vegas, visited a hospital were some of the victims were taken and said: "Literally, every single bed was being used, every single hallway was being used. Every single person there was trying to save a life."

The dead included at least three off-duty police officers from various departments who were attending the concert, authorities said. Two on-duty officers were wounded, one critically, police said.

"It's a devastating time," the sheriff said.

Nearly every inch of the Las Vegas Strip is under video surveillance, much of it set up by the casinos to monitor their properties. That could yield a wealth of material for investigators as they try to piece together the attack.

Hours after the shooting, Aldean posted on Instagram that he and his crew were safe and that the shooting was "beyond horrific."

"It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night," the country star said.

Before Sunday, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place in June 2016, when a gunman who professed support for Muslim extremist groups opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people.

Sunday's shooting came more than four months after a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people. Almost 90 people were killed by gunmen inspired by Islamic State at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris during a performance by Eagles of Death Metal in 2015.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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(19) comments

Buggs Raplin

Information is coming out that ISIS is claiming responsibility, and it's known that ISIS doesn't claim responsibility unless they were somehow involved. Other information reveals there may have been a second shooter. Other information, video of a concert goer telling about a woman telling her they were all going to die. This was 45 minutes before the shooting began. Other information is that there was antifa literature in Haddock's hotel room, and that he didn't kill himself, but was shot dead by the cops. It is important for us to examine all this information. Absolute faith in reporting by the Associated Press and others in the fake news mainstream media is unwarranted. Alex Jones and Rense are good sources. Check out their stories and then sift and winnow to make up your own minds.

Climatehoax

Liberals don't care that Americans get killed, they only care by whom. It's awful when white people do it, but don't stop the Muslims from coming in and doing it. Ok for sanctuary cities to provide refugee for illegal alien killers. It's ok for gang bs gears to kill each other. Blacks killing blacks. It's ok for Odummy to release drug dealers early to sell their poison to Americans, and kill them. BUT if a white msn does it, its slot worse, why do liberals think that way?

Climatehoax

Oh and by the way, more people than this get killed in less than a week in our three most murderous cities. We never hear about that. Where's the outrage in the liberal news media????

FearorLove

Medicare For All is proven to lower crime

ElPresidente

I wish these loser shooters would get the order of events right. First you shoot yourself, then you shoot innocent people... Not that difficult to remember.

johnnybragatti

Wait till the Repube lobbyists come down on gun grabbers , everywhere,
ya"ll ain"t seen nothing yet.
Of course our hearts go out, to every victim and NO, Trump didn"t cause it.
Trump merely cultivated the overall Hatred,
there ain"t no denying it, by anyone or anybody.

Climatehoax

I suppose your post where you said Trump and David Clark need a bullet doesn't cultivate hatred. I still can't believe the Trib allows you to post on here after that statement, but the liberal media is biased, but I'm surprised to THAT extent.

SaturnAscends

Aluminum Foil-wearimg Reptilians say: "This was staged by Democrats, because Obama took all the guns away."

allcav

Enough of the political troll-speak. This horrible event should give pause to our legislature's efforts to allow concealed carry without permit and to allow felons to have firearms. I don't relish gangbangers carrying legally, and a black powder revolver can be just as lethal as a modern arm. If the issue is allowing a felon to use a rifle for hunting, then that should be limited to a single shot, black powder rifle. I own guns, and I am an NRA member. I believe in responsible ownership and use, but not all do, apparently.

RealDeal

I would like to thank all of you 6 posters before me who made sure your posts had nothing to do with condol3nces to the victims and families but instead were all about your agenda, nice work...........

shameless

I've been praying for the end of gun violence for years. Doesn't appear to be working.

YellowBee

My thoughts and prayers are with all those effected by this deranged person. I wonder if he had a military background that he was able to kill that many.

MelloRedBuggVet2Lax

There may be some action on this, not because of 50 dead, but it interferes with Las Vegas making money. That's the one thing Trump understands.

GrandpaS

We're #1!! We're #1!! More people killed by gunfire in the US than in any other country. Say it with me: USA! USA! Then say this with me: Let's fix that. Let's save lives. Let's actually care about our fellow citizens more than profits from gun sales.

GrandpaS

I would like to thank the National Rifle Association for making it easier for people who shouldn't have guns to have them. especially assault rifles. We need to be more concerned with the profits from gun sales for the manufacturers than we do for the 50 plus people who were killed last night. When does that mindless, heartless attitude get replaced by giving a d*** about human lives? When? When the NRA stops controlling Congress and the Republican Party, maybe? johnnybragatti called it about right. It's probably a pretty safe bet that some wacko publications will come out with, "Oh, this didn't really happen. It's just a bunch of people George Soros hired to help take away our rights to own guns." Pure garbage, and it will be swallowed whole by a lot of people. No wonder the people of our country are falling apart. Scary. Very scary.

shameless

I'm not going to get political here since we are talking about 50 people whose lives were lost, but have you seen the carry laws in Nevada? All open carry is legal without a permit including while consuming alcohol. The more I read about the laws, the more sickened I became.

crank

Yet, none of the crazy drunk rednecks in that Nevada crowd pulled out their own machine gun or bazooka and shot back. By your telling of it, shameless, they all have guns. They're all just out walking around with guns.

FYI: Automatic weapons are already illegal. Murder? Also illegal... So much for the theory more laws are the answer.

johnnybragatti

Coming to a Country Music Fest near you....
as most all Americans have grown numb,
though we"re not sure if this even happened,
have to check with the : RNC and Breitbart... first,
meanwhile, gun sales will increase in WI. by 1000%.

bloodstone

Disgusting isn't it?!

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