Paddock is believed to have checked into the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Sept. 28, Lombardo revealed during a press conference, and he had an “excess of ten rifles” in his room. The venue, run by MGM Resorts, stretches across 15 acres and has a capacity of 40,000 people.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of last night’s tragic events,” MGM Resorts tweeted after the shooting. “We’re grateful for the immediate actions of our first responders.”
At least one off-duty Las Vegas police officer was among those shot, Lombardo said.
“We heard what sounded like firecrackers going off. Then all of a sudden we heard what sounded like a machine gun. People started screaming that they were hit,” Meghan Kearney told MSNBC. “When we started running out, there were probably a couple 100 on the ground.”
Kearney, who was one of thousands of concertgoers, added, “People kept dropping and dropping…People were getting shot one foot away from us. People were trying to save their friends. There were gunshots everywhere. Helping them would have meant we got shot, too.”
At this point, Paddock’s motivations for the massacre are unknown.
It didn’t take long for police to locate Paddock’s 62-year-old roommate, Marilou Danley. Though they don’t believe she was involved, Lombardo said the investigation is still ongoing. A search of their home in Mesquite, located 80 miles northeast from Las Vegas, was conducted. At 8:45 a.m. local time, police told reporters they had completed their search warrant in Paddock’s home and are looking at additional properties in northern Nevada. The FBI will issue search warrant soon. The Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino is open again—except the 32nd floor.
Fellow performer Jake Owen said he was standing about 50 feet away from Aldean when the shots began. “It got faster and faster, almost like it was an automatic rifle,” the country artist recalled to NBC News Monday. “At that point, everyone on stage started running everywhere.”
“Everyone in our band and crew are safe. I (Josh) had just left and was in the Mandalay Bay on the 20th floor with my fiancée during the shooting just a few floors away. The band and crew were on the concert grounds and saw people get shot. Some of my crew members were hit with shrapnel, but not injured,” he told E! News in a statement. “We are deeply disturbed by this horrific act of violence and send our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. It was a long awful night but we are blessed to be alive and healthy. Hug your loved ones tight.”
President Donald Trump is monitoring the developments, the White House said. During a press briefing around 10:30 a.m. ET, he called the attack an “act of pure evil,” saying, “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. I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts and for helping to save the lives of so many.” Vice President Mike Pence tweeted about the “senseless violence,” writing, “You have our condolences and sympathies.”
Trump tried to inspire the nation, saying, “In times such as these, 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 knowing that even in the darkest space can be brightened by a single light, and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope.”
In a statement from the Vatican released Monday morning, Pope Francis said he is “deeply saddened” to learn of the latest shooting and gave his “spiritual closeness to all those affected.” (EN)