In what is dubbed as the worst mass shooting in recent American history, more than 50 people were killed and “well over” 400 were injured when a gunman opened fire on concert goers, police said.
From a perch above the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Sunday night, suspected gunman 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on more than 22, 000 attendees of a music festival across the street, sending concert-goers fleeing for their lives.
One witness described the scene as having “non-stop gunfire,” as police later discovered Paddock had 10 rifles in his possession in his room at the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.
Police said they believe Paddock, of Mesquite, Nevada, killed himself prior to police entry in his hotel room.
The motive was unclear. A senior law enforcement official told ABC News that so far there are no ties to international terror.
At the scene, bystanders sprang into action, caring for the wounded and at least one of them described a man’s dying in his arms.
A Las Vegas police officer who was off-duty attending the concert is among the dead, police said.
The aftermath was described with the injured seen laying on stretchers or on the ground with responders and bystanders surrounding them to give aid.
Bystanders made makeshift stretchers out of police barricades, plugged wounds with their hands and used their clothing to try to stanch the bleeding from the wounded.
Witness Brian Claypool said on “Good Morning America” today that after the first round of gunfire, he ran into a little room that he described as a production area.
“The hardest for me was, I saw six young women. They were maybe 20, 22. They were all crying on the ground. I was trying to be calm,” Claypool said.
“But I thought at the moment of the Orlando shooting, because we were in this room,” he said of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting that left 49 people dead.
“We didn’t know where the shooter was. We thought he was going to jump the fence and come in this room and shoot us all. … I’m thinking, ‘Am I going to die in this room?'”
“Then the shooting stopped,” Claypool said, “And I peeked out the front of the door, I peek my head out, police officers scream, ‘Go! Go!’”
Claypool said he tried to bring comfort to the young women who were sheltering in the room with him.
“I said to myself, ‘These girls aren’t going to die. I’m not going to die,” he said. “I need to get home to see my daughter. This is not happening.'”