Noontime update: FBI says the Las Vegas gunman had no known link to international terrorist groups; and the death/injury toll is rising: At least 58 dead, 515 injured. Need for blood donors is pressing.
(CNSNews.com) - Country singer Jason Aldean was playing at an outdoor concert at Manadalay Bay on the Las Vegas Strip at 10:08 local time Sunday night when a man described by police as "a local resident" began firing down on the crowd from the hotel's 32nd floor.
"Officers responded to that location and engaged the suspect at that location. He is dead," Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told a news conference around 4:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. "Right now we believe it's a sole actor, a lone-wolf type actor," he said.
At a later news conference, Lombardo identified the shooter as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock who was armed with multiple weapons. "In excess of ten rifles," he told a news conference.
Paddock killed himself before police broke into his hotel room.
As for the concert-goers, Lombardo said "in excess of 50" people are dead, and more than 400 are in the hospital, some seriously injured. Among the dead is an off-duty police officer who was at the concert. A second off-duty officer is in critical condition.
Police said they have located the gunman's companion, a woman identified as Paddock's roommate. Lombardo named her as Marilou Danley, an Asian female, and at a 9 a.m. EDT news conference, they said there is no evidence so far that she was involved in the shooting. "We have located her out of the country," Lombardo said. "She was not with him when he checked in. We have discovered he was utilizing some of her identification."
Police are now clearing Paddock's home, checking for explosive devices before doing a thorough search, Lombardo said.
Police also are asking the more than 20,000 concert-goers for cell phone video that might help with their investigation.
In a message posted on Instagram, Aldean said: "Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still dont know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe. My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night. #heartbroken #stopthehate."
Witnesses reported concert-goers fled for their lives as they realized that the popping noise they heard was not fireworks, but gunfire -- apparently automatic gunfire, some witnesses said. As of 5 a.m. EDT, an undetermined number of bodies remained at the concert venue; all of the injured have been taken to hospitals.