LAS VEGAS — Officials say 59 people were killed and more than 500 others were hospitalized after a shooting at an outdoor music festival on the Las Vegas Strip late Sunday.
The shooter, who has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, opened fire into a crowd estimated at 22,000 people, police said.
The death toll makes it the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. President Donald Trump made a brief statement in regards to the act of "pure evil," and he thanked first responders and officers for their quick action, saying they saved hundreds of lives.
Dozens of patrol vehicles descended on the Strip after authorities received reports of an active shooter near the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Las Vegas police later said one suspect was dead and they did not believe there were any other shooters. Police identified the man as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock. He had 10 weapons, investigators said. It's believed Paddock killed himself.
Police said earlier that they were looking for a "person of interest" in connection with the shooting, police said. She was identified as Marilou Danley. During a Monday morning update, authorities said they were "confident" they'd located her. Police also said they'd located a pair of vehicles linked to the shooter: a Hyundai Tucson and a Chrysler Pacifica.
Later Monday morning, police said they don't believe Danley had anything to do with the shooting. She's no longer a "person of interest" in the case. They believe Paddock used her identification to carry out the plot.
Police urged anyone trying to locate a missing loved one to call 1-866-535-5654.
Concert-goers reported seeing muzzle flashes from the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across Las Vegas Boulevard from the country music festival and the sound of what they described as automatic gun fire.
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo says officers confronted the suspect on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. SWAT teams and officers used explosives to enter the man's room and say he died at the scene. It appeared he took his own life, police said.
Lombardo described the shooting as a “lone wolf” attack.
Among the dead are two off-duty police officers, Lombardo said. Several officers from California were attending the music festival.
The shooting was first reported around 10 p.m. local time in Las Vegas. Witnesses reported hearing hundreds of gunshots.
Kodiak Yazzie, 36, said he and his girlfriend were watching Jason Aldean's performance when he heard what sounded like fireworks. The music stopped temporarily and started up again before another round of pops sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.
Thousands fled as bursts of gunfire could be heard for more than five minutes, Yazzie said.
Jose Baggett, 31, a Las Vegas resident, said he and a friend were in the lobby of the Luxor hotel-casino — directly north of the festival — when people began running. He said people were crying and as he and his friend walked away, they encountered police checkpoints where officers were carrying shotguns and assault rifles.
"There were armored personnel vehicles, SWAT vehicles, ambulances, and at least a half-mile of police cars," Baggett said.
Witnesses said they saw multiple victims and dozens of ambulances near the concert venue. Some attendees later huddled in the basement of the nearby Tropicana hotel-casino.
Authorities shut down part of the Las Vegas Strip and Interstate 15. Flights were temporarily halted at McCarran International Airport because of the shooting, the airport said on its verified Twitter account.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations is asking for anyone with videos or photos concerning the shooting to call 1-800-CALLFBI or (800) 225-5324.
Aldean released a statement on Instagram after the shooting:
Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still don’t 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.
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