A shooter has opened fire at a country music festival near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, killing at least two people and injuring dozens more, officials and witnesses say. The death toll is expected to rise.
The incident began at about 10:30 p.m. PT on Sunday when heavy gunfire erupted at the end of a performance by country music star Jason Aldean, who was performing at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. Witnesses said hundreds of bullets were fired and the gunshots appeared to be coming from a higher altitude.
There was no immediate word on the total number of victims, but University Medical Center (UMC) confirmed that the hospital had received at least 26 victims, including 2 people who died and 12 others who were critically injured. Sunrise Hospital said it was unable to say how many victims it had received.
Hospitals near the scene of the attack were reportedly overwhelmed by the number of casualties, some of whom were transported by private vehicles. Local TV channel KTNV said the number of victims at local hospitals was believed to be more than 70, although authorities have yet to confirm that.
One person – believed to be the shooter – was reported to have been killed inside a room at Mandalay Bay. Police would only say that one shooter was “down” at an undisclosed location, but a spokesperson added that no additional shooters were being sought.
There was no immediate word on the shooter’s identity or his or her motive.
Several off-duty police officers from Bakersfield, California, were among those attending the festival and one of them was shot, suffering non-life-threatening injuries. “Some of our officers witnessed the gunfire but were not in a position to return fire,” the Bakersfield Police Department said in a statement.
McCarran International Airport, which is close to the scene of the shooting, was closed as a result of the incident. “Flights in and out of [the airport] have been temporarily halted in response to reported shooting incident on Las Vegas Strip,” the airport said. Some flights resumed several hours later.
“Pray for Las Vegas. Thank you to all our first responders out there now,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said on Twitter.
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