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As it happenedended1507134036

Las Vegas shooting: Stephen Paddock set up cameras around hotel room while girlfriend is 'person of interest' - as it happened

Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Las Vegas
,Clark Mindock,Jeremy B. White
Monday 02 October 2017 08:26 BST
Las Vegas shooting: What we know so far

At least 59 people were killed and 527 injured when a gunman rained bullets on crowds at a Las Vegas music festival.

A day on from the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, police are desperately seeking to understand what drove Stephen Paddock to discharge "clip after clip" into the 22,000 revellers at the Route 91 Harvest festival.

The 64-year-old "lone wolf" attacker, equipped with at least 23 weapons and two tripods, fired rifles out of two different windows from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel before killing himself as police stormed his hideout.

Another 19 guns were found at a property occupied by Paddock about 80 miles away in Mesquite, Nevada.

Officials said he had altered those legally purchased weapons to operate on automatic before he began his deadly spree at around 10:08pm on Sunday.

Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said he was unable to speculate as to his motive, saying: "I can't get into the mind of a psychopath."

Authorities believe Paddock acted alone and dismissed suggestions he had any links to international terror, despite claims from Isis's news agency Amaq that he converted to Islam months before the shooting.

Video posted on social media appeared to show the moment the gunfire broke out as country star Jason Aldean performed, sparking mass chaos and scattering the crowd.

The massacre has reignited an outpouring of anger over the nation's lax gun ownership laws, which are protected by the second amendment.

As the nation was left reeling from the massacre, carried out in one of the world’s most iconic cities, Donald Trump sought to offer solace and condolence, first on Twitter and later in a sombre, televised address.

“In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has,” he said

Speaking on Tuesday morning, the President described the killer as a "sick, demented man".

In February, Mr Trump signed a resolution blocking an Obama-era rule that would have prevented an estimated 75,000 people with mental disorders from buying guns.

The rule was part of former President Barack Obama's push to strengthen the federal background check system following the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut shooting – the deadliest school shooting in US history.


Welcome to The Independent's live blog on the day after the deadliest mass shooting in US history, as police seek to discover the motives of gunman Stephen Paddock. 

Adam Withnall3 October 2017 08:30

Here's a quick update on what we know so far: 

- At least 59 people were killed and 527 injured in the attack

- 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, of Nevada, has been identified as the shooter

- Police are grappling to find a motive for the deadliest shooting in US history

- They do not believe he has links to any international terror organisation and have described him as a "lone wolf"

- Authorities discovered an arsenal of 23 weapons in his Mandalay Bay hotel room, from where he launched the assault

- A further 19 guns were found at a property in Mesquite, Nevada

- Donald Trump said he would visit Las Vegas on Wednesday and described the shooting as an "act of pure evil"

- The massacre has reignited a fierce debate on the nation's lax gun ownership laws

Steve Anderson3 October 2017 09:25
Steve Anderson3 October 2017 09:31

What do we know so far about "psychopath" gunman Stephen Paddock? According to his brother Eric, he had no political or religious affiliation and was "just a guy who played video poker and took cruises and ate burritos at Taco Bell." 

As police scramble to find a motive behind the deadliest gun assault in US history, more details are emerging about his unlikely profile. A retired accountant, Paddock was reportedly worth an estimated $2M (£1.5M) and liked to gamble. He was the son of a convicted bank robber but had no criminal past. 

Steve Anderson3 October 2017 09:45

Theresa May has spoken out about US gun control in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre.  

"I think we can't understand it because of course we have a different approach to guns. We have very strong gun laws here, and we tightened the gun laws initially after Dunblane because people saw the atrocity which took place there and we took action as a government," she told LBC radio.

"But of course America has a different approach to guns. It's up to them to see what they will do now, but I think most people in the UK will say 'If you look at what's happened here, surely they will want to do something'."

Steve Anderson3 October 2017 09:56
Steve Anderson3 October 2017 10:04
Steve Anderson3 October 2017 10:23

Steve Anderson3 October 2017 10:28
Steve Anderson3 October 2017 10:33

Two survivors of the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history have described how concert-goers tried to shield themselves from the line of fire.

Caren Mansholt said some people initially thought the sounds of the first rounds of ammunition were fireworks.

"People were running and screaming and trying to get out of there. I literally just went down right in front of my seat and I was trying to crouch as low as possible and just stay out of any line of fire," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. 

Rusty Dees said he thought the biggest problem for many was that he did not see anyone returning fire.

He said: "What many people did in the open environment they were in, the floor seating if you will, was they all took shelter by just kneeling down.

"What they didn't know was that for someone 32 storeys above that they were just sitting targets, so it was really like a tragic effort, everyone trying to do the right thing but this crazy person obviously thought all this stuff through."

He added: "Everyone was helping everyone, there were people hurt and if they fell down because they were injured people were picking them was the best and the worst of people, it really was."

Asked if something needed to happen on gun ownership laws, Ms Mansholt said: "I do believe there is a time and a place for gun ownership and I believe that we have the right to protect ourselves as needed and it's so unfortunate that there are people out there, in this instance this man made a makeshift illegal weapon and used it in the worst way possible, and I think that is extremely hard to prevent."

Mr Dees added: "If you can find a gun law that could prevent this from happening I could sign up today, but I am proud of our country's Second Amendment rights and I'm glad we're allowed to defend ourselves."

Steve Anderson3 October 2017 10:44

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