Las Vegas shooter who killed 58, injured 515 had ties to Texas

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: People flee the Route 91 Harvest country music festival grounds after a active shooter was reported on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, leaving at least 2 people dead. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (AP/NBC/KXAN) — The man police say opened fire in Las Vegas lived in North Texas. The gunman on the 32nd floor of a casino fired shots on an outdoor music festival, killing at least 58 people — including two off-duty police officers — and wounding more than 515, officials said early Monday. It’s the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Country music star Jason Aldean was performing when the shots began ringing out before 11 p.m. Sunday at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. About 22,000 people were at the concert at the time.

Officers found the suspect, who they identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across the street from the concert, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said. Authorities say he killed himself before they arrived. They found more than 10 rifles in his room, and said he checked into the hotel Sept. 28.

Paddock is from Mesquite, Nevada, but records show he also lived at multiple addresses in Mesquite, Texas, from 2004 to 2012. Officials in both cities report they never had any contact with Paddock during his time there. NBC News reports he also had a pilot’s license in Texas.

Police also identified a woman, Marilou Danley, as a person of interest. Police do not believe she is involved in the shooting because she was not in the country at the time.

Concert-goers reported hearing what they described as automatic gun fire during the shooting.

Lombardo said they believe this was a “lone wolf” attack, and the FBI confirmed the man had no connection to an international terrorist group.

The two slain off-duty officers were attending the concert, Lombardo said. An on-duty officer was out of surgery and in stable condition. The unnamed officer was one of two on-duty Las Vegas police officers wounded Sunday night. The other sustained minor injuries.

Several officers from California were attending the music festival. A Bakersfield police officer was shot and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Hours after the shooting, Aldean posted on Instagram that he and his crew were safe and said the shooting was “beyond horrific.”

Kodiak Yazzie, 36, said he and his girlfriend were watching 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 Las Vegas Metro Police Department set up a hotline for families looking to find missing loved ones. That number is 1-866-535-5654.

After 6 a.m. President Donald Trump tweeted a response to the shooting, writing “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also released a statement, calling the shooting a “senseless act of violence.”

“Texas mourns and prays for the victims of this tragedy, and the entire Las Vegas Community, in this time of unimaginable pain,” Abbott wrote.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told KXAN his department is reviewing security plans heading into the Austin City Limits music festival this weekend.


An earlier version of this report had an incorrect spelling for the last name of witness Kodiak Yazzie. This story has been corrected to reflect that the officer in critical condition was on duty at the time of the shooting.