Las Vegas shooting: Gunman killed, suspect's companion 'located'

Las Vegas shooting: Gunman killed, suspect's companion 'located'

LAs Vegas shooting at country music concert
People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after gun fire was heard on Oct 1, 2017 in Las Vegas. (Photo: David Becker/Getty Images/AFP)

LAS VEGAS: The gunman who opened fire at a country music festival on the Las Vegas strip on Sunday (Oct 1) near Mandalay Bay Casino has been shot dead by police. 

The suspect was a local 64-year-old man Stephen Paddock who acted alone, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) said.

Authorities said Paddock opened fire on a crowd of more than 22,000 people from his room, which was on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. 

"The victims were across the street attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert when bullets rang out," police said.

The LVMPD Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team responded to the call, breached the hotel room and found the suspect dead.

Authorities also located Paddock's female travel companion, described as an Asian woman named Marilou Danley.

Police wanted to question her in their investigations into the incident. 

In a Twitter post, the LVMPD said it was searching for two vehicles associated with the shooter. 

The local man, whose name was not released, acted alone and is believed not to be connected to any militant groups, said the sheriff.

At least 50 people were killed and more than 200 injured in the incident outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

The death toll, which police emphasised was preliminary and tentative, would make the attack the deadliest mass shooting in US history, eclipsing last year's massacre of 49 people at an Orlando night club.

LVMPD confirmed that an off-duty police officer was among those killed in the Las Vegas attack. They added that his name was being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin. 

Two of LVMPD's on-duty officers were injured. One was in stable condition while the other sustained non-life threatening wounds.

Witnesses on social media said the shooting broke out on the last night of the three-day Route 91 Harvest festival, a sold-out event attended by thousands and featuring top acts such as Eric Church, Sam Hunt and Jason Aldean.

US media reported that Aldean was performing around 10.45pm local time on Sunday when the rampage began but he was bundled off stage safely. CNN reported all the artists were safe.

Police said that rumours of other shootings in the area were false. 

Police have disclosed no information that would suggest a motive for the shooting.

The rampage was reminiscent of a mass shooting at a Paris rock concert in November 2015 that killed 89 people, part of a coordinated attack by Islamist militants that left 130 dead.

Source: Reuters/ad