A 64-year-old man armed with more than 10 rifles rained down gunfire on a Las Vegas country music festival on Sunday, slaughtering at least 58 people in the largest mass shooting in U.S. history before killing himself.
The barrage from a 32nd-floor window in the Mandalay Bay hotel into a crowd of 22,000 people lasted several minutes, causing panic. Some fleeing fans trampled each other as police scrambled to find the gunman. More than 500 people were injured.
Police identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock, who lived in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, and said they had no sense of what prompted his attack. The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the massacre, but U.S. officials expressed skepticism of that claim.
The preliminary death toll, which officials warned could rise further, eclipsed last year’s massacre of 49 people at an Orlando night club by a gunman who pledged allegiance to Islamic State militants.
Shocked concert goers, some with blood on their clothing, wandered streets, where the flashing lights of the city’s gaudy casinos blended with those of emergency vehicles.
Police said they had no information about Paddock’s motive, that he had no criminal record and was not believed to be connected to any militant group. Paddock killed himself before police entered the hotel room he was firing from, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.
“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo said.
Federal officials said there was no evidence to link Paddock to international militant groups.
“As this event unfolds, we have determined to this point no connection with an international terrorist group,” FBI special agent in charge Aaron Rouse told reporters.
One U.S. official discounted a claim of responsibility that was made by Islamic State. There was reason to believe that Paddock had a history of psychological problems, the official said.