59 people were killed in what is now confirmed as the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. When lone gunman Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on crowds at the Route 91 music festival, he left 59 dead and injured more than 527. Paddock’s attack rapidly surpassed the tragic 2016 shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where 49 people were killed.
Paddock was found dead after police broke into his room at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino on the Las Vegas strip. More than 10 guns were found in the room.
Eric Paddock, the shooter’s brother, said he was “dumbfounded” by the incident. “He’s not an avid gun guy at all,” he told The Guardian. “The fact that he had those kind of weapons is just … he has no military background or anything like that.” He added that his brother had no religious or political affiliation. “He’s just a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite, drove down and gambled in Las Vegas.”
President Trump held a moment of silence for the victims at the White House and ordered all flags outside government buildings to be flown at half-mast. Condemning the incident as “an attack of pure evil,” he urged people to band together. “We call upon the bonds that unite us: our faith, our family and our shared values.” The President added that he would visit Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Jason Aldean, the country singer who was performing when the shooting began, was horrified by the attack. “It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night,” he said. More than 22,000 people were at the festival when the shooting began.