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Las Vegas shooter gathered 40 guns at nearby hotel: Police

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 3, 2017 | Last Updated: 4 years ago
Posted: Oct 3, 2017 | Last Updated: 4 years ago

NEW YORK: The suspect in Las Vegas shooting that has left at least 59 people dead had amassed an arsenal that included more than 40 firearms, police said on Monday night.

Authorities found 23 guns, including a handgun, in the hotel room of the gunman, identified earlier by police as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock.

At least some were equipped with scopes, devices that help the shooter identify targets at a range, police said.

They also recovered 19 firearms plus explosives and several thousand rounds of ammunition from Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nevada, a town near the border with Arizona, Joe Lombardo, the Las Vegas metropolitan police department Sheriff, told reporters.

He also said police found “electronic devices” but would not describe them.

Additionally, several pounds of ammonium nitrate, a material used to make explosives, were also found in his car.

Later on Monday, a Swat team searched a residence in northern Nevada that is believed to be associated with the gunman.

At an afternoon news conference, officials also updated the latest casualty figures, saying that at least 59 people were dead and 527 more injured after a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel on the thousands of concertgoers attending the Route 91 country music festival on Sunday night.

The shooting turned an American city known for its nightclubs and casinos into a war zone as thousands of concertgoers ran for cover from the barrage of bullets pouring down on them.

The attack is the latest in a grim list of mass shootings, and the carnage surpassed the death toll of the Isis-inspired massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016, when 49 people were killed.

The first reports of the shooting came just after 10pm local time, as the country music star Jason Aldean, one of the festival’s final performers, played. As the bullets began to spray the crowd, Aldean stopped playing and ran offstage, prompting chaos in the crowd.

“They’re thinking it’s fireworks or it’s part of the technology of the music being played. They were thinking it’s coming from different areas,” Carolyn Goodman, the mayor of Las Vegas, said at the press conference.

At least 527 people were injured – some were wounded by gunshots and shrapnel while others were trampled or hurt trying to jump fences and flee the site, police said.

In pursuit of the gunman, officers scoured the hotel floor by floor until arriving at Paddock’s suite, Lombardo said. Paddock engaged officers through his hotel room door, injuring a security guard in the leg, he said. The guard is expected to recover.

Swat officers then broke down the door and swarmed the room, where they found Paddock dead. – []

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