At least 527 people were injured – and at least 59 were killed – at a country music concert at Mandalay Bay, and eyewitnesses reported rapid-fire gunshots at the scene.
You can listen to archived scanner audio below:
Although details were still unfolding on October 2, it was clear early on that a major incident was unfolding along the Las Vegas strip. Despite widespread reports that there were possibly multiple shooters, police said later that they think there was just one gunman, who was down in the Mandalay Bay hotel, writing, “At this time we do not believe there are any more shooters. More information to come shortly from @Sheriff_LVMPD.”
Police scanner audio was disturbing, graphic, and dramatic. There were reports from the dispatch audio of possible multiple shooters, police strike teams, explosive devices, people being evacuated from the Michael Jackson theater, others cowering in buses on a fairgrounds, and possibly shots fired at multiple hotels, although in many of the latter cases, police were ruling those unconfirmed. You can listen to scanner traffic here.
People later identified the shooter as Stephen Paddock, 64, and said they do not suspect terrorism as the motive, although the motive was not yet clear. They also said that, despite earlier conflicting reports, they were certain there was only one shooter and one scene: The Route 91 concert.
The shooting was still unfolding just after 2 a.m. on the east coast. Police had released very few details on it, but, on the police scanner, they were referring to casualties and said that one gunman was down in an upper-story room in the Mandalay Bay hotel. Police said on Twitter, “We’re investigating reports of an active shooter near/around Mandalay Bay Casino. Asking everyone to please avoid the area. #LVMPDnews.” They also said they were setting up a media staging area.
Musician Luke Combs confirmed there was an active shooter on Twitter.
However, police were referring to “casualty collection points” in live scanner traffic, and were also discussing sending teams into other hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. “One suspect down inside the room,” scanner traffic said shortly after 2:24 a.m. on the east coast. Police said the downed suspect was on the 32nd floor.
Numerous reports said that there were large crowds running in panic, and there were unconfirmed reports of multiple suspects running. The latter ultimately false report shows the chaos of the early morning hours.
This man said he was at the scene and added, “Bullets flying everywhere….they were ricocheting everywhere from where we were….multiple shooters. It has to be.” However, police now say that the suspect, Stephen Paddock, was a lone shooter, who was firing from a window perch on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay.
One woman wrote on Twitter, “OMG omg someone just started shooting!!!!!!! @crazykiller1320 and I are at MGM locked in with others @Ddm1870 @cbarrow711 – at Mgm Grand KÀ Box Office.”
There were reports early on that the active shooter was at a country music festival.
Route 91 Harvest bills itself on Twitter as “a three day country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip / Sept 29- Oct 1!” Country singer Jake Owen, tweeted, “Gun shots!!! Vegas. Pray to god. Love you guys. Love you Pearl.”
See photos and videos from the scene here: