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Local News

More Than 50 People Are Dead After A Mass Shooting On Las Vegas Strip

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JOHN LOCHER / AP
Police officers take cover near the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday.

Updated at 6:38 a.m. ET

A gunman who fired upon thousands of people attending a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip has killed more than 50 people and wounded more than 200, police say. Two of the dead are believed to be off-duty police officers who were attending the concert. The suspect in the case is also dead.

The violence at the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert was reported around 10:08 p.m., Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said at a news briefing Monday morning. He later added that the shooter, acting as a "lone wolf," has been identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, a resident of the Las Vegas area.

The violence is now being called the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, and the tragic death toll seems likely to rise. The June 2016 shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., killed 49 people.

Little is known about the suspected gunman. Las Vegas police had been searching for Paddock's wife, Marilou Danley, as well as two cars that were associated with him: a Hyundai Tucson and a Chrysler Pacifica.

"We have located the vehicles in question, and we are confident we have located the female person of interest," the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said in an update Monday.

Officers confronted the suspect on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino and a SWAT team used an explosive to breach the room, Lombardo said. He said multiple weapons were found in the room; he did not identify the guns other than to call them rifles.

A Jason Aldean concert was underway at the time of the shooting. On social media, Aldean said he and his crew are safe.

In an Instagram post he called the shooting "beyond horrific."

The mass shooting prompted panic and a lockdown at hotels along the Strip, as a barrage of gunfire rained down on the crowd.

Musician Jake Owen, who played on the same stage as Aldean earlier Sunday night, told CBS News that the stream of gunfire seemed to go on for at least six minutes and possibly as many as 10. He took shelter behind a car with a crowd of other people, he said.

The Associated Press describes the scene:

"Concert-goers reported seeing muzzle flashes from the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across Las Vegas Boulevard from the country music festival and the sound of what they described as automatic gun fire. "Witnesses said they saw multiple victims as they fled the gunfire raining down on the concert venue. "Some later huddled in the basement of the nearby Tropicana hotel-casino. "Some officers took cover behind their vehicles while others carrying assault rifles ran into the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino."

It's estimated that 40,000 people were attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival Sunday. Aldean was headlining the final night of the three-day concert; he had been scheduled to go on stage just before 10 p.m.

The FBI is assisting with the investigation, Lombardo said. He added that the Red Cross also responded to the scene, to help attend to the dead and wounded.

Flights in an out of nearby McCarran International Airport were temporarily halted, but some flights resumed early Monday.

This is a developing story. Some things that get reported by the media will later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene. We will update as the situation develops.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.