Las Vegas authorities have confirmed that at least 58 people were killed and 515 others were injured after a gunman opened fire from his hotel room on the Route 91 Harvest festival Sunday night, in what is now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The shooting started just as Jason Aldean began his closing show at the three-day country music festival. More than 22,000 people were in attendance, according to police.
Videos posted on social media show Aldean singing as very rapid gunfire begins in the background. He can be seen running from stage as he, and the thousands in the crowd, realized what was happening…
Aldean called the scene “horrific” and said he was safe in an Instagram post early Monday.
Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still dont know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe. My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight,” he wrote. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”
The victims ran to safety during short pauses while the shooter reloaded, according to NBC News. Many were trapped in the concert venue as police searched for the gunman.
CNN reports that a single shooter, who has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, was positioned in a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and shooting from above the crowd, gathered outside Mandalay at Las Vegas Village. Police believe he killed himself before they entered his hotel room, and that he legally purchased the firearms with which he committed the massacre.
In a televised statement on Monday, President Donald Trump praised the Las Vegas police and first responders for their quick response to the shooting. Trump also ordered that flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims.
My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting,” he wrote. “God bless you!”
Jake Owen had just finished his set on Sunday night, before Aldean began performing, and was still on stage when the shooting started. He told TODAY that he ran off the stage and ducked for cover.
I was crouched down behind a cop car. There was blood on people and you could see a couple of people in the streets that looked like they had been shot,” he said.
Other artists who performed at the Route 91 Harvest Festival this weekend, included Sam Hunt, Eric Church, Maren Morris, the Brothers Osborne and Luke Combs.
Friends and family are asked to report missing people believed connected to the shooting using the hotline 866-535-5654.