A gunman killed more than 50 people and wounded at least 500 others Sunday night in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The attack took place at an outdoor country music show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A crowd of more than 22,000 had gathered for the Route 91 Harvest Festival, not far from Las Vegas’ famous Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. From the hotel’s 32nd floor, police say, a gunman opened fire on the people below.
Luke Broadlick was in the crowd. He was recording the performance of musician Jason Aldean on his mobile phone when he heard the sound of gunfire. He moved his camera toward the direction of the noise. His video shows Aldean and other musicians running off the stage.
Broadlick put the video on Twitter in the early hours of Monday morning. He wrote, “Insane … this JUST happened.”
Later, he wrote. “I’m okay…the guys here are okay.”
Another Twitter user, Austin Nolson, posted a video from the same moment. In his video, you can hear the sound of rapid gunfire, shots coming one after another. The people in the crowd are lying on the ground, trying to avoid the bullets. The huge Mandalay Bay Hotel is visible.
Police have identified the shooter as Stephen Paddock. They said he broke the windows of his room so that he could target the people below. Las Vegas police later broke into Paddock’s hotel room. They found him dead. Police also said they found 10 guns, including rifles, in Paddock’s room. (advance to 17:30 for audio)
Kodiak Yazzie who was at the concert spoke with the Associated Press.
“It was the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen in my entire life," Yazzie said. "You could hear that the noise was coming from west of us, from Mandalay Bay. You could see a flash, flash, flash, flash.”
Yazzie was describing the burst of fire coming from the gun high above the concert area.
In a two-minute-long video recorded on a cell phone, the first round of gunshots lasts for about 10 seconds. More shots start about 40 seconds later. People can be heard saying, “that’s gunshots,” “get down, stay down.” More bullets come again about 30 seconds later.
Aldean, the singer who was performing when the shots broke out, wrote about the experience on Instagram. He said he and his crew members were safe. 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.”
Singer Jake Owen was on stage with Aldean when the shooting started. He told CNN that “the shooting was going on for at least 10 minutes. It was nonstop.”
Another witness told a Las Vegas newspaper that the shots were “relentless.”
Before Sunday, the deadliest shooting in U.S. history took place in June of 2016 in Orlando, Florida. A gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub.
Buddy Dyer is the mayor of Orlando. On Twitter, he expressed his support for the people of Las Vegas. “Our community stands with Las Vegas during this difficult time,” he wrote.
President Donald Trump spoke about the shooting Monday morning. He described it as “an act of pure evil.” He ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff to honor those who died.
“In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has,” Trump said.
Former president Barack Obama called the shooting “another senseless tragedy.”
Politicians around the world offered their support for the United States and the people affected by the shooting.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wrote, “Japan expresses its sincere solidarity with the Government of the United States and the people of the United States as they try to overcome this difficult time.”
I’m Caty Weaver, and I'm Ashley Thompson.
Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English based on reports by VOANews.com, The New York Times and The Associated Press. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
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Words in This Story
country music – n. a style of music that developed in the southern and western U.S. and that often contains lyrics relating to the lives of people who live in the country
casino – n. a building or room that has games (such as roulette or blackjack) for gambling
festival – n. an organized series of performances
post – v. to add (a message) to an online message board
relentless– adj. continuing without becoming weaker, less severe, etc.
flash – n. a sudden bright light
tragedy– n. a very bad event that causes great sadness and often involves someone's death
solidarity– n. a feeling of unity between people who have the same interests, goals, etc.