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The mass shooting that disrupted the Route 91 music Harvest Festival resulted in the deaths of at least 59 people, with another 516 injured, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police has announced.
The shooter has been identified as 64-year-old Nevada native, Stephen Craig Paddock, who booked a room in the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, from where he fired upon the estimated 22,000 revelers who had turned up for the Harvest Festival, happening on the street across from his hotel room.
“At first, it sounded like someone was setting off a whole lot of firecrackers….[we] realized it was gunfire and everybody started running,” said one attendee to the festival.
Stephen Paddock had 23 firearms in his suite, in addition to ammonium nitrate fertilizer, which can be used to make improvised explosives, in his car. In his home, he had stashed several thousand rounds of ammunition, explosives, and 19 more firearms. Some of these firearms had been illegally modified into fully automatic weapons, allowing one trigger squeeze to empty the magazine.
Stephen Paddock had already killed himself by the time police managed to break into his hotel suite.
Police are yet to deduce the motive behind the killings, but the FBI has rebutted a claim by ISIS that he was one of their ‘soldiers’.
The FBI had “determined to this point no connection of an international terror group,” said a brief statement.
The preliminary death toll given by the Las Vegas Police make this the deadliest mass shooting to strike the US yet, as it surpasses the toll from the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 people lost their lives.