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National Security & Defense

Developing: Shooting in Las Vegas

Update 3:00 P.M.: A brief rundown of the news so far:

Late last night in Las Vegas, Stephen Paddock fired on a country-music concert from a 32nd-floor room in the Mandalay Bay hotel. Using at least one fully automatic rifle, per reports, and armed with more than a dozen other weapons, the gunman orchestrated the deadliest mass shooting in American history. At least 58 are dead, with more than 500 wounded. Over an hour after the gunman opened fire, police breached his hotel room to find him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

President Trump called the attack “an act of pure evil” this morning, and is set to visit Las Vegas on Wednesday. “Our bonds cannot be broken by violence,” Trump continued. Local authorities, the FBI, and the DHS are investigating the shooting.

The gunman’s motive is unknown, and the circumstances surrounding the attack are mysterious. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack on its Amaq propaganda agency, and proceeded to double down on the claim this afternoon. But law-enforcement officials say they have “determined no connection to this point” between the gunman — who was a Nevada local with no significant criminal record — and international terrorism, and ISIS experts are skeptical of the group’s claim.

Update 2:30 P.M.: According to NBC News, over an hour elapsed between the 911 call after the first shots and the police breach of the gunman’s hotel room:

Update 2:10 P.M.: A report from the Wall Street Journal says the gunman 

appears to have used at least one fully automatic rifle and had more than a dozen other firearms in his hotel room, a law-enforcement official said.

Investigators found 18 to 20 firearms, some fully automatic, in a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, the law-enforcement official said.

Update 1:45 P.M.: Rukmini Callimachi, foreign correspondent for the New York Times who covers ISIS, has a good Twitter thread on why the terrorist group’s claim that the gunman was inspired by their ideology is dubious. (It’s worth noting, again, that U.S. law enforcement has determined no connection between ISIS and the gunman.)

Update 9:50 A.M.: Paddock was in a 32nd-floor room at the Mandalay Bay hotel when he fired at attendees of the annual Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, a three-day concert series. This picture shows the hotel in the foreground, with the grounds of the Harvest Festival illuminated in the background:

from YouTube

Developing: At least 50 people are dead and hundreds injured in Las Vegas in what officials are calling one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history. The shooter was identified as Nevada resident Stephen Paddock, and police say he is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “Police continue to look for a Hyundai Tucson with the Nevada license plate 114 B40.” The victims were attending a country music concert outside, and Paddock reportedly took aim at them from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel.

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