At Least 58 People Dead After Mass Shooting In Las Vegas
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
Authorities in Las Vegas are still trying to get a handle on what is the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. They say identifying the bodies will be a long, laborious process. At least 59 people are dead, and more than 500 others are injured.
KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:
A single shooter fired down into a crowd of thousands of people at a country music festival. Stephen Paddock was shooting from across the street high up in a hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort. He killed himself before police got into his hotel room. Nevada's governor, Brian Sandoval, said it is hard to understand what's happened.
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BRIAN SANDOVAL: I don't know if I have words to describe what we're going through and what these poor, unfortunate victims are going through. We're angry. We're grieving, confused. People are hurting.
MCEVERS: Earlier, President Trump called for unity in the face of such evil. NPR's Leila Fadel joins us now from Las Vegas. Hi there, Leila.
LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Hi.
MCEVERS: So just start by telling us what we know about this man who authorities say did this attack and what law enforcement has found in his hotel room and at his home.
FADEL: Well, we're learning more and more details about him every hour. At this point, we know he's a 65-year-old man who lived in a retirement community in Mesquite with his girlfriend. He had another property in northern Las Vegas. Law enforcement went into that hotel room, found 16 firearms, went into his home in Mesquite, found an additional 18 firearms, explosives. They also found ammonium nitrate in his car. They have a SWAT team ready to go into a third property, a home that he has in northern Nevada in the Reno area. He was, according to his family, a gambler, somebody who drove down to Vegas and not somebody they would expect to carry something like this out. His brother, Eric, spoke to CBS.
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ERIC PADDOCK: Not an avid gun guy at all. Where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He's not - he has no military background or anything like that. He's a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite and drove down and gambled in Las Vegas.
MCEVERS: Do authorities still think that Stephen Paddock acted alone?
FADEL: Yes. They've been describing him as a sole actor. They originally thought that Marilou Danley, who is his girlfriend, was involved. She's actually not in the country and is still described as a person of interest, but she's in Tokyo. They have had contact with her, and they're describing her as a person of interest. They are categorically dismissing any connections to international terrorist organizations. And at this point, again, he seems to have acted alone.
It's unclear, though, why he did this. He doesn't fit the profile of, you know, the angry young shooter. So there is a lot of questions about why this happened. Also, the automatic - the weapons that he was using in the hotel room have been altered according to the sheriff, Joe Lombardo, here in Clark County. And it looks like he was using several different weapons to open fire on the crowd. They found thousands of ammunition as well.
MCEVERS: What is it like in Las Vegas tonight?
FADEL: Well, this is a city that's showing its resilience. There are hours-long waits at the blood donation centers. There are - the convention center where families are being reunified has said no more donations because so many people are donating. There's traffic on the way to the vigil. So it's a city that is responding to this tragedy.
MCEVERS: NPR's Leila Fadel in Las Vegas, thank you very much.
FADEL: Thank you.
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