Update, 20 Dead in Las Vegas Mass Shooting

At least twenty people are dead and 24 others are hospitalized in the wake of a mass shooting Sunday night at the Mandalay Bay hotel and resort on the Las Vegas Strip, a hospital spokeswoman confirmed.

University Medical Center spokeswoman Danita Cohen said the hospital is still evaluating the condition of “many patients” with gunshot wounds in the wake of the shooting, but at least 14 were in critical condition.

Police reported that one suspect had been taken down.

“We do have one suspect down, and we want people to steer clear of the area,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sgt. Jeff Clark told reporters at the scene.

“At this time we do not believe there are any more shooters,” police tweeted later.

Police were establishing a command post and triage center, and have shut down parts of the Strip.

Police also were investigating reports of a “suspicious device” down the street, outside the Luxor Hotel.

“We’re investigating reports of an active shooter near/around Mandalay Bay Casino. Asking everyone to please avoid the area,” the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said on Twitter.

Concertgoers at a Route 91 Harvest country music festival performance reported a burst of weapons fire as a Jason Aldean concert was underway. The shots appeared to be coming from an upper floor of the hotel, some witnesses said.

Video posted on social media showed a country artist mid-song at the open-air venue when bursts of automatic gunfire rang out in rapid succession. Dozens of concertgoers dropped to the ground, screaming, while others ran, some in pairs or in groups with their arms linked.

The shooting went on for about more than 30 seconds before the music stopped, and another burst was heard later.

“Get down, stay down,” one woman shouted. “Let’s go,” another voice said. Another wave of gunshots followed soon after.

Seth Bayles, of West Hollywood, Calif., said Aldean had been performing for about 20 minutes on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard, across the street from Mandalay Bay, when he heard shots.

“I thought it was like bottle rockets going off,” Bayles said. “Then we saw people dropping. We saw someone get hit and then we started running.”

Bayles said he was probably 50 feet from the stage when he heard the shots. “We saw people down all over the place.”

Bayles said Aldean was quickly pulled off stage, and soon after, the band was brought off as well.

Officials at McCarran International Airport reported that some flights have been diverted in the wake of the shootings. “Expect delays,” the airport said on Twitter.

Hospital personnel across Las Vegas have been paged to work, local media reported.

Parts of I-15 near the Strip were also shut down, and hotel guests across the strip were being ordered to shelter in place. Continue Reading

Article Org: chicagotribune.com

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