On the evening of Sunday, October 1, 2017, at approximately 10:00 p.m., gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of unsuspecting victims during the Route 91 Harvest music festival, held at the Las Vegas Village and Festival Grounds. Paddock fired on the crowd of 22,000 from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Initially from video footage, the crowd thought they were hearing fireworks, but with the second spray of gunfire concertgoers began running for their lives.
“People were getting shot at while we were running, and people were on the ground bleeding, crying and screaming. We just had to keep going,” witness Dinora Merino, 28, told the Washington Post. “There are tents out there and there’s no place to hide. It’s just an open field.”
On Monday, October 2, 2017, police identified Stephen Paddock, 64, as the lone shooter. Police found 23 firearms, including handguns and AR-15-style assault rifles, in Paddock’s room. Law enforcement sources said two rifles were set up on tripods in front of windows that had apparently been broken with a hammer-like object. Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas police department said that Paddock had brought at least ten suitcases into his room during his four-day stay.
Law enforcement sources told the AP that Paddock attached bump stocks to two semi-automatic weapons to make them function like automatic weapons.
Another 19 firearms were found in Paddock’s Mesquite, Nevada home on Monday, along with explosives and several rounds of ammunition. According to CNN, several pounds of ammonium nitrate, which is used to make explosives, were found in Paddock’s car.