A gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday evening, killing at least 59 people and injuring more than 500 near the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino. Here is what we know:
What is the latest information on the shooter?
Stephen Craig Paddock, a 64-year-old resident of Mesquite, Nev., was named by police as the shooter. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo later said Paddock killed himself as police broke into his room at the Mandalay Bay, which he was believed to have occupied since Sept. 28. “We are completely dumbfounded,” said Eric Paddock, a brother who lives in central Florida. Later, it was revealed that the brothers' deceased father was a bank robber who had been on the FBI's most-wanted list in the 1960s.
How did the shooter obtain his arsenal?
Police have not detailed the type of weapons Paddock used in the attack. Gun owners in Nevada don't need a permit to buy or possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun, according to the National Rifle Association. Nevadans can even purchase machine guns or silencers, banned in other states, as long as they're within federal compliance. At least some of his arsenal was purchased legally at Guns & Guitars in Mesquite, Nev. “He passed every federal background check, every time he bought a gun,’’ owner Janis Sullivan, 67, told USA TODAY. Paddock also is believed to have purchased a number of weapons at Cabela’s in Verdi, Nev., a federal law enforcement official said.
How was the gunman able to fire so rapidly?
While witnesses reported fast shooting, the pattern and inconsistent rate of gunfire signaled to experts that the weapons might have been semiautomatic, which require a separate trigger pull for each round, rather than an automatic that would continue to fire while the trigger was depressed. Paddock could have had automatic weapons, which require a special permit that requires fingerprinting and federal approval. But he could have also used widely available trigger cranks on a semiautomatic weapon that would have allowed him to fire nearly 700 rounds per minute.