Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //
EXPLAINER

Las Vegas mass shooting: What we know so far

The Oct. 1 attack on a Las Vegas music festival was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Here's what you need to know

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017, after gunfire broke out.

The basics

  • A gunman killed 58 people at a Las Vegas country-music festival, injured more than 500 and then killed himself on Oct. 1.
  • Four Canadians – Jessica Klymchuk of Alberta, Jordan McIldoon of B.C., Calla Medig of Jasper, Alta. and Tara Roe Smith of Okotoks, Alta. – have been confirmed killed. A dozen others were injured.
  • Police identified the suspect as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock. He was found dead, apparently by suicide, in a room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
  • Police described the suspect as a “lone wolf” and have been unable to piece together a motive behind the massacre.
  • Authorities say he spent decades stockpiling weapons and meticulously planned his attack. “What we know is that Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood,” Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.
  • Before the Las Vegas attack, Mr. Paddock had booked rooms overlooking two other music festivals in Las Vegas and Chicago, authorities said. His movements raised the possibility he was contemplating attacks at those sites.
  • In a statement, the suspect’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley – who returned to the United States from travelling in the Philippines to co-operate with investigators – said she had no warning of Mr. Paddock’s plans.
  • The shooting has given new life to the divisive American debate about gun control. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein reintroduced legislation to ban the “bump stocks” that Mr. Paddock used to make his semi-automatic weapons fire like fully automatic ones. Surprisingly, senior Republicans and even the National Rifle Association have voiced support for new restrictions on bump stocks.

How the attack unfolded

Country music star Jason Aldean was performing at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, at the Las Vegas Village and Festival Grounds, on Sunday night. Some 22,000 people were in the crowd when the shooting broke out at 10:08 p.m. local time.

Salt Lake City

NEVADA

UTAH

Sacramento

CALIFORNIA

Las Vegas

0

200

ARIZONA

KM

Las Vegas

W TROPICANA AVE

E TROPICANA AVE

Las Vegas Village

PARADISE RD

Mandalay Bay Resort

McCarran

International

Airport

S LAS VEGAS BLVD

15

0

500

m

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: MAPZEN; OSM;

NATURAL EARTH; WHO’S ON FIRST

Salt Lake City

NEVADA

UTAH

Sacramento

CALIFORNIA

Las Vegas

0

200

ARIZONA

KM

Las Vegas

W TROPICANA AVE

E TROPICANA AVE

Las Vegas Village

PARADISE RD

Mandalay Bay Resort

McCarran

International

Airport

S LAS VEGAS BLVD

15

0

500

m

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: MAPZEN; OSM;

NATURAL EARTH; WHO’S ON FIRST

OREGON

IDAHO

Boise

Las Vegas

Salt

Lake

City

W TROPICANA AVE

E TROPICANA AVE

Las Vegas Village

PARADISE RD

NEVADA

UTAH

Mandalay Bay Resort

Sacramento

McCarran

International

Airport

S LAS VEGAS BLVD

Las Vegas

CALIFORNIA

ARIZONA

15

Los Angeles

0

500

0

200

Phoenix

KM

m

Mandalay Bay Resort

15

Luxor Hotel

Excalibur Hotel

The gunman shot from the 32nd floor

S LAS VEGAS BLVD

Stage

Crowd

Las Vegas Village

North

Site of Route 91 Harvest Festival

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: MAPZEN; OSM; NATURAL EARTH; WHO’S ON FIRST; GOOGLE EARTH; NEW YORK TIMES

GRAPHIC CONTENT Watch the moment the gunman opened fire at Las Vegas concert

GRAPHIC CONTENT Las Vegas witness video shows people protecting each other from gunfire

Concertgoers reported hearing what they described as automatic gunfire during the shooting. Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters that the suspect fired on the crowd for nine minutes. Ashley Fowler of Newfoundland told the radio station K-Rock in St. John's that everyone in the crowd thought the noise was fireworks until the performer on stage dropped his microphone and ran. After that, she says, everyone fled.

Monique Dumas, of Kamloops, B.C., told CNN when floodlights came on she could see someone injured near the stage:

Story continues below advertisement

It seemed there was a pause in the gunfire and the people in the yellow shirts were telling the people to ‘go, go, go, go’ ... the gunfire never ended, it seemed like it went on and on and on.

Another member of Ms. Dumas's group, Joe Pitzel, said people in the crowd ducked at first then began stampeding toward the exit:

People were climbing fences, pushing their way through. The barricades were coming down, people were screaming, crying.

Officers went to confront the suspect on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino across the street from the concert, Sheriff Lombardo said. The gunman planned the massacre so meticulously that he even set up cameras inside his high-rise hotel room and on a service cart outside his door, apparently to spot anyone coming for him, the authorities said Tuesday. It appears the shooter used a hammer to smash the windows.

Drapes billow out of broken windows at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the morning after the shooting.

Shortly before midnight, Las Vegas police reported that "one suspect is down," and soon after, police said they did not believe there were any more active gunmen.

Mr. Aldean was reportedly singing the last song in his set, When She Says Baby when the murderous calamity began. The singer beat a hasty retreat off the stage. Hours after the shooting, Mr. Aldean posted on Instagram that he and his crew were safe and said the shooting was "beyond horrific."

In the shooting's aftermath, Las Vegas hospitals struggled to keep up with the constant arrivals of new wounded. Dr. Jay Coates, a trauma surgeon whose hospital took in many of the injured concertgoers, described a frantic night:

I have no idea who I operated on. They were coming in so fast, we were taking care of bodies. We were just trying to keep people from dying.

Police are warning that identifying bodies will be a "long, laborious process" and investigators are continuing their collection of evidence and working to reunite people with relatives who were at the shooting site.

(Return to top)

Story continues below advertisement


The victims



Jessica Klymchuk, Jordan McIldoon, Calla Medig and Tara Roe Smith were four Canadians killed in the attack. SOCIAL MEDIA; Facebook-Remembering Jordan Seymour McIldoon/THE CANADIAN PRESS; Facebook/THE CANADIAN PRESS; GoFundMe / The Canadian Press

Four Canadians were confirmed to be among the dead:

  • Jordan McIldoon: A 23-year-old man from Maple Ridge, B.C., was confirmed as one of the victims of the shooting attack. He was with his girlfriend, Amber Bereza, who was not hurt, when the gunman opened fire at the concert, a family member says. Mr. McIldoon would have turned 24 on Friday and relatives say he was just one month shy of completing a course to qualify as a heavy-duty mechanic.
  • Jessica Klymchuk: Another Canadian victim was a single mother from Valleyview, Alta. Her grandmother, Margaret, confirmed the death of Ms. Klymchuk, a school librarian and bus driver. Ms. Klymchuk was visiting Las Vegas with her boyfriend, Brent Irla.
  • Calla Medig: The third Canadian victim was from the mountain town of Jasper, Alta. In a Facebook post, Jasper Legion Branch 31 lowered its flag in Ms. Medig’s memory, calling her “a young, beautiful lady” who was taken too soon.
  • Tara Roe Smith: The 34-year-old was on a weekend getaway with her husband Zach. She was an education assistant model and was the mother of two boys. Her aunt Val Rodgers said that she was a beautiful soul.

The death toll of 59 makes the attack the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, eclipsing last year's massacre of 49 people at an Orlando nightclub.

* This data defines a mass shooting as an attack in a public place where three or more victims are killed (four or more prior to 2013).

(Return to top)


The suspect

Stephen Paddock, shown in an undated photo. COURTESY OF ERIC PADDOCK VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

Authorities identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev. Media reports depict an unlikely killer, a wealthy retiree without strong political or religious convictions or a particular zeal for guns who lived in a quiet Nevada suburb with his girlfriend and made frequent trips to the Las Vegas Strip to play video poker and slots.

Police said Mr. Paddock first checked into the Mandalay Bay casino-hotel on Sept. 28 and was found dead inside a hotel room on the 32nd floor. Twelve of the rifles there were fitted with so-called bump stocks, officials said, allowing the guns to be fired almost as though they were automatic weapons. Mr. Paddock was found dead in his room from a self-inflicted gunshot, according to local police.

Story continues below advertisement

Speaking to television reporters outside his home in central Florida, Mr. Paddock's brother Eric said he was "shocked, horrified, [and] completely dumbfounded" to learn that his brother was responsible for the shooting.

Mr. Paddock was licensed to hunt in Alaska and Texas, but police in Las Vegas and Mesquite say he had no history with law enforcement in either community, save for a routine traffic violation in Las Vegas.

Without providing evidence, The Islamic State group said the gunman was "a soldier" who converted to Islam months ago. The CIA is advising caution on "jumping to conclusions."

(Return to top)


The suspect's girlfriend

Marilou Danley. LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT/REUTERS

Looking for any clues to the gunman's motive, investigators turned to his girlfriend Marilou Danley, 62, who was in the Philippines at the time of the shooting. She arrived in Manila on Sept. 15, flew to Hong Kong on Sept. 22, returned to Manila on Sept. 25 and was there until she flew to Los Angeles on Tuesday night, according to a Philippine immigration official cited by Reuters.

In a statement released by her lawyer Matt Lombard, Ms. Danley said she was completely unaware of what Mr. Paddock was planning:

He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen.

In the days before the deadly attack, Mr. Paddock wire-transferred $100,000 to the Philippines while Ms. Danley was travelling there. In her statement, Ms. Danley said he told her he sent the money so she could to buy a house for her family, and she was initially pleased but later feared it was a way to break up with her.

Ms. Danley's Australia-based sisters say they believe Mr. Paddock sent her away so she wouldn't interfere with his plans. Australia's Channel 7 TV network interviewed the sisters with their faces obscured and their names withheld. They said they believe their sister couldn't have known about his ideas. The woman said Ms. Danley is "a good person" who would've stopped Mr. Paddock had she been there.

(Return to top)


How did one man kill so many?

Mr. Paddock, who fired on the concertgoers from more than 1,000 feet away, apparently modified his guns to act like fully automatic weapons, allowing him to spray bullets into the crowd.

A semi-automatic weapon requires one trigger pull for each round fired. With a fully automatic weapon, one trigger pull can unleash continuous rounds until the magazine is empty. The purchasing of fully automatic weapons has been significantly restricted in the U.S. since the 1930s, but those with traditional semi-automatics can legally modify them using a bump stock.

A bump stock, shown at left next to a disassembled rifle at a North Carolina gun store. The device basically replaces a gun’s shoulder rest, taking the force of recoil when the gun is fired and reapplying that force to the trigger with a piece called a support step.

A gun-store employee demonstrates how a bump stock’s support step fits over a gun’s trigger opening. Recoil from the gun causes it to buck back and forth, bumping the trigger to make it continue firing. Technically, this means the finger is pulling the trigger for each round fired, keeping the weapon a legal semi-automatic.

Jill Snyder, special agent for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, told Reuters 12 of the guns found in the hotel room were fitted with bump stocks. A total of 47 firearms were recovered from three locations searched by investigators: Mr. Paddock's hotel suite, his home in Mesquite, and another property associated with him in Reno, Nev., Ms. Snyder said.

In the aftermath of the deadly shooting, stocks in the gun industry followed a consistent pattern. They rose. Gun sales surged across the country in the weeks after past mass shootings, such as in Orlando, Fla., San Bernardino, Calif., or Newtown, Ct. Some of the purchases were likely by people looking for more protection, but others were due to customers worried that tougher gun laws could be on the way.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has previously tried introducing legislation to ban bump stocks, pleaded with the public to pressure Congress to consider her legislation. White House and House Speaker Paul Ryan have voiced support for discussions on bump stocks, as have other top Republicans and, unusually, the U.S. National Rifle Association, a lobby group that has opposed gun-control measures:

The National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.

(Return to top)


Gun control in Nevada

Nevada's gun-control laws are among the loosest in the country. Nevadans don't need permits to buy and own guns, to open-carry weapons or to carry concealed long guns – and there is no state ban on assault weapons. Carrying guns in casinos is technically legal, though many casinos – like the Mandalay Bay resort where Mr. Paddock was staying – prohibit them, and can have patrons charged with trespassing if they refuse to leave or disarm when asked to.

(Return to top)


Reaction

In a statement the morning after the shooting, U.S. President Donald Trump called the attack "an act of pure evil." Two days later he visited Las Vegas to meet with law-enforcement officials and the families of victims, and he gave a public speech expressing grief for the attack:

Our souls are stricken with grief for every American who lost a husband or a wife, a mother or a father, a son or a daughter. We know that your sorrow feels endless. We stand together to help you carry your pain.

Trump in Las Vegas on Oct. 4

Video Trump’s full Oct. 2 statement on Las Vegas mass shooting

Other U.S. politicians and world leaders were quick to offer condolences and messages of support for Las Vegas.

Brian Sandoval, Governor of Nevada:

Former U.S. president Barack Obama:

Pope Francis:

The Vatican secretary of state sent a telegram of condolences Monday to the bishop of Las Vegas, saying the Pope was "deeply saddened" to learn of the shooting.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada:

Theresa May: Britain's Prime Minister:

John Tory, Mayor of Toronto:

(Return to top)


With reports from Adrian Morrow, Tu Thanh Ha, Tamsin McMahon, The New York Times News Service and The Canadian Press


LAS VEGAS: MORE FROM THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Latest Videos

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies