Las Vegas shooting update: 59 killed, 527 injured, hospitals swamped
People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
Las Vegas is a city trying to make sense of what happened after a gunman perched on the 32nd floor of a hotel-casino opened fire on an outdoor music festival, killing at least 59 people and injuring at least 527 others. It was the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
At least 130 people remain in local hospitals as of Tuesday night, with 45 of those listed in critical condition. That's just a glimpse of the carnage unleashed in the attack, with 185 already released, many of whom are looking at years of rehabilitation and psychological damage.
As the law enforcement investigation continues, Vegas residents are coming together to try to begin the healing process, and to remember those killed and injured at the Route 91 Harvest music festival.
“I have a lot of friends that were down there,” said Kristin Willis, speaking at one of several candlelight vigils in Las Vegas. “It’s been a whirlwind from the moment it happened – everyone calling me to see if I’m OK. I almost went to the concert myself, but I decided to stay home. It’s been a nightmare.”
LAS VEGAS HOSPITALS: 'EVERY BED WAS FULL'
The victims arrived in cars, in ambulances, and as wounded walk-ins. And they just kept coming.
“I have no idea who I operated on,” Dr. Jay Coates, a trauma surgeon at University Medical Center, told the Associated Press. “They were coming in so fast, we were taking care of bodies. We were just trying to keep people from dying.”
“Every bed was full,” Coates said. “We had people in the hallways, people outside and more people coming in.”
Keep reading: Vegas hospitals caring for hundreds of wounded from shooting
TRUMP CALLS VEGAS SHOOTER 'SICK' AND 'DEMENTED'
As he departed for a trip to Puerto Rico early Tuesday, President Donald Trump called the Las Vegas gunman a “very, very sick individual.” The president told reporters the shooter was demented and said “we’re looking into him very seriously.”
When asked about gun laws in the United States, Trump said “we’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by.” FULL STORY: President Trump responds to Las Vegas mass shooting
Among the crowd of 22,000 country music fans were life-saving heroes – many known by just their first names. Concertgoer Anna Kupchyan told the Associated Press she credits a man named Zach for saving her life and at least nine others when he ushered them into a trailer that was being used as a restroom. Zach shut the door as a hail of bullets could be heard outside. When security shouted for the huddled group to run, they exited the trailer to find bodies sprawled on the ground.
Another woman was saved by a U.S. Marine who jumped into action to get her to safety, covering her on the ground and telling her everything was going to be okay.
"We had no idea who was dead or who was alive," Renee Cesario said. "He kept telling me it was going to be okay ... the whole night he didn't leave my side."
Todd Blyleven, the son of former Minnesota Twins pitcher and current broadcaster Bert Blyleven, was at the concert. His instinct to run matched the instinct to help as he got his family to safety, then headed back into the melee to get the injured out.
"It wasn't just me. Others said, 'Let's go!' and I started grabbing the injured," he said. "I remember there was a lady with a gunshot wound to the leg trying to hobble out."
It's what he would have wanted if he or his family had been hurt.
"I just knew someone needed help," Blyleven said. "I just had to help."
VEGAS SHOOTER: WHO WAS STEPHEN PADDOCK?
Stephen Paddock had an interest in guns, high-limit video poker and real estate deals, according to an Associated Press report. He had no known criminal record, leaving both law enforcement and his family wondering what motivated the former accountant to open fire on a crowd of concertgoers.
Regardless of motive, the Associated Press reports that Paddock had planned the massacre extensively, setting up cameras in the hotel, including in the peephole to his room and on a food cart in the hallway outside to see when police were approaching.
Las Vegas police confirmed Paddock had 23 guns at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino and 19 at his home in Mesquite, Nevada.
Former FBI hostage negotiator Clint Van Zandt told the Associated Press that Paddock is much older than a typical shooter and was not known to have mental illness.
“My challenge is, I don’t see any of the classic indicators, so far, that would suggest, ’OK, he’s on the road either to suicide or homicide or both,” Van Zandt told the AP.
“He doesn’t even have parking tickets. He has no criminal record, he has no record of any affiliations – he had nothing,” Eric Paddock, the shooter’s brother, told a group of assembled media in Florida. “He was a guy who played video poker. He played at a higher level than you people do probably but he had a lot more money than you people have. He was a wealthy guy, and he liked to play video poker. He liked to go on cruises. He sent his mother cookies. He didn’t hunt. I mean, he barely shot his guns. “
VIDEO: Brother of Las Vegas shooter speaks
JASON ALDEAN: 'TIME TO COME TOGETHER'
Country music star Jason Aldean had been on stage for just a few minutes when the gunfire began. As of Tuesday, Aldean has canceled his next three shows "out of respect for the victims and to take time to mourn," according to the AP.
Monday night, he shared a message on his Instagram account, calling for unity.
"Over the last 24 hrs I have gone through lots of emotions. Scared, Anger, Heartache, Compassion and many others. I truely dont understand why a person would want to take the life of another. Something has changed in this country and in this world lately that is scary to see. This world is becoming the kind of place i am afraid to raise my children in. At the end of the day we arent Democrats or Republicans, Whites or Blacks, Men or Women. We are all humans and we are all Americans and its time to start acting like it and stand together as ONE! That is the only way we will ever get this Country to be better than it has ever been, but we have a long way to go and we have to start now. My heart aches for the Victims and their families of this Senseless act. I am so sorry for the hurt and pain everyone is feeling right now and there are no words i can say to to take that pain away. Just know u all are in my heart and my prayers as we all go through this together. Time to come together and stop the hate! #stopthehate #prayforlasvegas"
ACTIVE CRIME SCENE
Police still have several blocks around the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino closed to traffic as the area clearly remains the scene of a major crime investigation.