Massacre in Las Vegas

The massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Festival of country music in Las Vegas last night has now claimed the lives of more than 50 concertgoers and injured hundreds, some of whom are in critical condition. The shooter positioned himself to do maximum harm for as long as possible, firing an automatic weapon from a room on the thirty-second floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort. The report posted by the Las Vegas Sun summarized the information knowns as of about 10:00 a.m. (Eastern) this morning.

Law enforcement has identified the shooter as Stephen Paddock. He came prepared to do what he did. He took his room at the Mandalay Bay on September 28. The authorities found it stocked with more than 10 rifles. There is no explanation offered for the massacre.

Law enforcement reportedly found Paddock dead by his own hand. His girlfriend or roommate has been taken into custody. We will presumably learn more in due course.

It is the worst mass shooting in our history. It is a dark day in our national life. As the acts of bravery of those in attendance are told, they may be juxtaposed with Paddock’s unspeakable evil and the horror he has wrought. For the moment, we can only mourn the dead, pray for the survivors and support the responders doing their best to mitigate the losses.

UPDATE: Chuck Ross’s thread at the Daily Caller compiles available information including video and other resources on the massacre.

STEVE adds: Although there is no solid evidence yet to conclude that Paddock was a Muslim convert or a left-winger, I have long thought Las Vegas was especially vulnerable to a terrorist mass shooting like the Orlando nightclub shooting (which was Islamic terrorism). But all the Vegas hotels are thick with security cameras, and I expect the investigation will piece together Paddock’s comings and goings from the hotel, which may answer the question of how he got so many guns up to his room without attracting any attention, or whether he had an accomplice. (The fact that he apparently used some of his girlfriend’s ID and credit cards at the Mandalay Bay is curious.) My hunch is that Paddock was a seriously disturbed person, but maybe the investigation will find otherwise.