Mon, October 23, 2017 | 04:00
Posted : 2017-10-02 19:30
Updated : 2017-10-02 20:35

More than 50 killed in Las Vegas shooting

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was hear on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, leaving at least 20 people dead and more than 100 injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. / AFP-Yonhap

A gunman killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 200 others Sunday when he opened fire on thousands of fans at a country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip.

The gunman, who police said was a local man, was killed after being "engaged" by officers who responded to reports of multiple gunfire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, a hotel-casino next to the concert venue in the gambling hub.

Revelers screamed and fled in panic as a steady stream of automatic gunfire rang out at the venue shortly after 10:00 pm local time (0500 GMT Monday), footage captured on smart phones showed.

"We have in excess of 100-plus injured and excess of 20-plus that have died at this point," Las Vegas Metro Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told an early morning press conference.

Two of those killed are believed to be off-duty police officers, said Lombardo.

"This is an ongoing investigation, but we are comfortable that the primary aggressor in this event ... has expired or passed away, and is no longer a threat," he added.

Thousands of fans were attending the concert next to the Mandalay Bay which was part of a three-day country music festival known as Route 91.

People carry a peson at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. / AFP-Yonhap

Like firecrackers

Witnesses told how the gunman opened fire with an inital long burst, and then appeared to reload as he continued his spree.

"We heard (what) sounded like a glass breaking, so you looked around to see what's going on and then heard a pop, pop, pop," Monique Dekerf told CNN.

"You'd think for a moment okay we're fine, there's no more gunfire, then it starts again."

Her sister Rachel said it sounded like "the shots were coming from the right side ... it sounded like they were right beside us too ... it was right there."

Best-selling country singer Jason Aldean was on stage and near the end of his concert when the shooting began.

"We were watching the concert having a great time, then we heard what sounded like firecrackers," witness Joe Pitz told the local Las Vegas Sun news outlet.

"I guess it was an automatic weapon going off but it literally sounded like firecrackers.

"Then soon enough there was commotion on the Mandalay Bay side of the stage. They were motioning for medics to come and safety people to come and Jason Aldean ran off the stage.

"Everybody in the vicinity went down. I don't know if they were ducking or if they were but it was chaos."

Las Vegas police respond during an active shooter situation on the Las Vegas Strip near Tropicana Avenue in Las Vegas Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. / AP-Yonhap

Beyond horrific

It was the deadliest shooting in the United States since 49 people were killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida in June 2016.

It was also the latest in a series of recent deadly attacks at concert venues.

Twenty-two people were killed while leaving a concert in the northern English city of Manchester in May when a suicide bomber detonated a nail bomb in the foyer.

Ninety people were killed in November 2015 at the Bataclan venue in Paris during a concert by the US band the Eagles of Death Metal.

Lombardo would not release the gunman's name, but told reporters that he has been identified and is a local resident.

The sheriff however issued an appeal for information about his female traveling companion, identified as Marilou Danley.

"We have not located her at this time and we are interested in talking to her for follow-up," Lombardo said.

"We are pretty confident there is no longer a threat other than we are attempting to locate the person of interest.

"It's on ongoing investigation. Right now, we believe he is the sole aggressor at this point."

A shocked Aldean told his fans via Instagram that he and his band was safe.

"Tonight has been beyond horrific," the singer wrote.

"I still dont know what to say ... My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight.

"It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night." (AFP)

'한밤의 공포'…호텔 32층서 콘서트장 향해 무차별 총격

괴한, 운집한 관객 4만명에 기관총 추정 총기 연속 발사

'관객들 처음엔 폭죽인 줄 알아…10여분간 수백 발 발사'

미국 네바다 주 라스베이거스에서 1일 밤(현지시간)  총격이 벌어진 것은 일요일을 맞아 수만명의 시민과 관광객들이 여유롭게 음악 축제를 즐기던 때였다.

    만델레이 베이 호텔 반대편 거리에서 '루트 91 하베스트'라는 음악 축제가 열리고 있었고, 컨트리 가수 제이슨 알딘의 공연이 끝나갈 무렵 갑자기 공중에서 기관총으로 보이는 총소리가 들리기 시작했다.

    트위터 등 현장 시민들이 소셜미디어를 통해 전한 당시 동영상을 보면 관객들은 총소리와 함께 몸을 바닥에 숙이거나 비명을 지르며 흩어졌으며 군중들 사이로 총성은 쉬지 않고 울렸다.

  경찰에 따르면 라스베이거스 시민인 범인은 이 호텔 32층에서 기관총으로 보이는 총기를 호텔 반대편 콘서트장으로 난사한 것으로 조사됐다.

    당시 콘서트장에는 4만여명의 관객이 모여 있었다. 현재까지 집계된 사망자만 50여명, 부상자는 200명 이상에 달한다.

    당시 현장에 있었던 관객들은 언론과의 인터뷰에서 처음엔 폭죽으로 생각했다가, 뭔가 잘못됐다는 걸 알고 황급히 몸을 피했다고 전했다. 달아나던 중 신발이 벗겨지고 몸이 긁히는 상황에도 신경 쓸 틈이 없었다.

    총성이 울리자마자 관객들은 몸을 숙였다. 밴드는 곧바로 무대를 내려왔고, 조명등이 관객을 비췄다. 911과 경찰을 부르는 소리도 들렸지만, 총성은 끊이지 않았다.

    한 목격자는 '처음엔 폭죽인 줄 알았다'며 '수백 발쯤 되는 것 같았다'고 말했다. 무대에서 가까이 있었다는 한 여성은 CNN에 '사람들이 갑자기 내려오는데 왜 갑자기 피하는지, 누가 총에 맞았는지도 알 수가 없었다'고 당시를 설명했다.

    그는 '총성이 10∼15분간 멈추지 않고 계속됐던 것 같다'며 '그저 살기 위해 달렸다'고 말했다.

    그의 여동생은 '총격이 잠시 멈춘 것처럼 보이자 노란색 셔츠를 입은 사람들이 '고(Go), 고, 고, 고'라고 말했다'며 '총격은 절대 멈추지 않고 계속됐다'고 말했다.

    현장에 있었던 라디오 시리어스XM의 진행자 슈테르머 워런은 '처음엔 폭죽이 불발된 줄 알았다'며 '세 번째쯤 됐을 때 뭔가 잘못된 걸 알았다'고 설명했다. 포탄은 무대 위로 떨어졌고, '다시 보고 싶지 않은 두려운 상황이었다'고 전했다.

    워런은 '차를 향해 달렸더니, 차 아래에 이미 숨어있는 사람들이 있었다'며 '부상자를 차 안으로 숨겼고, 그렇게 6명이 차 안에 있었다'고 말했다.

    끊이지 않은 총성은 콘서트장 밖에서도 공포를 유발하기에 충분했다.

    만델레이 호텔 맞은편에서 창문을 통해 사고 장면을 목격했다는 브라이언 하이프너는 '사람들이 뛰쳐나오는 걸 보고는 방으로 돌아와 방문을 잠그고 불을 껐다'고 말했다. (연합)