Gunman In A Las Vegas Hotel Opens Fire On Concertgoers Below

Oct 2, 2017
Originally published on October 2, 2017 12:44 pm
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We're focused on the situation in Las Vegas this morning. A gunman in a hotel opened fire last night on concertgoers below. This was right near the Vegas strip. Police are saying at least 20 people were killed and many more are injured. We heard just a bit earlier from Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo. He says the suspect was a Vegas resident.

JOSEPH LOMBARDO: It's a devastating time and it's unfortunate. And, you know, we have been talking about active shooters in the past, and it's unfortunate it did occur here. But we - we have responded to the scene, and we're doing the best we can to provide safety for the survivors. And right now we believe it's a sole actor.

GREENE: OK. Let's turn now to Casey Morell. He's a producer with KNPR in Las Vegas. Hi there, Casey.

CASEY MORELL, BYLINE: Morning.

GREENE: So the sheriff there describing the suspect as a sole actor. They say he has been killed. What - what else do we know right now?

MORELL: A lot of conflicting reports right now, David. Some media outlets have identified who they think it might be, but we haven't gotten official word from the sheriff's department yet as to who the suspect is. Some of the details that have been speculated is that he's an older white man who lived in a retirement community, but no official name has been given. The only thing that we know about the suspect so far is that police are looking for someone described as a companion of his, a 60-something-year-old woman who they believe might have some information about what happened earlier - or, I guess last night at this point.

GREENE: OK. So they're seeking information from someone who knows him, it sounds like, but an important point here that they are not saying that this is still a dangerous situation. They're saying sole actor, and that this manhunt for this - this woman - people are not in danger at this point.

MORELL: That's correct, David. Earlier in the evening, there were reports of other gunshots on the Strip, also tales of explosive devices. But Sheriff Lombardo, about two hours ago, said that neither of those had taken place. The situation had been - been neutralized. People were safe. That said, a number of the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip are still under lockdown. If you're familiar with the area at all, basically the Monte Carlo east toward Mandalay Bay is still on lockdown. Some of the resorts...

GREENE: That's a huge chunk of the Strip. I mean, that's a lot of - that's a lot of Las Vegas that...

MORELL: Yeah, it's a huge chunk, and those are people who are basically still being told to shelter-in-place.

GREENE: The numbers here that we're talking about - I mean, originally we were - it sounded early on like there were just a few people killed. Then the sheriff comes out, the number jumps to 20, saying it could be more. I mean, this is - this is - this is a lot of people.

MORELL: It's a lot of people. And local media are saying that paramedics are still finding wounded victims who were in hiding after - after the event and taking them to hospitals. A number of the hospitals have said, you know, don't send people here unless absolutely necessary because we don't have the room for them.

GREENE: All right. And it sounds like we're just getting reports now that it could be 50 dead from the sheriff's department. So I mean, this is just staggering. And I'm sure you'll be - you'll be following that and probably have to go report on those changing numbers as we speak, Casey.

MORELL: Yeah. It's an ever-changing situation that seems to be getting grimmer by the moment.

GREENE: Yeah. OK. Casey Morell is a producer with KNPR in Las Vegas. Appreciate the time.

MORELL: Thanks. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.