Shooting On Las Vegas Strip Targets Concert Attendees
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Millions of people see images of the Mandalay Bay Resort and have a memory. They recall the time they stayed there or simply walked by while taking in the sights of Vegas. The Clark County sheriff in Las Vegas says a shooter was in that hotel tower and opened fire on a concert below overnight. Twenty-one-year-old Mia Uribe (ph) was one of the people attending a concert when the rattle of gunshots stopped the music.
MIA URIBE: I was in shock because I still thought that it was fireworks. And when I heard someone yell gun and everyone was running towards us, everyone was telling me to get down. There were people jumping over us. It sounded like pops over and over and over again, and it didn't stop. There was just a continuous flashing light.
INSKEEP: Let's talk about this with Casey Morell, who's a producer with KNPR. He's in Las Vegas. Hi, Casey.
CASEY MORELL, BYLINE: Good morning.
INSKEEP: You know, I guess I shouldn't be shocked. I shouldn't be surprised. We've described so many mass shootings. But when the Clark County sheriff opens his mouth and says about 20 people killed, it's hard not to be - hard not to be dismayed.
MORELL: Yeah, to say the least. I mean, this is an incident that I think a lot of people here didn't expect to happen, even though Las Vegas has a high profile, you know, with visitors from across the country and across the world. But it's one of those things that you never expect to see happen in your own city, whether you live here or you're part of the law enforcement.
INSKEEP: So what did you learn from that briefing from Joe Lombardo, the Clark County sheriff?
MORELL: So Sheriff Lombardo last hour said that the FBI was taking part in the investigation into the shooting. The suspect who opened fire on the crowd is dead, according to police, but they have not identified who that is. They are looking for an associate of his, though, who they believe is possibly on the run. They want to talk to her for questioning. The interesting thing was they said the gunman was a local resident, but they are not considering this an act of domestic terrorism, at least not yet.
INSKEEP: Now, we also heard that the gunman was found on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort. I guess that doesn't mean we know that the gunman shot from the 32nd floor - right? - but we presume that the gunshots were from there somewhere.
MORELL: That's what we've been hearing, right, that the gunfire was coming from the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay. The Mandalay Bay is on one side of the Las Vegas Strip. The concert - the music festival, rather, was on a field on the other side of the strip, so maybe about 150-200 feet of road, you know, separating the two of them. So from that vantage point, you'd have a pretty clear view of the field and everyone at the festival.
INSKEEP: And a sole actor, a lone wolf, the phrase that the sheriff used.
MORELL: Yes, that's what's being told. We were hearing earlier reports this morning - I guess now at this point - of other shootings on the strip, possibly explosive devices being set off as well. But Sheriff Lombardo said during his press conference that those reports were unfounded. There was no other shooting that took place, just the event at the music festival itself.
INSKEEP: Hospitals able to handle this? We're talking about more than a hundred people wounded.
MORELL: We were hearing that one of the hospitals, University Medical Center, was turning people away because the emergency rooms were filled. That's the main trauma center here in southern Nevada. So it's going to be a long night for those emergency room doctors across the valley.
INSKEEP: And a long night for you as well. Casey Morell, thanks very much.
MORELL: Thank you.
INSKEEP: He's a producer with KNPR in Las Vegas where a gunman opened fire overnight. We're told around 20 people are confirmed dead. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.