59 Dead, 527 Wounded in Las Vegas Shooting
People are waiting on line for as long as eight hours in Las Vegas to donate blood to the victims of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
A gunman identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada opened fire on a crowd of more than 22,000 attending a country music show Sunday night before killing himself as police closed in.
Paddock shot from a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, located across the street from the outdoor concert. Fifty-nine were killed and 527 wounded.
In Las Vegas, VOA's Elizabeth Lee spoke with a taxi driver who dropped off a passenger minutes before the shooting began.
"I dropped a passenger at the Mandalay Bay (Resort and Casino) like 20 minutes before the shooting happened and I was thinking about getting in line at Mandalay Bay but changed my mind and went to the airport. I did hear, like an automatic gunshot from a distance, but I never thought it would be a gun shooting. (I am) shocked, very shocked," said Las Vegas taxi driver Tamirat Shiferaw.
Clark County, Nevada Sheriff Joe Lombardo says along with the 16 weapons found in the hotel room, 18 more guns, explosives, and thousands of rounds of ammunition were found in Paddock's home in Mesquite.
President Donald Trump led a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House, facing the Washington Monument, to remember the victims.
He ordered flags across the country to fly at half staff and will go to Las Vegas Wednesday to meet with first responders and console the victims and their families. The president has called the shooting an "act of pure evil."
Along with gunshot wounds, others were trampled and hurt trying to climb over fences to get away.
Police and federal investigators still do not have a motive.
Islamic State is claiming responsibility, saying the gunman was one of its "soldiers" and converted to Islam months ago. The FBI says there is no evidence Paddock was tied to any international terror group.
Investigators say Paddock had a girlfriend, but believe she is in Tokyo and was not involved.
Paddock's brother, Eric, is just as baffled as police by his motive. He said the family is "horrified and bewildered."
He said his brother was a wealthy man with no known political or religious affiliations, no ties with white supremacists and no history of mental illness.
Eric Paddock also said their father was a bank robber who was at one time on the FBI's most wanted list. The FBI called him psychopathic and dangerous. But that the brothers had no contact with their father.
Trump to Visit Puerto Rico to Survey Hurricane Recovery
U.S. President Donald Trump travels Tuesday to Puerto Rico to check on recovery efforts in the U.S. territory after it was hit by a powerful hurricane.
Trump's schedule includes meetings with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello, military personnel and people impacted by the storm. He is also due to hold talks with Governor Kenneth Mapp of the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were also hit by Hurricane Maria last week.
Trump has faced criticism for his administration's response to the hurricane that knocked out power to most of Puerto Rico and left many people without running water, fuel for generators or cell phone service.
About two weeks since the storm hit, Governor Rossello said water service has been restored to about half of customers and that he hopes 25 percent of people will have electricity by the end of October.
Trump has defended the federal government's efforts, and said Monday a "tremendous" amount of food and supplies have been sent to Puerto Rico.
"It’s been amazing what’s been done in a very short period of time on Puerto Rico," he told reporters at the White House.