At least 58 people are dead and 518 more wounded after a gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas Sunday night.
The assailant opened fire with a fully automatic weapon just as Jason Aldean was beginning his show at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
Videos posted on social media show Aldean, one of the biggest names in the genre, singing as very rapid gunfire begins in the background.
He can be seen running from stage as he, and the thousands in the crowd who came to see him, realized the horror of what was happening.
No matter how often these tragedies occur (and it is far too often), one never goes into an event thinking it will happen then or there.
The terror is unimaginable.
In this case, it was also protracted. A gunman continued to rain bullets on the audience for up to two terrifying hours, reports indicate.
Victims ran to safety, according to NBC News, during momentary breaks in the violence, at which point the shooter presumably reloaded.
Many were trapped in the venue for what must have felt like an eternity, but police SWAT officers eventually found and killed the shooter.
He was found on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said, and shot dead.
“Right now we believe it’s a solo act, a lone wolf attacker,” Lombardo told reporters. “We are pretty confident there is no longer a threat.”
The gunman has not yet been identified.
Aldean said he was safe in an Instagram post early Monday, sharing an image of the city and asking for prayers for the victims:
“Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still dont know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe."
"My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight,” he wrote, clearly as stunned and traumatized as anyone else.
“It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”
Aldean’s wife Brittany Kerr posted her own message on Instagram, saying, “We are safe… our angels were definitely watching over us tonight."
"No words for what happened," she added.
"Just horrific. Praying for everyone.”
Witness accounts are what you would expect - unable to fully do justice to what happened as you read this, but terrifying nonetheless.
Country star Jake Owen was one of the witnesses, having just finished his set and was still on stage when the shooting started.
“I was crouched down behind a cop car," he said.
"There was blood on people and you could see a couple of people in the streets that looked like they had been shot,” Owen added.
Ivetta Saldana told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “It was was a horror show. People were standing around, then they hit the floor.”
Robyn Webb, who was at the concert along with her husband last night, told the newspaper, “It just kept coming. It was relentless.”
Authorities, meanwhile, are searching for a 62-year-old woman named Marylou Danley, whom they believe is the gunman’s roommate.
Police have searched a home in Mesquite, Nevada, 85 miles from Las Vegas, where it is believed the gunman lived with Danley.
She is considered a person of interest in the case.
UPDATE: Police have identified the assailant as Stephen Paddock, 64. He is shown above with his companion, Danley.
Paddock is believed to have begun his attack around 10:00 pm local time and to have continued shooting for two hours.
Police were reportedly able to locate Paddock quickly due to the smoke from his weapon setting off hotel fire detectors.
Paddock's motives for the shooting remain unclear. Early reports indicate that he was not a member of any militant group.
He was not known to hold extremist political or religious beliefs, though the investigation into the matter is just hours old.
Danley was apprehended for questioning at 3:40 a.m.
It is not currently known if she's being treated as an accomplice in the attack, or whether law enforcement simply wants to learn more.
In any case, reports indicate that several guns, including at least eight rifles, were found in the room rented by Paddock and Danley.
“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said during his press briefing early this morning.
More details to follow as this shocking story develops ...
UPDATE: The death toll is now 58 and climbing, according to an ABC News report, with more than 518 people wounded.
Expect that to tragically rise as the day progresses.