One person was killed after a man on a bus on the Las Vegas strip began shooting at passengers without warning Saturday, and the suspect barricaded himself in the vehicle for hours in a standoff that closed part of the tourist destination, police said.
The suspect, described as a local man in his 50s with apparent mental health issues, surrendered shortly after 3 p.m. (6 p.m. ET) — more than four hours after the 10:48 a.m. shooting near the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas police spokesman Officer Larry Hadfield said.
"From details or descriptions from the witnesses is that he was on the bus as a rider and all of the sudden he just started shooting at passengers on the bus," Assistant Sheriff Tom Roberts said.
"He was on the second floor — it's a two-story bus, he's on the second floor at the rear of the bus — and he just started shooting indiscriminately," Roberts said.
The shooting is not believed to have been connected to terrorism in any way, police said.
One person died in the shooting and another person suffered non life threatening injuries, Hadfield said. The second victim was shot in the stomach, Roberts said. Passengers fled the bus, and the suspect was the only one in the vehicle during the standoff.
A stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard from the Flamingo hotel south to Harmon Avenue was shut down and area hotels were not letting guests leave through front doors, Hadfield said. The shooting prompted the Cosmopolitan to initially tell its guests to shelter in place.
At one point the suspected gunman fired shots at police when they tried to use robots to communicate with him, Roberts said. No one was hit, and police did not return fire, he said. The gunman was armed with a handgun, Roberts said.
A motive has not been determined. "He’s got some mental issues, we found that very evident when we talked to him," Roberts said. "From listening to the negotiations he seemed to be talking about seeing people and things like that," Roberts said.
It doesn't appear that the gunman said anything before he opened fire, Roberts said.
The shooting and standoff occurred hours after a group of armed and masked men broke into a "high-end jewelry store" at the nearby Bellagio hotel, smashing the glass doors to get in at around 12:50 a.m., police said. No shots were fired in the burglary, police said, but there was a panic among some guests and the hotel was locked down.
That burglary is not believed connected in any way to the shooting on the bus, Hadfield said. Roberts said the shooting on the bus was an isolated incident, but extra officers will be on the Strip after both incidents. The closed stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard was reopened in both directions by 6 p.m., police said.