Breaking News Emails
The mayor of Las Vegas vowed Tuesday morning that her city would remain a "warm and welcoming place" after a gunman turned the gambling mecca into a killing field.
"This has been a resilient community," Mayor Carolyn Goodman said on TODAY. "We will not be defined by this sick, disgusting human being — I will never mention his name. And I look to the sky to the new stars that are up there for each one of these beautiful innocent people who were slaughtered."
Breaking News Emails
As mourners held vigils on the Las Vegas Strip and casinos paid tribute on their marquees to Sunday night's massacre victims, police combed for clues as to why Stephen Paddock, 64, committed the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
Authorities say Paddock killed at least 59 people and injured 527 others during an outdoor country music festival. From his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, just across the street, Paddock had an unobstructed perch and was able to look down as he fired bullets in rapid-fire succession on panicked concertgoers.
Paddock had 23 firearms in his hotel room and police said they found 19 more — along with explosives and thousands of bullets — at his home in Mesquite, Nevada, northeast of Las Vegas. The guns appeared to have been purchased legally.
The search of the Mesquite home didn't immediately turn up notes, emails or social media postings pointing to a motive. Police also descended on a second home Paddock owned in Reno.
The shooter's family said he once managed and owned apartment buildings, gambled heavily and went to shows in Vegas.
"No affiliation, no religion, no politics. He never cared about any of that stuff," brother Eric Paddock told reporters Monday from his home in Orlando, Florida.
Paddock, who killed himself before authorities arrived, purchased two "bump stocks" on him, two law enforcement officials said. Bump stocks allow a semi-automatic weapon to fire at an automatic rate, legally.
Police also aren't ruling out the possibility a machine gun was involved. Machine guns have been banned from the consumer market since 1986, although it is still possible to purchase an expensive and rare grandfathered model if the buyer pays a tax and registers with the federal government.
Las Vegas, meanwhile, has stepped up security at casinos and on the bustling Strip.
Goodman on TODAY said people were simply gathered to have a "grand time" during the concert. Along with her husband, Oscar Goodman, himself a former Las Vegas mayor and attorney with a colorful past tied to defending organized crime figures, the couple has been the champion of the playful "What Happens in Vegas" slogan.
Goodman said she'd rather not focus on why Paddock decided to unleash such an unspeakable tragedy in her beloved city.
"We're not going to dignify this miscreant spending our time wondering about him," Goodman said. "That's up to the authorities, and they will take care of it."