A BARRAGE of gunfire was unleashed from a hotel room on to an outdoor, country-music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday, killing 59 people and injuring 527 others.
The gun maniac, Stephen Paddock, who committed suicide after his deadly spree, will go down in history as carrying out the deadliest mass-shooting in American history.
But the big question hanging over his extraordinary behaviour, which will probably never be answered, is WHY?
The tragic events played out on two stages: the festival ground which became a killing field, and the halls of the Mandalay Bay hotel,, where the police hunted him down.
Tragically, the aftermath of the 64-year-old’s onslaught is one of the most horrific scenes to emerge from the massacre.
Dozens of lifeless bodies are strewn amid the debris, which includes beer cans, water bottles and even cowboy hats and flip-flops, lost by their owners in the ensuing stampede.
A few of the limp bodies rest alone, while others are coupled up, suggesting they died at the same time.
As the gunman sprayed bullets from the 32nd floor of the hotel, the huge audience suddenly realised what was happening and began to flee, their panic-ridden screams heard amid bursts of continuous gunfire.
Concert-goers described hearing round after round of gunfire at the three-day event, and Jake Owen, on stage with fellow-artiste Jason Aldean when the shooting began, said: “It was going on for at least 10 minutes.”
Nearby, groups of survivors ducked for cover behind a fence, and some lay on top of loved ones to offer protection.
Yet nothing seemed out of the ordinary last Thursday when Paddock checked into a suite at the Mandalay Bay hotel.
Staff had no idea he was carrying a 23-gun armoury, including two rifles, which he mounted on tripods for the intended assault. And police found a further 19 guns in the Sun City retirement community where he lived, plus hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, described Paddock as a “lone wolf”, whose intentions had gone unnoticed by hotel staff.
His family members are struggling to make sense of his motive, and Eric, one of his three brothers, said: “He had some hand-guns, but where the hell did he get automatic weapons?”
Cheap Flights to St.Petersburg, RussiaSt. Petersburg is the place miracles are made. Today, Russia’s second largest city is known for its stunning tsarist architecture, fashionable restaurants, shopping and electric nightlife, all set along the beautiful Neva River. But St. Petersburg is also the site of some of the most pivotal moments in Russia's history, most notably the Siege of Leningrad.
One of the most awesome spectacles you can see once you've stepped off a flight to St. Petersburg are the “white nights” that occur in the city in the summer. Find cheap flights to St. Petersburg in June and July and watch in awe as the city glows from the prolonged twilight. The sun never drops far enough below the horizon to create the usual nighttime darkness, so the city is constantly lit up under the miraculous white light.
Find cheap flights to St.Petersburg