Las Vegas shooting: 45 still hospitalised, some critical

Paola Bautista, 39, from Fontana, California, in her hospital bed at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Centre, Oct 4, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Forty-five people remain hospitalised following the mass shooting in Las Vegas nearly two weeks ago and some are in critical condition, the county sheriff said on Friday (Oct 13).

Meanwhile, the FBI said no evidence has been found so far that the man who carried out the deadliest mass shooting in recent US history - 64-year-old Stephen Paddock - was motivated by "ideology or affiliation to any groups."

Paddock, a wealthy retired accountant, amassed an arsenal of weapons in his Mandalay Bay hotel room and opened fire on the evening of Oct 1 on a crowd enjoying a country music concert, killing 58 people.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told a news conference that the latest figure on the number of injuries from the shooting was 546.

He said 501 people have been discharged from hospital and of the 45 people still admitted, some were in critical condition.

Lombardo also sought to clarify some confusion over when exactly Paddock wounded a security guard, Jesus Campos, outside his 32nd floor room and opened fire on the crowd.

Police had earlier said they believed Campos was shot by Paddock at 9.59pm, six minutes before he rained fire down onto the concert crowd.

But Lombardo said on Friday that police now believe Campos was shot "in close proximity to 10.05pm" - the time he started shooting at the concert crowd below.

Lombardo also said the authorities believe that Paddock deliberately fired on large jet aviation fuel tanks at Las Vegas' McCarran airport.

"It is believed the fuel tanks were fired upon with intent," he said.

The storage tanks did not catch fire and Lombardo said he had been informed in any event there is a "very low probability that aviation fuel could be ignited by gunfire".

The FBI special agent in charge, Aaron Rouse, said hundreds of FBI employees remained involved in the investigation of the shooting.

But the authorities appeared - at least publicly - to be no closer to determining Paddock's motivation.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group claimed shortly after the shooting that Paddock was one of its "soldiers" but Rouse said "to date, we have found no signs of ideology or affiliation to any groups".

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