Mass Shooting at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Hotel and Ongoing Risks

2 Oct 2017

A mass shooting occurred at 2230hrs on 01 October in the Mandalay Bay Casino during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. At least one suspect opened fire with an automatic weapon, killing at least 50 and wounding over 200. One suspect was shot dead by police and security services detained a female suspect who may have had links to the attack, although she is not known to have opened fire. Police reported that both suspects were US citizens and possibly local residents.

Key Points

  • At least one suspect opened fire with an automatic weapon at 2230 local time on 01 October.
  • 50 people have been killed and 200 others wounded at Mandalay Bay Casino music festival.
  • One suspect was killed by police. The motivation for the attack remains uncertain.

SiTuational Summary

Crime:  A mass shooting occurred at 2230hrs on 01 October in the Mandalay Bay Casino during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. At least one suspect opened fire with an automatic weapon, killing at least 50 and wounding over 200. One suspect was shot dead by police and security services detained a female suspect who may have had links to the attack, although she is not known to have opened fire. Police reported that both suspects were US citizens and possibly local residents.

Solace Global Comment

At this stage there is no evidence to suggest this was a religiously or politically motivated terror attack, falling in line with trends for criminal mass shootings throughout the US. The deceased suspect, Stephen Paddock and the detained female suspect, Marilou Danley, have yet to be fully investigated; as such, the motive remains unclear.

The official definition of a mass shooting requires, excluding domestic incidents, the killing of at least four victims in a single event, with no cooling-off period, and without the political motivation required to define the incident as an act of terrorism. Based upon this definition; this is at least the 16th such attack in the US this year, although at present this is by far the largest in terms of the numbers of both wounded and dead. The scale of the attack is likely to lead to widespread and prolonged disruption around the epicentre of the incident, however wider disruption is unlikely unless the attacker’s motives are discovered to be politically or religiously motivated.

SECURITY ADVICE

CrimeHigh

Travellers should be aware there is an increased security presence in the vicinity of the Las Vegas Strip. Increased checkpoints have been noted as well as security patrols.  It is vital that travellers adhere fully to the instructions of security forces; non-compliance may be met with force.

If caught in a terror situation, travellers are advised to RUN – HIDE – TELL – FIGHT – TREAT. RUN – If in a location where gunfire or explosions are heard, leave the area or building by any safe and available exit immediately. HIDE – If unable to run away, find suitable cover or barricade yourself in a room. Remember to silence your phone and turn vibrate off. TELL – Inform emergency services or alert someone who is able to do it for you. Once police arrive, comply with their instructions and do not make any sudden movements. FIGHT – As a last resort, if confronted with a gunman, it is recommended to fight back by using the element of surprise by shouting, screaming and running fast at the attacker. If sheltered with others, convince them to do the same and rush the attacker all at once. Ensure the person entering the shelter is the attacker and not law enforcement. TREAT – For potentially fatal wounds, the earlier a victim is treated, increases the likelihood they will survive the incident. This is potentially difficult to manage as armed police responding to a terror attack generally have to prioritise eliminating the threat first. Medical personnel may only be allowed onto the scene once the police have secured the area and removed the threat.

Anyone seeking scheduled use of public transport or air travel should contact their travel provider as soon as possible in order to assess the level of disruption anticipated. All road journeys throughout the city should allow extra time to account for additional traffic and diversions. Travel on the Las Vegas strip and surrounding streets has been substantially curtailed due to the attack. Freeways have been reopened to through traffic, however east-bound off-ramps are closed between Sahara Avenue to Russel Road. Las Vegas Airport is also running a reduced service following an initial shut-down during the attack. Delays should be expected with regards to any medical or criminal emergencies reported as all services are pressured by the response to the attack.

Travellers to Las Vegas and the United States are advised that enhanced security measures are not necessary. However, travellers may wish to consider employing travel tracking technology alongside an intelligence platform. This will enable them to quickly notify others of an emergency and be kept updated of any security related incidents such as the events on the Las Vegas Strip.

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