On Sunday night, a 64-year-old man showered bullets into the music festival below his hotel room. As Jason Aldean played, Stephen Paddock shot and killed at least 50 people and injured another 406 people. This is the deadliest shooting in American history.
Now, in a shocking turn of events, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the shooting, reported the Independent. Paddock, who the police later identified as the shooter, is an American citizen. After the shooting, he was found dead in his hotel room on the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel along with multiple weapons. He is believed to have killed himself.
ISIS claimed the shooting via a statement published by the group's Amaq propaganda agency, which claimed the attacker was a “soldier of the Islamic State”.
“The Las Vegas attacker is a soldier of the Islamic State in response to calls to target coalition countries,” read the statement.
ISIS claimed the gunman “converted to Islam several months ago.” They did not provide more details about how he converted or how he got in contact with Isis.
Paddock's religion and political stance haven't been released from anywhere else. In an interview, his brother, Eric Hudson Paddock, said he does not believe that this tragedy was politically or religiously motivated.
The claim by ISIS cannot be verified, as they give no evidence. Paddock's alleged suicide differs from the usual action of Isis attackers. In general, members of the group seek to be "martyred" in bombings or killed by security forces.
This suggests that if the attack was religiously motivated, then it may have been just inspired by ISIS. The manner of his death suggests that he had little formal guidance from the terrorist group.
The shooting comes shortly after Isis released a speech that is supposedly from the group’s leader. In the recording, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi praised the jihadis killed in the battle.
He also urged followers to “intensify one attack after another against the infidels.”
When the shooting occurred on Sunday night, Police said the shooting was not being treated as a terror attack. No statement has been made since ISIS released its claim.
This is the second attack ISIS has claimed for Sunday. They took responsibility for a stabbing attack in Marseille earlier on Sunday. That attack left two young women dead.
Please pray for Las Vegas and all the people impacted by the shooting. Whether or not ISIS' claim is true, this is a terrible tragedy for America. It's the deadliest shooting in American history; read the details.