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Las Vegas Sniper Shooting, Deadliest in History, 58 Killed: Fake News Heads to Top of the List

Courtesy of Mish

A sniper, Stephen Craig Paddock, unleashed a hail of bullets on an outdoor country music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Vegas hotel.

Paddock killed at least 58 people as tens of thousands of concertgoers screamed and ran for their lives. This was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Bloomberg reports Sniper in High-rise Hotel Kills At Least 58 in Las Vegas.

SWAT teams using explosives stormed the gunman’s hotel room in the sleek, gold-colored glass skyscraper and found he had killed himself, authorities said. He had as many as 10 guns with him, including rifles, they said.

In the Mideast, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack and said the gunman was “a soldier” who had converted to Islam months ago. But it provided no evidence.

Country music star Jason Aldean was performing Sunday night at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival in front of a crowd of more than 22,000 when the gunman opened fire from inside the 44-floor Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across the street.

The gunman was identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada. He had checked into the hotel room on Thursday, authorities said. Police said he was a retiree with no criminal record in the Nevada county where he lived.

In an address to the country, President Donald Trump called the attack “an act of pure evil” and added: “In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has.” He ordered flags flown at half-staff.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said authorities believe it was a “lone wolf” attack. And the U.S. Homeland Security Department said there was no “specific credible threat” involving other public venues in the U.S.

Fake News Goes Viral

I seldom report on these stories when I first see them, preferring to wait for some facts. As often happens, fake news went viral.

As law enforcement and news organizations raced to piece together what happened during the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history Sunday night in Las Vegas, web denizens less wedded to the truth rushed in to provide details of their own—which quickly went viral.

Links to the 4chan website that falsely identified the shooter and called him a leftist and Democratic supporter were showing up on the top of Google search results, according to tweets by Buzzfeed News reporter, Ryan Broderick. Conservative writer Joe Hoft pounced, publishing and then retracting an article about the misidentified man. Police later identified a different person, Stephen Paddock, as the shooter.

A few hours later, searches for the same name were showing articles debunking the 4chan post and cataloguing the trail of viral fake news after the shooting. Once police identified Paddock, accounts on Twitter and Facebook began claiming he was part of the leftist group Antifa.

A spokeswoman for Google wasn’t able to immediately provide a comment.

ISIS Claim Responsibility

At 9:30 central, Bloomberg reported Islamic State Claims Las Vegas Mass Shooting.

Without providing any evidence to support the claim, the Islamic State group on Monday said the gunman in the mass shooting in Las Vegas was “a soldier” from its ranks who had converted to Islam months ago.

Authorities have yet to identify a motive for the shooting, and said initially there was no evidence of any connection to international terrorism.

The extremist group has a history of exaggerated or false claims, including earlier this year, when it claimed an attack on a casino in the Philippines that turned out to have been a botched robbery carried out by a heavily indebted gambling addict.

FBI Says Las Vegas Shooter Had No Connection to International Terrorist Group

At 10:44, Bloomberg reported FBI Says Las Vegas Shooter Had No Connection to International Terrorist Group.

The headline was the story. There was no other information.

Gun Shares Rally

In the aftermath of the news, Gun-Maker Stocks Rally.

Shares of gun makers rallied Monday, in the wake of what has been described as the deadliest mass shooting on U.S. soil.

Smith & Wesson parent American Outdoor Brands Corp.’s stock AOBC, +3.44% jumped 3.8% in midday trade toward a three-week high, Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. shares RGR, +2.82% climbed 3.9% and Vista Outdoor Inc. shares VSTO, +2.35% ran up 3.0% toward a 6-week high.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock


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