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We'll talk about gun laws over time, says Trump as he labels killer 'demented'

President Donald Trump has called the gunman who killed 59 people in Las Vegas a "very, very sick individual" and suggested he was ready to discuss gun laws "as time goes by".

Mr Trump was speaking to reporters yesterday as he departed for a trip to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

He called the gunman "demented" and said "we're looking into him very seriously", and praised police in Las Vegas.

Mr Trump stressed the shooting was a tragedy.

Asked about US legislation, the President said "we'll be talking about gun laws as time goes by".

Stephen Craig Paddock, who killed 59 people and injured 527 others, was a big-spending gambler who took 23 guns into his hotel room before opening fire on crowds attending an outdoor music festival.

Paddock sprayed bullets on revellers enjoying the Route 91 Harvest Festival from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on Las Vegas Strip. Country music star Jason Aldean was performing on Sunday night to a crowd of more than 22,000 when the gunman opened fire from the 44-floor hotel across the street.

The 64-year-old retired accountant from Mesquite, Nevada, killed himself before officers stormed room 135 in the gold-coloured glass skyscraper.

Assistant sheriff Todd Fasulo said Paddock had 23 guns, some with scopes, in his hotel room.

Authorities found 19 more at his home in Mesquite, as well as explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Several pounds of ammonium nitrate, a fertiliser that can be turned into explosives such as those used in the 1995 Oklahoma bombing, were discovered in his car.

Investigators believe the shooting, the most deadly in modern US history, was a 'lone wolf' attack.

Paddock's brother described the gunman as a multi-millionaire property developer who liked to gamble large amounts of money at the world-famous casinos in Las Vegas, but said he had no known political or religious agenda.

Eric Paddock told reporters that his brother often received free rooms and meals from casinos, telling reporters: "He was a guy who had money.

"He went on cruises and gambled."

He told the Orlando Sentinel: "We are completely dumbfounded. We can't understand what happened."

He also said their father was a bank robber who was once on the most wanted list.

Investigators are working to establish a motive for the attack. Islamic State claimed responsibility, but provided no evidence to back up the claim.

Prime Minister Theresa May was asked if she was aware whether any Britons were killed or injured in the bloodbath.

She told LBC radio: "The latest I heard is that we don't yet know of any British casualties, although I think there were British people in the area, some of whom did manage to flee and weren't casualties.

"We also know there were some British troops nearby who went in to help.

"The Foreign Office is continuing to work with the Las Vegas authorities to ensure that we know definitely.

"At the moment I don't believe there were any British casualties, but there were certainly British people in the area who will have witnessed what was absolutely an appalling attack, completely senseless, random attack, by an individual who I understand had quite an arsenal of weapons in the hotel room."

She added: "I think we can't understand it because of course we have a different approach to guns. We have very strong gun laws here, and we tightened the gun laws initially after Dunblane because people saw the atrocity which took place there and we took action as a government.

"But of course America has a different approach to guns. It's up to them to see what they will do now, but I think most people in the UK will say: 'If you look at what's happened here, surely they will want to do something'."

Among those who died was Sandy Casey, a middle school special education teacher living in Redondo Beach, California.

"This is unbelievably tragic and sad," said Mike Matthews, superintendent of the Manhattan Beach School District. "This loss is impacting many of our staff members deeply."

Rachael Parker, a police records technician, died in hospital. She was among four department employees who were attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival while off-duty. Another suffered minor injuries.

"She was employed with the Manhattan Beach Police Department for 10 years and will be greatly missed," the department said.

Belfast Telegraph


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