Portuguese tells of horror in Vegas as shooter kills 59

Portuguese holidaymaker Helena Rodrigues found herself caught up the horrific massacre in Las Vegas last Sunday, as here, secretary of state for the communities José Luís Carneiro confirmed there were no nationals reported (so far) among the 59 fatalities.

TVI24 explains that police have yet to identify all the victims of gunman Stephen Paddock.

For now, Helena Rodrigues is presented as the only Portuguese affected by the blighted music festival.

Again, this could change as stories from the hundreds of injured and other survivors emerge.

Rodrigues told RTP that she was not among the 22,000-strong crowd at the open-air ‘country’ festival.

She was travelling through Vegas in a bus, she explained, when she and fellow passengers saw a “large number of police cars and ambulances”.

“From the numbers, we just knew something serious had happened”, she said.

Family members in Portugal then started calling her mobile phone.

At this point, Rodrigues and the other bus passengers were forced to get out of their bus and ‘make their own way back to the hotel’.

“We were told the gunman was still at large”, Rodrigues told RTP, admitting the whole experience had left her rattled.

“We are not used to these kind of things”, she explained.

As to Paddock’s motive for the massacre – carried out from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel – no clear reason has emerged.

Paddock has been variously described as “weird”, “a millionaire”, and someone “with psychological problems”.

Although his body was found in a room containing 23 guns – and further weapons and explosives were found in properties he owned in the nearby town of Mesquite – there is nothing to connect his attack with international terrorism, despite IS claiming to be behind it, affirming Paddock had converted to Islam “some months ago”.

Exploring this angle, the BBC has quoted a source from firearms manufacturing company New Frontier Armory saying the shotgun and rifle Paddock purportedly used “would not have been capable of what we’ve seen and heard in the video (of the attack) without modification”.

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