Saturday 29 April 2017

'No apparent reason' for shooting on Las Vegas Strip bus

SWAT teams surround the bus along Las Vegas Boulevard (AP)
SWAT teams surround the bus along Las Vegas Boulevard (AP)

A man sitting at the back of a bus on the Las Vegas Strip opened fire "for no apparent reason" as passengers got off at a stop in the heart of the tourism corridor, police have said.

Gary Breitling, 57, of Sidney, Montana, was shot dead before the gunman barricaded himself in the vehicle, shutting down the Strip for hours. He died in hospital.

Another victim was shot in the stomach and was taken to hospital but is expected to live. Both victims were at the back of the bus with Cardenas, police said.

Rolando Cardenas, 55, surrendered peacefully after a stand-off inside the double-decker bus that lasted for more than four hours.

He was arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder, burglary and opening fire on the bus.

The bus had stopped on the Strip near the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino on Saturday and passengers were leaving when Cardenas stood up and fired several rounds from a handgun, police said.

He did not fire all of his bullets, but did shoot at police during the siege. Police said they did not fire any shots.

Assistant sheriff Tom Roberts said authorities believe Cardenas may have had "mental issues".

It was not known how many people were on the bus at the time of the shooting, but the bystanders and the victims had fled.

Police haveset up a hotline seeking to hear what those passengers witnessed.

Because authorities did not know if more victims were inside, crisis negotiators, robots and armoured vehicles surrounded the bus.

Officers swept into casinos to warn tourists to take cover until further notice, leaving the normally bustling pedestrian areas and a road notorious for taxi-to-taxi traffic empty.

Visitors also hid out inside some of the other prominent hotel-casino properties nearby, including the Bellagio, Paris, Planet Hollywood and Bally's, which also house restaurants, shops and attractions.

AP

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