Several Israelis unaccounted for in Las Vegas after mass shooting
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Several Israelis unaccounted for in Las Vegas after mass shooting

LA consul heads to Nevada to aid in search effort; Israeli president, others send condolences to US over attack at concert

A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer stands in the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Ave. after a mass shooting at a country music festival nearby on October 2, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP)
A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer stands in the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Ave. after a mass shooting at a country music festival nearby on October 2, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP)

The Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it was trying to reach eight Israelis in Las Vegas who remain unaccounted for, after a deadly shooting at a country music festival in the city in which more than 50 people were killed and over 400 injured. By later Monday, that number had fallen to six, two of whom were believed to have been close to the area of the shooting.

An Israeli official estimated there were some 7,000 Israelis in the desert gambling mecca.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Israel’s consul general in Los Angeles had traveled to Las Vegas to aid in efforts to locate the missing Israelis.

“Israel is shocked at the mass murder that happened in Las Vegas. I am full of hope that contact with the incommunicado Israelis in Las Vegas will be renewed quickly,” Hotovely said.

“Avner Saban has landed at the moment in Las Vegas and will start to locate the missing Israeli with local authorities,” she added.

Country music star Jason Aldean was performing Sunday night at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival when a gunman opened fire across the street from inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. SWAT teams quickly descended on the concert and the casino, and officers used explosives to get into the hotel room where the suspect was, authorities said.

Las Vegas Metro Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo confirmed the casualty toll in a press conference.

It was the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

The shooter, later identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on the concert from a window on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across Las Vegas Boulevard, Lombardo said.

Saban earlier told the Hebrew-language Walla website that he did not believe any Israelis were among the wounded.

An injured person is tended to at the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard after a mass shooting at a country music festival nearby on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP)

“According to the information that I have at the moment, there are no Israelis among the injured, and I hope that it will remain that way until the end of the incident,” Saban said. “There are at the moment 7,000 Israelis in Las Vegas.”

A local Jewish community representative said he did not know of any Israelis or community members hurt in the shooting attack, but a Chabad Twitter account said one Jewish woman had been injured.

President Reuven Rivlin sent a message to US President Donald Trump offering his condolences over the shooting.

“The people of Israel join me in sending our deepest sympathy to you, to the participants in the festival, the people of Las Vegas and to all the people of the United States following this shocking attack which took the lives of so many innocent people and injured so very many more,” he wrote, according to his office. “We stand with you as you mourn the terrible loss of life and injury following this senseless attack on people who had merely gathered together to listen to music.”

Israeli politicians lined up on Twitter to condemn the Las Vegas shooting and offer well-wishes to the injured and condolences to the families of the victims.

Addressing his US counterpart Paul Ryan, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein offered his “deepest condolences on the Las Vegas tragedy. We stand with you and the American people at this difficult hour.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted, “The hearts of all Israelis are with the American people on this day of profound tragedy. We pray for the wounded. God bless you.”

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 1, 2017. (David Becker/Getty Images/AFP)

Opposition MK Yair Lapid, who leads the Yesh Atid party, wrote, “Thoughts & prayers with the United States. We send wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured, hearts are with the families of the victims.”

Lombardo said Paddock, a resident of Mesquite, Nevada, killed himself before police officers entered his hotel room and that despite eyewitness accounts to the contrary, there were no additional shooters.

Agencies and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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