â€œSomeone was shooting,â€� he recalled. â€œI couldnâ€™t see who it was or where it was coming from. But I knew in that sound.â€�
Kevin, who declined to give his last name, grabbed his wifeâ€™s hand and began to rush her toward a back exit, and as he did, the popping stopped. A few feet away, he heard another concertgoer suggest the sound was just a malfunctioning amp. â€œI yelled â€˜No, itâ€™s not! Run!â€™ And just as I gotten the words out, you could hear the bullets start to ricochet again,â€� he said.
As the gunfire continued, Kevin and his wife ran north, joining a stampede of others at the show fleeing for their lives. They ultimately stopped up taking cover in a parking lot adjacent to the Hooters Casino, a few blocks away. Aside from a few scratches, the couple was mostly unscathed. But others he knew werenâ€™t so lucky. A fellow cop had been at the show with his brother, who had been hit in the arm by gunfire.
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â€œRight next to him, heâ€™s hit,â€� Kevin recalled Monday. â€œHe going to be OK, yet it was a close call.â€�
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="As Kevin spoke, he stood on a ramp outside the Luxor Casino, which offered a prime view of the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort, where cops say accused shooter Stephen Paddock</a>, acting alone, rained bullets down on an estimated 22,000 concertgoers, killing at least 59 and injuring more than 500 in the most deadly shooting in modern U.S. history." data-reactid="45">As Kevin spoke, he stood on a ramp outside the Luxor Casino, which offered a prime view of the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort, where cops say accused shooter Stephen Paddock, acting alone, rained bullets down on an estimated 22,000 concertgoers, killing at least 59 and injuring more than 500 in the most deadly shooting in modern U.S. history.
Though he and his wife were staying at another casino down the Strip, Kevin had returned to see for himself the spot where cops say Paddock busted out two windows of his 32nd floor suite and began firing on people more than a thousand feet away.
According to the Las Vegas Police Department, Paddock, who was 64, shot and killed himself when law enforcement stormed his room after the shooting. They found an arsenal of 23 weapons in the suite, in addition to high-powered rifles, reportedly the LVPD, and cops recovered another 19 at his home in Mesquite, Nev., about an hour away.
What they didnâ€™t find, so far, is a motive. Aiming his phone toward the shattered windows of Paddockâ€™s Mandalay Bay suite, Kevin took a photo and then stared across the street to the concert place he had escaped. He shook his head. â€œWeâ€™re OK. Everythingâ€™s going to be OK,â€� he said, his voice wavering a bit. â€œBut you wonder why. Why would someone do it?â€�
And in that was the question for many Monday as they made the journey to the south side of the Las Vegas Strip, which on any other day is busy at all hours. But along Las Vegas Boulevard near Mandalay Bay, it was eerily still and quiet, the street still closed as investigators removed bodies and combed the scene for clues.
Many walked to Mandalay Bay, or within blocks of it, to peer up at the 32nd floor, where as darkness fell, the shadows of investigators could be seen moving around Paddockâ€™s hotel suite. Hundreds of feet below, the curious stood quietly and stared up, some taking photos. One man, after looking up, turned and dropped to his knees on the Mandalay Bay driveway, which was cordoned off by crime scene tape. He kneeled for several minutes before walking away.
But there were aspects of the surreal. On the driveway, where people appeared to have abandoned their cars in the middle of the street and walked away, speakers pumped out the casinoâ€™s usual soundtrack of loud, energetic pop music, in addition to BeyoncÃ© and Lady Gaga. The- casino had reopened earlier Monday and it grew increasingly busy inside as gamblers slowly returned to the slots and card tables.
Attendees of a technology conference in the hotelâ€™s convention area brushed passed law enforcement wearing FBI hats and shirts on the ground floor to pack the casinoâ€™s bars and restaurants, where loud music blared and all the televisions played sports. The- scene gave no hint of the historic killing spree in that had originated in a hotel room 32 stories above in the same building.
The only indication of something amiss was a large sign in that eventually popped up in the casino, pointing guests to where they could receive â€œcounseling servicesâ€� if they needed them.
Still, little groups continued to gather in the driveway to look up at the northeast corner of the building to stare at the windows where cops say Paddock rained down terror on unsuspecting concertgoers. Some quietly debated his motives. One lady whispered in that she would never really feel safe again.
â€œI am scared to death of ISIS and people like in that coming here,â€� she told the group. â€œBut what if itâ€™s someone in your own backyard?
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