An Australian guitarist has told how he ran for his life when bullets from what appeared to be “machine guns” began blasting at a concert crowd in on the Las Vegas strip.
Ben Carey, who had played with his all-star band Elvis Monroe at the Route 91 Festival on the Las Vegas Strip earlier Sunday, was in the crowd to watch headliner Jason Aldean on Sunday night.
He was standing with band mate Bryan Hopkins when a male crowd member to his right dropped to the ground.
Then two women to his left fell. One was lifeless. Panic set in.
“We realised we were under machine-gun fire and I grabbed Bryan’s arm and screamed ‘run’,” Carey, 42, who has previously played in bands including Savage Garden and Lighthouse, told CNN.
High above the outdoor concert in a two-room suite in the Mandalay Bay casino American man Stephen Paddock, 64, had smashed two holes in windows and was firing an arsenal of high-powered weapons with scopes and positioned on tripods.
Carey and Hopkins had no idea where the bullets were coming from.
They thought there were gunmen on the concert grounds.
Carey got knocked down by a stampeding crowd, lost track of Hopkins, then got up and ran to a fence but behind him were “thousands” of other panicked people trying to escape.
“I screamed at the guys next to me, ‘We have to break the fence’,” Carey said.
They pushed the fence down and people flowed out but then some fell to the ground.
“There were people falling left, right and centre,” he said.
“I didn’t know if they were tripping or shot.”
Carey then began running left and right to dodge the bullets that were still raining down and at the urging of another person he dived into a gutter until the shooting briefly stopped.
The Australian eventually made it down the strip to the MGM casino but there was another harrowing situation.
“A sea of people came into the MGM screaming ‘shooter’ and pandemonium set out and once again we were caught in a funnel of people,” he said.
Carey eventually found a safe place near the MGM pool.
Paddock, who had 23 guns in his hotel room, killed 59 people and injured 527 others.