How the Las Vegas shooting unfolded

Gunfire rang out just after 10pm, sending the audience and performers at a country music festival fleeing, with at least 59 dead and more than 500 injured

The Guardian | October 2, 2017

 

10pm in Las Vegas

It is a warm night in America’s gambling capital and more than 22,000 country music fans of all ages, including children and teenagers, are in upbeat mood at the Las Vegas Village and Festival Grounds, run by MGM Resorts. It is the climax of the sold-out Route 91 Harvest festival, “three days of country music on the Vegas Strip”. The singer Jason Aldean is beginning his set, overlooked by the two gold towers of the Mandalay Bay hotel, which has 3,309 rooms and a 135,000 sq ft casino.

Just after 10pm


Jason Aldean performs during the festival.

Jason Aldean performs during the festival.  Photograph: Mindy Small/FilmMagic


Rapid fire rings out. At first, few realise the extent of the unfolding horror, assuming the sounds are part of the show. But as bullets continue to rain down, the music stops and Aldean rushes off stage. “He literally dropped his guitar, threw it down and sprinted to the side,” a witness, Brian Claypool, told the MSNBC channel. “A lot of people were still sitting in their seats. They didn’t realise what was going on … There was an onslaught of shots. It felt like it was world war three, like it would never end.”

William Walker, from Ontario, California, said: “It sounded like something was wrong with the speakers. Jason Aldean kept playing through three rounds of it. Then once he stopped everyone took it more seriously.




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