A Coombs woman says the mood in Las Vegas is somber following a mass shooting.
On Sunday night at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, a 64-year-old American man opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500 others in what U.S. media sources say is the worst mass shooting in the country’s history.
Pati Marcellus and her husband John arrived Sunday in Las Vegas with plans to stay at The Mirage Sunday night and the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino for the following three nights. However, a friend of the couple has a vacation home 15 minutes from the Vegas Strip, and offered the home to Marcellus and her husband.
“Thank God we didn’t (stay on the strip),” Marcellus told The NEWS during a phone interview from Las Vegas.
Marcellus said she had just turned on the news when the story broke.
“I was up til 2:30 a.m. There was no way I could sleep. It was pretty scary,” she said. “It’s a pretty somber mood down here. Everyone that we’ve dealt with this morning — we went out and did some shopping — and people are (saying), ‘Have a great day’ and ‘Be careful.’”
Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said that the first calls came into the city’s police detachment just after 10 p.m. local time of “multiple shots being fire from the direction of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards the Route 91 concert.”
The gunman, Stephen Paddock, had checked into a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay and began spraying rounds into the crowd of 22,000. Police responded and a SWAT team broke into his room to find the gunman dead of suspected self-inflicted injuries. So far there is no evidence linking Paddock to any international terrorist organizations.
Marcellus said she and her husband were thinking of going to the Vegas Strip today (Oct. 2) or Tuesday.
Marcellus said they also had plans to see magician Criss Angel Wednesday at the Luxor Hotel and Casino, which is next door to Mandalay Bay, and a Celine Dion concert. Marcellus said they’re not sure what the plan is going to be now, and they might even come back to Vancouver Island early.
But Marcellus said this won’t deter the couple from travelling in the future. She said they were in Palm Springs before going to Las Vegas and on the drive through, they had to pull over for a high-speed police chase.
— with files from Black Press