Guests Next Door to Las Vegas Gunman Stephen Paddock Recall Hiding in Bushes for 3 Hours
Tales of terror and survival are emerging after Sunday night's historic bloodshed in Sin City.
An Australian tourist in Las Vegas has described the chaos that followed Sunday's horrific shooting that left 59 dead and hundreds more injured at a country music festival.
Brian Hodge told reporters he was staying in the room next to Stephen Paddock's when the 64-year-old began unloading on unsuspecting concertgoers at about 10 p.m.
"That's a bit scary to think that I was sleeping next to a room with apparently like 10 or so guns. So yeah, very, very unsettling," Brian Hodge told Australia's Network Nine.
Hodge said he was walking back to his room when a woman told him there was a shooter in the Mandalay Bay hotel.
"She said 'there's a guy with a gun, he's shooting, we need to get off this floor' and so I pushed everybody in the elevator," Hodge said.
Hodge said he and the others ended up in the casino kitchen, where staff was still in the dark about the shooting.
"I just said, 'Hey guys, there's a shooter, we need to get out'... I was just like pushing people saying 'we need to get completely out of the building,'" he recalled.
Once they were out, Hodge said he and the others "hid under some bushes for like three and a half hours" until the SWAT team arrived to escort them to safety.
"I saw some flashlights coming along the ground, and then all of a sudden, there was like 20 guys with machine guns pointing at us and telling us to put our hands above our heads, and come out of the bushes and identify ourselves, and yeah, it was, it was out of a movie," Hidge said.
If the day's events were depicted on film, it would be in a horror movie.
Other witnesses described seeing dead and wounded piled on the ground as panic-stricken people trampled those who fell at the Route 91 Harvest festival across from Mandalay Bay.
Eyewitness Megan Urfer described the chaos to reporters:
"Everybody started kind of like charging our direction and we were standing there just dancing and we weren't understanding and then you can hear that machine gun like, I can't even, that was the worst. And then everybody is running and screaming and I mean there is people trampling people."
Country singer Bryan Hopkins was also among those witnesses.
"Body, body, body, then the last one — it's a body and he is shot in his stomach and his buddies are on top of him trying to revive him, and they are crying, they are panicking, people are screaming, they were behind a wall. The girls now are freaking out.
"Now the girl, one of them is starting to, she wants to call her dad and she doesn't want to run any more and it's time. We are running and I just said to anyone who was behind me: 'Run to the dark.' And it's the darkest side over there where all that blackness is, and just run, not knowing that it's still just in clear sight. We didn't know," the shocked Hopkins recalled.
In the hours that followed the bloodiest mass shooting in modern American history, officials revealed that Paddock had been holed up in a 32nd floor Mandalay Bay room with dozens of guns before he smashed out two windows to pick off unsuspecting concertgoers.
Dramatic police radio dispatches in the aftermath of the massacre have been released that detail a relentless search for the killer.
In one audio clip, a SWAT team member can be heard as they close in on Paddock.
“We can’t worry about more victims," the officer can be heard saying in an audio clip. "We have to stop the shooter before he has more victims."
In another clip, the SWAT team can be heard discussing with a dispatcher how they were planning to approach the shooter's room.
“I am inside the Mandalay Bay on the 31st floor. I can hear automatic fire coming from one floor ahead. One floor above us,” one officer said.
“We are coming out on the 32nd floor. Just about a dozen officers,” another stated just as they went and breached Paddock’s room to take him down.
Paddock was found dead by police. He had killed himself as cops approached.
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