Arturo Valencia was at the M&M store on the Las Vegas Strip with his wife and 5-year-old son when a gunman opened fire on an outdoor country music festival from the 32nd floor of a hotel-casino Sunday night, killing more than 50 people and injuring hundreds of others.
“A security guard said there was a shooting or something so he told us to leave,” Valencia said.
The 37-year-old Azusa resident described a scene of confusion and misinformation in the minutes and hours after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Country music star Jason Aldean was performing at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival in front of a crowd of more than 22,000 when the gunman in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino apparently used a hammer-like device to smash out windows his room and opened fire, authorities said.
After leaving the M&M store — less than a mile from the Mandalay Bay — Valencia and his family started walking toward the direction of their hotel, the Excalibur Hotel and Casino, when they were met with a crowd of people running toward them.
“They were just yelling, ‘run, run, run,’” Valencia said. “We didn’t know what was going on so we ran with them.”
The crowd of 50 to 60 people darted into the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. The Valencia family followed, but minutes later they were running again.
“Somebody said the shooter was (at) the Monte Carlo,” Valencia said. They heard people screaming, ‘He’s here, he’s here he’s here.’ Everybody was saying there were shooters everywhere.”
They fled and hid behind a dumpster in the alley behind the Monte Carlo. A security guard found them about an hour later and led them inside the resort, which was on lockdown. The family stayed there until about 5 a.m.