Eye witnesses describes Vegas shooting


At first, it sounded like a jackhammer.

That was Jason Hartman’s first thought as he and a friend were on the balcony of a hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort Casino. Hartman, a real estate investor, was in Vegas to attend a business conference.

“Right as we walked out onto the balcony, we heard shooting. I heard the shots and it sounded kind of like a jackhammer,” Hartman said. After a few moments, they realized it was gunshots. They watched as people began running and falling to the ground.

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“It was very, very loud the way it echoed through the building,” he said. “More shots rang out, and more shots rang out.”

Hartman and his friend decided to exit the hotel. “I saw police running through the lobby with machine guns, regular cops with machine guns. That’s when I realized this was a mass shooting.”

He said when he got into his car, he saw all the police cars. “They were coming in every direction. They were blocking roads, barricading, forming a perimeter, they were closing bridges. There were just police everywhere. Then the ambulances. There was ambulance after ambulance coming toward that scene as we were going away from it.”

 The Oct. 1 massacre left 58 people dead and more than 500 others injured. Authorities say 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada sprayed bullets into a crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip from the 32nd floor of the hotel between 10:05 and 10:15 p.m, eventually killing himself.

“I was 25 floors above the shooter,” Hartman said. “I was that close.”