LAS VEGAS (CBSMiami) – Small memorials are appearing all over the Las Vegas strip to remember those who died in the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history.
Sunday night a crowd of about 22,000 had gathered for third and final day of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival near the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. As the final act of the night, Jason Aldean, was finishing his set, bullets rained down on themfrom the 32nd floor of the hotel.
Chaos erupted as Stephen Paddock randomly fired into the crowd. Fifty nine people were killed, more than 500 were injured.
“I seriously thought he was next door,” said Chris Bethel.
Bethel, an Army vet, was two floors below when the shooting began.
“The walls and the windows were vibrating. You could feel kind of the compression, the sound. It was just,” he trailed off.
The SWAT team eventually moved in, storming his room. When they reached the floor where Paddock was, they found him dead inside his room. Police believe he killed himself.
Carlos Martinez and his husband Mark were in a neighboring hotel when this all happened. Martinez, an attorney with the Miami-Dade’s Public Defenders Office, was there on his honeymoon.
When the couple heard the shots, they thought it could be gunfire but didn’t want to believe it.
“It was the kind of sound that, it was the sound of a jack hammer, but very fast and then it would stop and start again, and it would stop and start again,” he said.
Martinez said part of his job at the public defenders office is to work the community to curb gun violence. He found it difficult to fathom that he was just feet away as the nation’s worst mass murder was unfolding.
“It’s unimaginable that there would be a shooting here in Vegas and it would be that kind of massacre that ended up happening,” he said.