A Caldwell County man said he was a witness to the massacre that happened Sunday night at a Las Vegas concert.
Lucas Bruch of Lenoir posted on Facebook on Monday that he was safe and “feeling extra grateful for the sunrise.” Lenoir is about 75 miles northwest of Charlotte.
He one of more than a dozen Carolinians who were reportedly in the hotel at the time of the shooting, including a dozen employees from the Raleigh-area company NetApp, who were staying at the Mandalay Bay hotel while attending a conference.
“Be praying for this situation you all, it’s bad,” Bruch wrote on his Facebook page.
Bruch told media outlets he was in Las Vegas for work and checked into the Mandalay Bay on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. That’s the hotel where the shooter hid, in a room on the 32nd floor.
The gunfire erupted about three hours later, after Bruch had eaten dinner.
Bruch posted an interview with Fox News that detailed what he saw, and it started when a window “exploded.”
“I was sitting down in the lobby area outside on the sidewalk,” he told Fox News, “and I heard what I thought was fireworks. And I looked up and one of the windows was falling down, glass shattering and falling down. Then a few random shots and another window busted out.”
Next came a rapid succession of shots that lasted for the next two minutes, he told Fox News. It was then that he said he heard screams from the concert site.
“People (at the hotel) were just trying to figure out what was going on,” he told Fox News. “People were just walking by out in the open on the road, and looking up at the window...After a couple of minutes, people started to realize it was a shooter in the building.”
Bruch said he heard between 200 and 300 rounds fired after the window “exploded,” according to an interview with TV station WXII. He told the station he ran behind a car, under a roof, and told those around him to get to safety.
“Everyone was saying ‘active shooter’ and trying to figure out what to do,” Bruch told WXII. “I recognized the gunfire and went into action to get to safety and telling others to get to safety.”
Another North Carolinian, John McAuley of Oxford, told TV station WRAL in Raleigh that he was in town for a conference and staying on the seventh floor at Mandalay Bay. He said about a dozen employees from his department at NetApp were also in the hotel, WRAL reported.
McAuley said he was looking out a hotel window at the Jason Aldean concert below when the shooting started, according to WRAL.
“It was very loud, very rapid and lots of it,” McAuley told WRAL. “It went on for 15 to 20 minutes. Just constant..I thought for sure there were multiple shooters.”
SWAT teams later went room to room in the hotel, he said, entering his room at 3:45 a.m.