A Wearside woman has told of her shock after she and her partner were just a few hundred yards away from the Las Vegas shooting massacre.
A total of 58 people have been confirmed dead and more than 515 injured after a gunman started firing from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on concert-goers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Sunday night.
It was during a set by Jason Aldean that the attack took place, sparking panic among thousands of people who ran for their lives.
The gunman, who died at the scene, was identified as Nevada resident Stephen Paddock, 64.
Jade Tipling from Sunderland had arrived at the resort just hours earlier with her boyfriend Russell Pringle, 28, to celebrate Jade’s 30th birthday which is in a few weeks’ time.
She spoke of her shock after waking up in their Luxor Hotel room after alarms went off that it was gunfire coming from a nearby hotel.
The couple had been due to attend the Michael Jackson One concert at Mandalay Bay last night.
Jade, of Grangetown, told the Echo: “We landed in Las Vegas around 2.20pm local time and we were very jet lagged so decided to have a couple of hours sleep instead of going straight to sleep for the night. When we returned to our room at 10pm we heard what sounded like fireworks, there was quite a few different outbursts some for longer periods than others and then I thought it was gunshots.
“About one and a half hours later we were woken up by a siren sounding in our room with the message ‘this is an early warning alarm’.
“We were shocked and didn’t know what was going on so we looked out of the window and the whole strip was lit up with blue and red flashing lights with police searching vehicles with guns and pointing up at the hotels.
“It was so scary hearing the alarms go off in the hotel then looking out the window with police swarming all over with guns, searching empty vehicles and taxis.”
Jade added: “We stayed back from the window for safety and then I checked my phone and my friend had messaged to ask if we were safe as there had been a shooting in Las Vegas,” said Jade.
“After about 10 minutes we heard another siren and message which said ‘the hotel is on lockdown, do not leave your room there have been shots fired and the gunman is on the loose’ or words to that effect.
“Obviously we were in a lot of shock.
“We haven’t yet left our hotel room and the lockdown has only just ended at 5pm local time allowing us to leave the room if we wish.
“There is obviously an awful lot of sadness here in Vegas at the moment but from what we have seen from our window and the local news on the TV over here everyone is pulling together and helping each other through it and getting them to safety.”