North country fans caught up in terror
An Inverness couple have spoken of the terrifying moment they had to run to safety as gunfire rained down at the Las Vegas country music festival.
Helen and Jim Donnellan, from the Westhill area of the Highland capital, had just decided to leave the Route 91 Harvest Festival when the gunman opened fire.
Mrs Donnellan told a local radio station of the “hysterical” scenes as the tragedy unfolded before their eyes.
She said: “We decided to leave the concert and go and get our shuttle bus, and as we were walking down I could hear popping, popping in my ears.
“I thought that was just off the stage and Jim thought it was fireworks. We turned to go on the main route out, and all of a sudden we heard … like somebody had a huge gun, firing shots.
“We were walking and then Jim just grabbed me and pulled me, and he was shaking like a leaf and he was shouting ‘we’ve got to get out, they’re shooting, they’re shooting’.
“Everybody started screaming and rushing out.
“And then we took sort of cover in one of the stalls, and then I thought ‘this is silly, we’ve got to get out’.
“It felt like they were coming behind us with the guns. And then somebody opened a sort of chalet door – cabin door – and said ‘come in, come in, come in’.
“We went in and there were a lot of hysterical people in there and they were all on the ground, but the gunfire you could hear, which we thought was very close, was over a long period of time.
“The shots were going for at least about four minutes, five minutes.
“After some time, there were quite a few people were pretty upset in there, and then somebody in the meantime had pulled the big gates apart so there was access. We could get out.
“We ended up in the MGM Hotel. We were wandering around in there and everybody had made for the MGM Hotel.
“They were just all hysterical and shocked, walking around in a terrible state.
“Both of us were shocked. We couldn’t speak, our mouths were dry. It was just so horrible.
“It was frightening to think that it happened when we were there, you know.
“It was just so awful.”