North coun­try fans caught up in ter­ror

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - NEWS -

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.”

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