DETROIT – Metro Detroit residents who were at the Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas when a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay returned home Monday night after an exhausting 24 hours.
Las Vegas officials said at least 59 people were killed in the shooting, and more than 500 others were injured. The shooter, Stephen Paddock, 64, of Nevada, killed himself as SWAT members approached his hotel room.
One Metro Detroit couple was just 20 feet away from the stage when shots started raining down on the country music concert. They said the scene was surreal, and the first thing they thought was "I have to get out of here and survive for my children."
"It's been a very emotional last, I guess 18 to 20 hours," Dan Lock said.
Lock and Lorrie Steffanuski finally returned home Monday night after surviving the attack.
"I just feel sick," Steffanuski said.
The couple was right up front for Aldean's performance when the shooting began.
"It sounded like firecrackers," Lock said. "'Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.' But it was just constant. It kept going and going. At that point, once we saw Jason Aldean get removed from the stage, security came to get him back, people were starting to yell, 'Get down. Get down.' We kept hearing gunfire the whole time. We couldn't tell if it was elevated. We couldn't tell if they were in the concert venue."
They stayed on the ground as the shots continued. There were no exits near them, so they crawled toward a chain-link fence.
"People before us and people with us had actually pushed the fence down," Lock said. "We were able to then escape."
"Every time they started shooting again, people were just ducking behind cars and just crouching in between cars and just hiding," Steffanuski said.
"Everyone was very helpful, very cooperative," Lock said. "We didn't see one instance, where we were, of anybody sort of climbing over anybody else."
"When we got back to the room, I just bawled," Steffanuski said. "I sobbed. It's just surreal. I mean, we have nine kids between us. I have five and he has four. That's instantly what you think about."