Former Tucsonan recalls 'screaming, crying' at Las Vegas concert - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Former Tucsonan recalls 'screaming, crying' at Las Vegas concert

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A Native Tucsonan who now lives in Las Vegas said he first heard a "pop-pop-pop" sound and thought fireworks were being set off as part of Jason Aldean's concert performance.

Richard Bernardo, an Iraq war veteran, said moments later he quickly realized the ringing sound of "pop-pop-pop" sounded more like something he experienced on the battlefield, "Like a gunfight, just like it sounded in Iraq."  

As he and his wife made their way to the nearest exit, he said, "we hit the ground twice to take cover" as bullets were flying everywhere.   

"A lot of people were falling to the ground but I didn't  know if any of them were shot or killed," said Bernardo. "There was a lot of screaming, crying, and people getting trampled."

Bernardo said he began recording cellphone video once he felt he was far enough away from the gunfire.

In the video, you can hear a male voice screaming, "Let's go. Come on," as concertgoers were running for their lives.  

Police have since identified the shooting suspect as Stephen Paddock, 64, who they say sprayed bullets down on the Route 91 Harvest Festival from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, killing at least 58 people and wounding more than 500 others Sunday night.

The mass shooting is now the deadliest in U.S. history.

Police say Paddock killed himself after the shooting.

Bernardo and Melissa are safe, but he said his wife is still obviously shaken up in disbelief.

"My wife is still playing it out in her head, trying to make sense of it, trying to understand it," he said. "I don't think we'll ever understand what goes through these guys minds. It just pisses me off that idiots like this do this kind of stuff."

Shanda Maloney is another Tucson native that now calls Las Vegas home. She was not at the concert, but heard the sirens from her home and jumped into action to offer free rides to people stranded near the Strip.

"These people are tourists, so they don't know where they're going. Maybe they started running away from Mandalay Bay, but that's where they were staying," she said. "So if I can get there and just get people to safety, that's what I was going to do."

Maloney spent her Monday waiting in line to donate blood. She is encouraging everyone to help out in any way they can. 

"If anyone can donate their time, donate blood, donate money, we'll take it," she said. 

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