Anthony Potts attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas where a gunman opened fire with automatic weapons killing dozens and injuring hundreds.
They were 15 feet from the stage when it started.
Michael Crocker, of Kingman, and his friend from Phoenix first thought they were hearing fireworks. Maybe a joke.
“We heard a bang, bang, bang and we heard another bang,” said Crocker, a prosecutor from Kingman, Ariz.
Crocker, 31, was in front of the stage near Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino with Phoenix resident Emilie Husselt, 25. Within seconds, they were underneath that stage.
What Crocker and nearly 22,000 people in the crowd heard was a barrage of bullets as a man opened fire from a hotel room above the packed, outdoor concert in Las Vegas at about 10 p.m. local time.
“The shooter hit several people that were 20 feet behind us,” recalls Crocker. “At that point, we realized that people were saying it was a shooter.”
The two planned to drive back to Kingman right after country music singer Jason Aldean finished his Route 91 Harvest festival performance.
“It had been a great night,” he said. “It had been fantastic. It was a great atmosphere with great people.”
Aldean, who was on stage when the hail of gunfire began, continued to play through the first, extended volley, video from the scene shows. The crowd appeared confused, unsure what the sound was.
Crocker jumped to action.
“I was going to the ground to get on top of (Emilie) when I saw Jason Aldean run off,” Crocker said. “Everyone around us knew that it was real.”
The two stayed on the ground until there was a break in gunfire.
“The shots just continued and continued and continued,” Crocker recalled. “I wish I could tell you how long it had been. In a situation like that, there is no way to tell how long the shots had been going on. At moments, it felt like seconds and in other moments it felt like hours.”
Crocker and Husselt hid behind a barricade that separated people from the stage, before retreating underneath the actual stage Aldean had graced moments before.
“Everyone near us realized getting under the stage was the best thing,” he said. “We had no idea the shots were coming from the rooftop. We thought it was an active shooter in the area.”
Videos on social media show people ducking for cover and fleeing amid the unrelenting bombardment.
“We saw one guy who had been hit being dragged by his friends,” Crocker said. “Me and Emilie both took our shirts off and gave them to another victim under the stage to apply pressure to stop the bleeding.”
Moments of tragedy brought out many displays of heroism.
“There were so many people that jumped to action,” Crocker said. “A former marine was giving us directions to get from underneath the stage and run to the backstage area.”
That’s where a presence of uniformed police officers could be felt.
“There was just chaos everywhere,” Crocker said. “Emilie and myself were running through the streets of Las Vegas with no shirts on.”
Crocker and Husselt escaped the nightmare unharmed.
“Everyone was trying to provide whatever help they could,” Crocker said. “I went to help one of the victims who was shot in the leg.”
Concertgoers and victims turned to makeshift shelters inside of nearby casinos, including Hooters Casino Hotel, where Crocker and Husselt spent the rest of the night.
“The casino was absolutely amazing. They tried to make the best out of a bad situation,” he said.
Video shows first moment of Las Vegas shooting | 2:05
A concertgoer captured the moment a gunman opened fire on an outdoor music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, killing scores of people and wounding hundreds of others. Country music star Jason Aldean was performing when the gunfire began.
1 of 17
Couple describes witnessing Las Vegas shooting | 1:55
A California couple describe the harrowing minutes they witnessed as a shooter opened fire during a Las Vegas concert, killing over 50 people and wounding at least another 400. (Oct. 2)
2 of 17
The people of Las Vegas are lining up by the hundreds to give blood | 0:48
After a gunman opened fire at a music festival, more than 400 people were transported to local hospitals. And starting in the early hours of Monday morning, the people of Las Vegas were lining up in droves to donate blood.
3 of 17
Country musicians respond to the shooting in Las Vegas | 0:55
Country musicians took to social media to respond to the shooting in Las Vegas
video by Michael Schwab/Tennessean
4 of 17
Trump: Las Vegas shooting ‘act of pure evil’ | 2:07
U.S. President Donald Trump spoke to the nation Monday morning about the mass shooting in Las Vegas, which left at least 50 people dead and more than 400 injured. The president said, “it was an act of pure evil.” (Oct. 2)
5 of 17
At least 50 dead, 400 injured after Las vegas concert shooting | 0:51
Police say the gunman was perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Video provided by Newsy
6 of 17
Who was Las Vegas shooting suspect Stephen Paddock? | 1:39
Investigators believe Stephen Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino days before the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Here’s what we know about the suspected gunman.
7 of 17
Hear Las Vegas SWAT move in on shooting suspect Stephen Paddock | 0:30
Hear the radio chatter of Las Vegas SWAT team members as they prepared to breach the concert shooter’s door at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
8 of 17
Ex-neighbors say Stephen Paddock stayed up all night gambling | 1:15
Stephen Paddock’s former neighbors say the alleged Las Vegas shooter was a night owl who wasn’t around much when he lived in Viera, Fla.
9 of 17
Raw: Concert erupts in chaos during Vegas massacre | 2:52
Social media users have posted video of the dramatic events in Las Vegas on Sunday, where a gunman opened fire on an outdoor music festival, killing at least 50 people – including two off-duty police officers – and wounding more than 100. (Oct. 2)
10 of 17
Scores killed in Las Vegas music festival shooting | 0:36
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police say one of their own was among the scores of concertgoers killed when “lone wolf” gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on crowds at the Route 91 Harvest music festival.
11 of 17
Las Vegas shooting: Gunshots sounded like fireworks | 1:09
Raw video shows the confusion as shots rang out during Jason Aldean’s performance at the Route 91 Harvest music festival near Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
12 of 17
Jason Aldean runs off Las Vegas stage as shots rain down | 1:12
Video shows Jason Aldean realizing there was a barrage of bullets being fired during his concert in Las Vegas. Katherine Van Buren, who was recording the Facebook Live, said strangers took her into their hotel room after they escaped the shooting.
13 of 17
At least 50 dead, 200 injured after Las vegas concert shooting | 0:51
Police say the gunman was perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Video provided by Newsy
14 of 17
Multiple injuries after a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip | 0:15
Multiple victims were taken to hospitals across Las Vegas after a shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival.
15 of 17
Las Vegas Police: 1 suspect down, dozens shot | 1:25
Las Vegas police say one suspect is ‘down’ after shooting at country music festival that has left at least two people dead and dozens wounded. Authorities don’t believe there are any more shooters. (Oct. 2)
16 of 17
Festivalgoers frantically crouch for cover during Las Vegas shooting | 0:59
Video shows people running and ducking as shots rang out at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas.
17 of 17
Video shows first moment of Las Vegas shooting
Couple describes witnessing Las Vegas shooting
The people of Las Vegas are lining up by the hundreds to give blood
Country musicians respond to the shooting in Las Vegas
Trump: Las Vegas shooting ‘act of pure evil’
At least 50 dead, 400 injured after Las vegas concert shooting
Who was Las Vegas shooting suspect Stephen Paddock?
Hear Las Vegas SWAT move in on shooting suspect Stephen Paddock
Ex-neighbors say Stephen Paddock stayed up all night gambling
Raw: Concert erupts in chaos during Vegas massacre
Scores killed in Las Vegas music festival shooting
Las Vegas shooting: Gunshots sounded like fireworks
Jason Aldean runs off Las Vegas stage as shots rain down
At least 50 dead, 200 injured after Las vegas concert shooting
Multiple injuries after a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Police: 1 suspect down, dozens shot
Festivalgoers frantically crouch for cover during Las Vegas shooting
Read or Share this story: http://azc.cc/2yEm20P