A Long Beach resident helped carry an unconscious woman out of the line of fire at a Las Vegas music festival, where a gunman unleashed a hail of bullets on fans from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, according to reports.
Al Quackenbush told City News Service that the gunfire rang out as singer Jason Aldean was performing at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip, causing attendees to scramble for cover.
“[We] carried a girl who was shot,” said Quackenbush, who described the victim as a woman in her 20s. “We carried her behind a concrete pillar with her friends, then we got out of there. We are safe.”
“We heard many shots,” Quackenbush said. “Like 300-plus shots. I figure it was an automatic rifle. We were right there.”
The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) had off-duty personnel in attendance at the festival, but are not aware of any who were injured, according to LBPD spokeswoman Nancy Pratt.
According to Jake Heflin of the Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD), there were also off-duty and retired Long Beach firefighters at the festival. As far as the fire department is aware, none of its members were injured in the attack.
Rachael Parker, a 33-year-old Long Beach resident and records clerk for the Manhattan Beach police department, was killed in the attack. An unnamed sworn officer for the same department was among the nearly a dozen officials from Southland law enforcement and fire departments were among those injured during the massacre.
At least two Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department employees, two Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters, three Los Angeles County Fire Department employees, a Torrance firefigher, an Orange County sheriff's deputy, a Los Angeles police officer and two Newport Beach employees, including an off-duty police officer were wounded in Sunday night's shooting.
Law enforcement officials in Las Vegas said Monday 59 people were killed and 527 wounded by the lone gunman, who was identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada. An FBI official in Las Vegas said the gunman did not appear to have any connection to terrorism, despite a reported claim of responsibility by ISIS.
Officials are calling this mass shooting the worst in modern United States history.
Paddock’s ex-wife, who lives in Cerritos and isn’t speaking publicly, apparently called the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after news of the shooting broke. She told deputies that she was married to Paddock for six years, but have been divorced for more than 20 years, sheriff’s officials told reporters at the scene.
“While this appears to be an isolated incident with no apparent threat to Los Angeles, we ask the public to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings,” the LAPD said in a statement.
City News Service contributed to this report.
3:51PM: This story has been updated to reflect the latest casualty numbers.
6:07PM: This story has been updated with a response from the Long Beach Fire Department.