A photographer for necn was in Las Vegas Sunday night when a gunman opened fire on a crowd of thousands attending a country music concert, killing at least 59 and injuring more than 500 others.
Kika Bronger, necn's Vermont bureau photographer, was at the Tropicana Las Vegas Casino Hotel Resort attending a Laugh Factory show on Sunday night, just a mile away from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, which is where authorities say suspected gunman Stephen Craig Paddock fired on the crowd below from a room on the 32nd floor.
After the shooting started, some people sought cover in the Tropicana.
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"Suddenly people started trickling in," Bronger said in an interview via Skype. "People were crying, people were shaking."
Bronger said one woman who had sought shelter in the hotel was on the phone sitting next to her, telling people that she was OK.
The Tropicana was put on lockdown as civilians and authorities scrambled to find out what had happened. Bronger and the Laugh Factory audience turned to the local news.
"At the time, two people were dead and 24 injured," Bronger said. "That's all we knew."
After an hour, Bronger and the rest of the audience were allowed to go outside.
"We got out and I've never seen so many cops in the street at one point," she said.
Bronger painted a bleak picture of the famous Las Vegas strip in the hours following the shooting.
"There were very few people on the strip itself," she recalled, "Stores were shut down, hotels. The cops came to every hotel and put cars in front so no one could drive in or out. The cops were guarding every hotel with machine guns.
"They did a really good job of securing the strip," said Bronger.
But even as police worked to protect the public, she and other civilians were left alarmed and confused.
"People were kind of crying around us," she said, ""You don't know what's going on - nobody knew."
Sunday's mass shooting is the largest of its kind in modern American history. Currently, authorities estimate the death toll at 58, with more than 400 others injured.
At least 10 weapons were found inside Paddock's room at the Mandalay, and a search of his Mesquite, Nevada, home revealed more guns and ammunition, according to investigators.