PUNTA GORDA, Fla. Punta Gorda Mayor Rachel Keesling recounted the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.
Keesling was at the country music festival in Las Vegas when gunman Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire on concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across the street.
At least 59 people were killed and 527 people were injured in the mass shooting.
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Keesling traveled to Las Vegas to celebrate her birthday with her husband, but their weekend getaway quickly turned into a nightmare.
“You could just see stuff flying, people falling, people running, people all over the ground and I looked over where we had been standing and there was a guy face-down on the ground,” Keesling said.
The couple decided to run and managed to make their way out of the concert area to Las Vegas Boulevard and down the strip.
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“It got even scarier over there because the echo of the of the sounds of the bullets and I mean it just continued and you didn’t know what direction they were coming from,” she said.
Keesling and her husband ended up at the Hooters Casino where they knocked on a stranger’s door for help.
“They opened the door and we asked them, ‘can we come in?’ and we just ran from the concert and they took us in and we stayed in there for like seven hours in the hotel room with complete strangers,” she said.
Keesling and her husband sustained a few minor scrapes, but they’ll always remember that night as “the worst nightmare you can imagine.”