Vancouver man witnessed Las Vegas attack from lockdown in hotel
‘All your senses heighten up and you prepare for the worst,” says entrepreneur who hid in back room
Vancouver entrepreneur, Krish Sidhu, who regularly travels to Las Vegas, was at the Mandalay Bay hotel on Sunday night, near the same floor as the shooter only minutes before bullets were fired into the crowd of concertgoers below.
Sidhu had been attending a networking event at the hotel and says, roughly 10 minutes before the shooting began, went down to the casino floor to play poker with some colleagues.
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"We had just sat down and started playing one or two hands and we heard somebody say 'There's a gun, there's a shooter,'" Sidhu told CBC host of The Early Edition Rick Cluff.
At first, Sidhu said everyone was calm and wasn't sure what was happening. He looked around and took note of nearby exits he could use.
Then, they heard someone yell that shots were being fired.
"The casino floor just started running, everybody started running for exits. Security and police started saying 'get out, get out, get out,'" he said.
Watching from lockdown
The hotel patrons were taken to a back room behind the casino.
"We didn't know what was going on," he said. "All your senses heighten up and you prepare for the worst."
All they knew at that point, Sidhu said, was there was shooter. They didn't know how many people were shooting or who was being attacked.
"You run the scenarios through your head, 'if the guy comes through this door, what do I do? If he comes through that door, what do I do?'" Sidhu said.
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Sidhu and the other hotel patrons were moved multiple times throughout the long hours of night, from one safe area to the next.
At one point, they were hidden in the employee gym in the basement and watched the events around them unfold on television and their phones.
"When you started hearing the rapid gunfire, it was just chaos. It was horrible, just horrible to watch," he said.
'We were the lucky ones'
Sidhu emerged from his hiding place in hotel around seven o'clock the next morning. The scene outside the hotel was like a ghost town, he said.
At least 59 people were killed in the attack, including three Canadians named so far, and more than 500 were injured, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
"We were the lucky ones just to be in the hotel where we were, even though it was very traumatic for a lot people on our side," Sidhu said. "We weren't outside and didn't feel the full wrath of what that sick gentleman did."
Sidhu said he won't let the experience stop him returning to Las Vegas or the Mandalay Bay Resort.
With files from The Early Edition.