Karleen Stallard and her fiance Wayne Talbot touched down in Las Vegas Sunday morning and turned in for an early night, anticipating their wedding the next day.
They were woken about 4 a.m. by worried messages from friends and family and news the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history had happened just a short walk away.
A gunman perched on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas casino had unleashed a hail of bullets on an outdoor country music festival below Sunday night, killing at least 58 people as tens of thousands of concertgoers screamed and ran for their lives, officials said Monday.
"Our casino is open, but the closer you get, all of the casinos are closed," said Stallard Monday morning. "There are a lot of police presence. There are police with machine guns standing on street corners."
At least one Canadian is among the dead, CBC News has learned. The parents of a B.C. man who was at the festival say their son was killed.
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said some 400 people were taken to hospital at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in an outdoor area known as Las Vegas Village, across the strip from the Mandalay Bay and Luxor hotels.
Authorities have identified the person believed to be the gunman as Stephen Paddock, 64.
After letting her loved ones know she was safe, Stallard left her hotel room and was struck by the fact people were still doing "normal Vegas activities" — it helped her feel more secure.
"I think if there wasn't anybody playing games, if there wasn't people at the restaurant then I would have been more scared," she said.
Local realtor Angela Cope is vacationing in Las Vegas and from her hotel could hear "all of the sirens and helicopters flying" over the scene of the shooting. She said the mood on the strip is quiet and reserved.
"I feel like I need to be extra cautious and keep my eyes open and pay attention," she said. "It's not as relaxing right now."
Blenheim, Ont. native Lori Snobelen has been living in Las Vegas for the past 11 years. She has friends on the metro police force, at least one of whom was working downtown when the gunfire started.
So far, she said, everyone is safe but shaken.
"It is horrible and you're speechless," she said. "You read about this stuff all over this place and when it happens it's definitely hard to swallow."
One of Snobelen's friends works at one of the city's hospitals and said all of the staff has been called back and is working hard to help the casualties that have poured in.
"Everyone is just asking for blood. We need blood," she added. "There's now a mass shortage here in Vegas for blood."
Stallard and her fiance plan to go ahead with their wedding despite the grim mood on the strip.
"I feel for the families and the people that were directly involved," she said. "It's going to change the mood out on the strip. Yesterday there were so many people having a great time, very care-free and loving being here and I think today is going to be different."