Kiwi woman speaks out about 'horrific' Las Vegas shooting

  • 06/10/2017
Realising someone was shooting into the crowd, people started running.
Realising someone was shooting into the crowd, people started running. Photo credit: Getty

A New Zealand family caught in the Las Vegas mass shooting has spoken out about the horrific experience.

The Kiwi woman, who asked to be identified only as Michelle, told Fairfax she remembers screaming and telling her family that she loved them.

Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock killed at least 59 people and injured almost five hundred in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history at an outdoor concert on Sunday night (local time).

Michelle had travelled to Las Vegas for the festival with her husband, teenage brother and four-year-old son.

"My son said to me, 'Mum, why was he trying to kill us? All we were doing was watching music," she told Fairfax.

Having her son traumatised by the event has been "heart-breaking", she said, and she is answering his many questions as best she can.

On Sunday evening, Michelle and her family were eagerly waiting near the back of the crowd for a performance by country musician Jake Owen, when they heard the first gunshots.

Michelle thought it was fireworks.

"I looked to the right and saw smoke by the bleachers, and asked my husband if fireworks were legal in Nevada."

Realising someone was shooting into the crowd, Michelle and her family started running, with her husband carrying their son.

When Michelle fell over, her husband picked her up by the arm and they hid out in a vendor stall with a large group of concertgoers.

A stranger comforted Michelle, telling her to be strong for her son.

However, the panic returned, when Michelle realised her brother wasn't with them.

When it was safe enough to leave the shelter, they found their way to a casino across the road.

"People started getting phones out to call loved ones, ringing to find out where their friends were," Michelle told Fairfax.

"My husband tried contacting my brother, but no answer."

The family were later re-united in their hotel room, where she found out her brother had run in a different direction, when the shooting began.

Michelle and her family left Las Vegas the next morning, with bruises and scrapes, but no serious physical injury.