Witnesses with Alaska ties describe Las Vegas shooting scene
As the nation's worst mass shooting in modern history unfolded Sunday night in Las Vegas, one Alaskan was staying in the same hotel as the shooting suspect -- and a musician who has visited Alaska was under fire.
Anchorage technology engineer Mike Cano was on the 18th floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, while a gunman was on the 32nd floor killing at least 59 people and leaving at least 500 others injured at a country music festival below.
Cano said that he walked by the concert area on his way to and from dinner. When he returned to the hotel for the night, he says a friend texted him to stay put because "there was shooting going on."
Although Cano turned on his TV to watch the news that night, he fell asleep and didn't even know that the shooting was going on outside. He said he woke up later when a SWAT team member burst through the room's door.
"I was half-awake, half-asleep," Cano said. "I had my hands raised. I was showing my face to the guy...the SWAT guy was in full tactical gear. He had his rifle pointed at me. I don't blame him with what's going on. But as soon as he knew I wasn't a threat, he kind of moved on to the next door."
As of Monday night, Cano was on a flight home, after cutting his Vegas trip short to be with his family in Anchorage.
Meanwhile, another person with Alaska ties was at the concert and survived the attack.
Bryan Hopkins, a member of Las Vegas band Elvis Monroe which performed on KTVA's Daybreak in February, said when gunfire erupted he and others took cover in a mobile freezer. He said others were hiding there when he showed up, and he heard bullets as he was helping other people in the freezer.
"We're getting them inside and it's just dot, dot, dot, dot, dot," Hopkins said. "Don't know where it's coming from. We get everyone inside. I get inside and we're trying to close the door and people are running to me trying to get inside as well. And the people inside, half of them are going, 'Don't let them in.' And we're like letting them in. But there was no way we're not going to let them in."
Hopkins says a police officer came to the door and told the group which way to run to escape. He says the officer ran back to where the bullets were hitting and where people were hurt.
Hopkins say they ran to another casino to safety and then out near the airport where someone picked them up.