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Las Vegas shooting: Northern Ireland visitors fled for their lives amid chaos

By Angela Rainey

Holidaymakers from Northern Ireland caught up in the Las Vegas shooting have described the chaos of the horror attack.

Donna Moyna from Belfast was holidaying in the city and was nearby when the shooting started.

She said: "As we got off the bus there was someone on their phone who was able to tell us there was an active shooter in the area, then it went to three active shooters.

"People all around us were panicking - nobody knew what to do. We were standing in the middle of the Strip and we didn't know where to go, we couldn't go back to the hotel room because this was happening just outside it.

"It was just mayhem."

Newlyweds Stuart and Zara McCormick from Killyleagh, Co Down, had tied the knot in Vegas last Friday.

Mr McCormick said they fled for their lives and took sanctuary in a hotel car park.

"Zara ran and brought me with her to the exit but we were held inside," he said.

"Then we hid behind a stall but were still visible. We thought the shooters were at our level during this.

"I realised it was coming from the Mandalay Bay side, so we ran towards Hooters.

"We ended up hiding in the MGM parking lot behind two cars."

Belfast woman Tara Reid (35) had been drinking in an Irish bar inside the New York New York Hotel, where she also dances, just yards up the road from the attack.

An Irish dancing teacher at Scoil Rince Ni Riada in Nevada, Ms Reid has dual Irish-American citizenship and said most of her family still live in west Belfast.

She said there was mass panic and chaos as emergency services dashed to treat the injured.

And as the commotion enveloped the area she was placed on lockdown at the bar for most of the night.

"I'm extremely relieved that we are safe," she said.

"Being on lockdown at New York New York and being at the corner of Tropicana and the Strip before we knew what was happening was so terrifying.

"I was sitting on the patio at Nine Fine Irishmen and all of a sudden every ambulance and fire truck had its lights on heading to the intersection of Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard.

"I made my way to the corner of the intersection to see what was up and you could see people running and the fire department setting up the triage area.

"Someone had said there was a shooter."

Ms Reid said that speculation as to what had happened was rife and served only to add to the confusion as many people looked on social media for information.

"It was heartbreaking and terrifying and it really shows you the power of misinformation," she said.

"Someone yelled run, and people started running.

"We were then glued to news sources and social media and getting more concerned as we heard reports that ultimately weren't true."

Belfast Telegraph


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