The New Yorker:
On Sunday night in Las Vegas, as the country singer Jason Aldean performed at the Route 91 Harvest festival, Kevin Kriebel, a twenty-eight-year-old tech salesman, watched from a few feet away, with his younger brother Kyle and nine of their friends. They had travelled to Nevada from California to attend the festival—they stayed at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino. Aldean played his song “Any Ol’ Barstool,” and Kyle filmed him with his iPhone. Then Stephen Paddock began shooting from a window in the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel. Paddock ultimately killed fifty-nine people and injured hundreds more. On Monday, Kyle and Kevin realized that the final five seconds of that iPhone video showed the beginnings of one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.
“I own guns myself,” Kevin told me over the phone, from Los Angeles, on Tuesday afternoon. “I don’t own anything that’s semi- or fully automatic,” he added, “but I know what they sound like.” After the first burst of gunfire, when he looked up and didn’t see fireworks, he thought it must be a gun, but figured it was “a shoot-out happening on the street.” When Aldean ran off the stage, he said, “we knew we had a problem.” He and eight of his companions quickly got to the ground. The other two people in their party had, moments before, gone to the bar to get drinks; they hid in a porta-potty. Kevin’s account of what followed has been edited and condensed.
“No one had started running yet, through the first burst of shots. Then there was a pause. And when the second burst came, people got down. A number of people moving past us were probably pretty intoxicated, but they were saying, ‘It’s fake, it’s fake. It’s not real. Stand up, stand up. What’s wrong with you people.’
“There were people videotaping. There were people making jokes. I’ll never forget that.
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