LAS VEGAS, NV (WBTV) - A Caldwell County says he witnessed the deadly mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas Sunday night.
Lucas Bruch of Lenoir, who was in Las Vegas for work, checked into the Mandalay Bay hotel on Sunday - the same hotel where the shooter hid in a room on the 32nd floor before opening fire.
Bruch said he had just eaten dinner when he decided to go take some pictures on the strip before going to bed.
"As I was standing out there, out front, I heard a cracking noise and I looked up and I saw glass shattering down, raining down, onto the taxi cabs and everything right in front of us. Then I heard another couple of gunshots and more glass broke in other windows."
He said at first he thought maybe someone had gotten into a fight in a room and that shots had hit a window - he didn't realize what was actually happening until seconds later.
"About ten seconds later there was a pause, and then the automatic rifle fire started," Bruch explained.
He said he then ran toward an SUV under the awning at the Mandalay Bay.
"The automatic fire was just raining down, and I could tell it was at the concert," Bruch continued. "At that point, the concert music turned off... and I could hear screaming coming from the concert area."
At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded.
"They were somewhat trapped in that area - it's a squared-off area and it's wide open," Bruch said. "It makes it even more sickening to deal with, and harder to deal with, because they had nowhere to go, nowhere to hide and get under cover. And this shooting went on for about two and a half minutes."
He said he tried to get yell to people who were standing in the road to warn them to take cover.
About five minutes later, Bruch said, SWAT teams converged on the hotel.
Bruch said he spent the night at a gas station because he couldn't go back to his hotel. He said the horror of the shooting really hit him throughout the night.
"The sounds of the gunfire and the mental image of the muzzle fire and the curtains flying out of the window as he fired on innocent people," Bruch said. "I just sat there and I thought, 'I just watched somebody murder innocent people.'"
Even with the horror, Bruch said it was heartening to see the strangers helping others with things like coffee, food, and blankets.
"Ultimately, the good side of it is I've spent now over 24 hours outside my hotel with people who are also dealing with this, and I have seen the best of people coming out. And really, there's an evil event and a darkness that's happened here, but often that darkness allows light to shine."
He posted on Facebook Monday that he was safe and "feeling extra grateful for the sunrise." He told WBTV he couldn't wait to get home to his wife and kids.