Las Vegas man shares story of survival during Strip shooting

LAS VEGAS - A Las Vegas man who escaped the mass shooting physically unharmed relived the moments he ran for his life.

Elliot Calloway says he wasn't even supposed to attend the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival Sunday, but a friend invited him last minute.

But in an instance, Calloway found himself running away from gunfire while trying to drag as many people as possible with him.  He was among a group of concert-goers that broke into an airplane hanger to take shelter from the hail of bullets.

The moment was surreal for the 33-year-old as he looked up at the broken windows of the 32-floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, which is where the shooting was when he took aim.

"When it happened, you didn't know where the shooting was coming from," Calloway said. 

Thursday was the first time Callow way went back to the Strip since witnessing the worst mass shooting in modern history.

"It was definitely, chaos," Calloway said.  Being able to walk away completely fine back down here and see it, I feel really lucky."

Calloway and his friends were hanging out in a suite at the venue, so when the first round of shots rang out, they left the venue through the east entrance, running towards the airplane hangers.

"There were people that ran through here," Calloway said pointing to the area. "I mean you can tell it was trampled."

But, luckily, another fence leading into the hangers was open, so they ran inside.  According to Calloway, people were hiding in the bushes, but he didn't think it was safe there, so he tried to get them up so that they could keep moving.

He says he even remembers grabbing a person by the hair while telling them to "keep going."

"You can't stay here like you have to run," Calloway said he said to the person.  "The further you can get away from this the better."

Once they arrived at a warehouse, the group of people threw a rock at a window and made their way inside.

However, according to Calloway, the group didn't feel safe there, so they left to continue running toward the airplane hanger, which wasn't too much farther away.

They ran into a dead end, but the group improvised and lifted an industrial fence.

"We kept it up so that the last of them could get under," Calloway said.

And just as he thought everyone had made it to safety, unharmed, Calloway realized one of the guys he was running with was shot in the leg.  There was a nurse in the group, so she put a tourniquet on the man's leg.

"I happen to be standing there, and I gave him my belt to use to cover the wounds," Calloway said. 

When they finally arrived at the hangar, Calloway says that was the first time he felt safe.

"When something like that happens, I don't think anybody is prepared for it," Calloway said.  "A different type of adrenaline takes over. it's just a lot of good people that help."

According to Calloway, the wounded man he helped was treated and released from an area hospital. The man is now back home in Detroit.  The two want to remain in contact.


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