'It is utter chaos': 7 News reporter wakes to 'rapid gunfire' coming from her Las Vegas hotel

Ashlee Mullany

A THUNDERING volley of gunshots rumbles through the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

It’s just after 10.30pm, the reverberating bullets jolting me out of sleep.

I was staying on the 27th floor overlooking the Las Vegas strip. Cameraman Duncan McLeod was on the eighth floor.

I called him and asked if he could hear the bangs. He immediately knew it was gunfire.

Las Vegas police take cover near the Mandalay Bay Hotel where a gunman was firing at people below. Source: Getty
Seven News correspondent Ashlee Mullany (left) following her evacuation from the Mandalay Bay Hotel. A policewoman takes cover behind a car. Source: 7 News/AP

I’ve heard gunshots before. But never like this.

He grabbed the camera and we join the terrified mob pouring into the hallways, desperate for explanation and safety.

Festival-goers flee the scene. Source: Getty Images
Police officers take cover near the scene of the shooting. Source: AAP

The explosion I heard before the flood of bullets began is later explained when we learn the gunman – staying five floors above me on the 32nd floor – shot out his hotel room window with the deadly automatic weapon.

He then became an executioner. Shooting, randomly, at the thousands of innocent festivalgoers below.

Las Vegas police stand guard along the streets outside the Route 91 Harvest country music festival grounds. Source: Getty Images
People take cover at the festival. Source: Getty Images

The music had been playing all afternoon but with the torrent of bullets, it went quiet.

We reach the lobby. It is utter chaos.

Hotel staff don’t know whether to usher us outside, where the shooter is firing, or keep up inside, where he is hauled up.

We don’t know if the gunman has been arrested.

Or if he’s working alone. Are there other lying in wait outside?

Are we about to walk out into open fire?

Festival goers near the scene. Source: Getty Images
The crowd head for the exits. Source: Twitter/ Eiki Hrafnsson‏

It seemed like every police vehicle in the city had converged on our hotel.

As we were escorted onto the usually vibrant Las Vegas strip, away from the hotel, police officers and emergency services hurried past in the opposite direction. Straight into the line of fire.

The gunman stopped shooting after a little while but not before he let off what seemed like hundreds of rounds.

Police later confirmed they had killed the man. That explosion was the sound of a Las Vegas SWAT team breaching his high-rise hotel room to put him down.