‘You need to get out’: Aussie man was staying in room next to Las Vegas shooter

Australians have been caught up in the deadliest mass shooting in US history after a gunman opened fire from a Las Vegas hotel onto the strip below.

 

At least 59 people are dead and more than 500 wounded after a gunman opened fire at a Las Vegas country music festival near the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

Brian Hodge, a concert promoter from NSW, believes he was staying in the room next to the gunman on the 32nd floor of the hotel.

"I was going to my room and went up to the level and came out and this woman came running up to me and she said, 'You need to get out, there is a shooter'," Mr Hodge told 7 News.

"I didn't understand what she was meaning and she said 'There was gunfire, there was a shooting.'"

Australian man Brian Hodge was confronted by a SWAT team at his hotel. Source: Facebook/Brian Hodge

Mr Hodge said he was "just blank" but the woman seemed "extremely frightened".

"She did not know what to do or who to speak to, so we just pushed everybody into the elevator and said, 'Alright, everybody, just get out'," he said.

Mr Hodge said they fled to kitchen of the casino and informed staff what was happening.

"So they helped us get out of the building and hid under some bushes for about 3.5 hours," he said.

"But for the first time of my life, I had no idea what to do.

The Australian man believes the gunman was staying the room next door at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Source: Getty

"In Australia, it is not something the majority of us ever have to experience. And I didn't know what to do, so I lay down flat and just messaged everyone back home, everybody I could, to say this is happening, I'm safe.

"And I just waited and I hoped that somebody would come."

Originally from Wagga Wagga in southern NSW, Mr Hodge said he has lived in Los Angeles for the past eight years and recalled the shock of seeing the SWAT team at his hotel.

He said police were “in full police gear and we could just see torches, and guns and they were yelling at everybody to ‘stay down’ or ‘put their hands up’.”

One officer told him the gunman was in 32135, right next door.

"I'm room 32134 so I'm just so glad I didn't make it back to my room," he told the The Age.

Mr Hodge said he was 'glad I didn't make it back to my room'. Source: Facebook/Brian Hodge

One NSW family have told of the "scariest night of our life" and how they were forced to walk with their hands up across an empty casino after the gunfire stopped.

Kevin Comerford, Nicole Shipman and her daughter Maddy Aspinall, 14, from Grafton in NSW, were in Las Vegas for one night only after a dance academy tour in the US had finished.

They rode in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon on Sunday afternoon and then returned to their hotel, about two blocks from the shooting scene.

A NSW family in town for one night had the 'scariest night' of their lives. Source: AAP

The family had headed out to see the city in the evening and witnessed a rush of people running down the street and police and ambulances swarming.

Mr Comerford said it took them about an hour to get safely back to their hotel and they bunkered down in the convention centre with other guests.

"This was supposed to be a one night special stop because we'd never been to Las Vegas before ... we were planning to live it up for one night and we've had probably the scariest night of our life," Mr Comerford told AAP on the phone.

The mass-shooting is now the deadliest in US history. Source: Getty

Mr Comerford said Maddy had coped well with the ordeal.

"That is until we got to the hotel and the police had us walk through the empty casino with our hands above our head and it became very, very real for her then," he said.

"That's when she got very upset. She's been a brave girl."

More than 50 people died when the gunman opened fire on a country music show. Source: Getty

The family has a flight booked to New York on Monday afternoon and plans to continue the rest of their holiday.

Australia's Consulate General in LA is making urgent inquiries with local authorities to determine if any Australians have been injured or killed.

"If you have any concerns for the welfare of family and friends in the Las Vegas area, you should attempt to contact them directly," a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman told AAP.

People unable to make contact with loved ones should phone the DFAT emergency hotline: 1300 555 135, or +61 2 6261 3305.

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