Brian Claypool, one of Dalia Dippolito‘s attorneys, told ABC News in a tearful interview that he was at the mass shooting on Sunday in Las Vegas. He was at a VIP area at a country music concert when shots were fired, he said.
“I can’t even believe how many people were killed,” Claypool said. He told ABC hosts Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos that he ran up an aisle, and lay face down, pulling people down with him because some didn’t realize there was a shooting. Claypool said he eventually escaped into a room with other concertgoers after the first round of shooting.
“The hardest moment for me is I saw six young women, they were maybe 20, 22. They were all crying on the ground. I was trying to be calm,” Claypool said breaking down into tears. “At the moment I thought of the Orlando shooting because we were in this room. We didn’t know where the shooter was. We thought he was just going to jump the fence and come in this room and shoot us all. So I didn’t know whether that was the right decision. I’m thinking, ‘Am I gonna die in this room?’”
He said he was able to rally everyone out of the room after police arrived at the scene and told them to escape. The group made it to the back of the venue, but that’s where Claypool saw two people shot, he said.
Las Vegas authorities say 64-year-old Stephen Paddock was the gunman. Armed with multiple weapons, he allegedly opened fire from high up the Mandalay Bay hotel. Paddock was found dead in his hotel room. Authorities say he committed suicide.
As of Monday evening, officials have the death toll at 59. At least 527 people were reportedly injured. It is the most devastating mass shooting in U.S. history. Authorities have yet to suggest a motive. An FBI agent said this morning in a press conference that they discovered no links between Paddock and international terrorism. Before this, the largest mass shooting happened at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Correction – Oct. 3, 4:18 p.m.: Reference to the shooter using a fully automatic firearm was removed. The investigation is ongoing, and it’s not entirely clearly what the shooter used. A law enforcement source told the LA Times in a Tuesday, Oct. 3 report that some of the weapons may have been converted to fully automatic fire, but that was still being reviewed.
[Screengrab via ABC]