THE WASHINGTON POST – CLEVE R. WOOTSON JR.
Lying on the floor of his hotel room and wincing at the sound of gunfire, Ben Sweeney pecked out a text message to his wife, but did not hit send.
“Babe, I think someone is shooting here I’m really scared it’s loud.”
The gunfire sounded like it was coming from the room next door, Sweeney recalled. His mind raced to the worst possible scenario: An active shooter, kicking in doors, killing random hotel guests.
But the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is huge, and so is the US city of Las Vegas, and Sweeney didn’t want to scare his wife – asleep back home in Pennsylvania – until he knew what was going on.
They had just said their goodnights. Sweeney was attending an IT conference that started the next day. He’d checked into the hotel about 6pm, walked around a bit and listened to the country music concert going on 30 floors below.
His wife is a country music fan. He is not. So before turning in, he held the phone up in the air to let her hear the music and crawled into bed.
Then he heard booms.
He assumed it was fireworks connected to the concert, he said, and figured he might as well catch a glimpse before turning in.