LOS ANGELES (CNS) - At least two L.A. County Sheriff's Department employees and a Los Angeles police officer were wounded when a gunman unleashed hails of bullets on fans watching the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip, Southland authorities said Monday.
One sheriff's employee is in critical condition and a second is displaying stable vital signs, as is an LAPD officer, they said.
A Los Angeles Police Department officer assigned to the Foothill Division is hospitalized after she was shot in the leg in the mass-shooting, said Officer Rosario Herrera of the LAPD's Media Relations Section, adding that the officer was the only LAPD officer wounded in the massacre.
With initial reports of multiple shooters in numerous locations in Las Vegas, Sheriff Jim McDonnell activated the Department Operations Center shortly after the shooting was reported and readied a response team that included SWAT teams and a bomb squad, the Sheriff's Information Bureau reported.
Additionally, a Super Puma helicopter was prepared for deployment but was stood down after the Las Vegas Metro SWAT team determined that a single shooter was involved, located him and killed him.
As is usually the case, Las Vegas was teeming with Southland residents Sunday night. A Long Beach resident who attended the festival described how he helped carry an unconscious woman to out of the line of fire.
Al Quackenbush told City News Service that singer Jason Aldean was performing at the open-air festival when the gunfire rang out, causing a massive scramble for survival.
"(We) carried a girl who was shot," said Quackenbush, describing the victim as a woman in her 20s. "We carried her behind a concrete pillar with her friends, then we got out of there. We are safe.
We heard many shots," Quackenbush said. "Like 300-plus shots. I figure it was an automatic rifle. We were right there."
Orange County resident David Wolfe said on a televised broadcast that his wife and daughter were at the concert.
Wolfe said he was "in absolute panic; scared to death until my wife called and said they were OK."
Brianna Taylor of Orange County told NBC4 that she and her fiance were near the front of the stage near Aldean when the bullets began to rain.
The shaken Taylor said she first thought it was fireworks, but "seconds later, we found it was a lot more serious that," as she saw two people within 10 feet of her get shot.
"We just stayed as low as we could for awhile," Taylor said. "(But) as soon as they said they needed medics, we knew we were sitting ducks.
I said `Babe, this can't be how we die, this can't be how we go.' So we just got up and ran behind the stage and got out," eventually hiding with about 200 other people in a helicopter rental company.
"Instinctively, when you get a chance to run for your life, you run for your life," Taylor said.
More than 50 people were killed and more than 200 injured by a lone gunman shooting from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino before he was shot to death, authorities said. He was identified as Stephen Paddock, 64. Police were seeking a companion of the alleged gunman named Marilou Danley, an Asian woman who's 4 feet 11.