RICHMOND, Va – A Richmond DJ was in a hotel that was put on lockdown after a mass shooting at a country music concert in Las Vegas late Sunday night .
Eric Cunningham is the owner of Debonaire Entertainment Inc. in Richmond. He’s in Las Vegas for the Wedding MBA Conference.
Sunday was the first night of his trip.
The Chesterfield man said he was watching a live band at Harrah's Las Vegas Hotel and Casino on the strip when gunshots rang out just a few blocks away, near Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
In a Skype call Monday morning, Cunningham said people didn't know what was going on when the shooting first happened.
"Everybody was scurrying. The hotel began to shut down stores and shops and bars. Without any warning they said they had to close. They did a lockdown of all resorts."
Cunningham said he was stuck in Harrah's for two hours. He had no idea what was going on until his wife called, saying there was an active shooter.
"They asked all guests in Harrah's to please go to your room. If you weren't a guest, they kind of put us upstairs in holding room where they have in-house concerts. There was no direction. Security was running around frantic. I heard one gentleman from Harrah's say, 'We're not prepared for this.' That was unnerving,’” said Cunningham.
Eventually, officials told people they could leave and only head north on the strip. Public transportation wasn't running and taxis weren't around. Cunningham walked 40 minutes back to his hotel.
"As I was walking the different resorts, you could see police in full combat gear with automatic weapons standing at entrance of every resort door. Cars were being stopped, searched with dogs,” Cunningham explained. "In my history of coming here for years, this was the first time that it looked like ghost town. There was absolutely no one on the strip. Vegas is always alive, always vibrant. There's something going on 24/7. And just to see nothing was moving."
It was an unnerving and scary night. But Cunningham said he felt lucky.
"I cannot grasp that something like that could happen. Just makes you think that in this day in time you really have to be aware. I try to be aware. You can't take anything for granted,” he said.
Cunningham said other Richmond vendors are in Vegas for the same conference. He's been in touch with them and says they are safe.