Hawaii residents in Las Vegas describe personal experiences during mass shooting

Local News

There were a number of people with connections to Hawaii in Las Vegas this past weekend.

One Hawaii resident we spoke with was at the concert and ran from the gunfire into a nearby hotel.

Others were performing at another outdoor concert venue just miles away from where the shooting took place.

From the moment 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on thousands of innocent people Sunday night, people around Las Vegas started hearing rumors of what was happening.

UFC Hall-of-Famer Frank Trigg, who lives in Hawaii but was visiting Las Vegas this weekend, says he made a last-minute decision not to attend Sunday’s concert.

“We are hanging out and all of a sudden, everybody starts confirming it. It’s confirmed. There is an active shooter at Mandalay Bay, which is up the strip, at the concert. We’re like, ‘Whoa, we are supposed to be there. There’s a shooter there?’ and we are thinking it’s some guy in the crowd, not a sniper from up top,” he said.

Ryan Kawamoto works with 97.5, the country music station in Honolulu. He attended the concert Sunday night.

“The main artist headliner, Jason Aldean, was performing and like everybody else, I heard a couple of pops going off while he was performing,” Kawamoto recalled. “From where we were at, it sounded like fireworks, just like what everybody else said. Then it was the second set of popping sounds, which was very rapid, and then the music stopped and you could hear the shots going off, and then, at that point, you knew it was gunshots.”

Like thousands of others, Kawamoto ran to get away from the gunshots. He wound up at the nearby Tropicana.

“You were just racing trying to get out of there and get to safety, so that’s what we thought when we got to the Tropicana, and then you hear people yelling and screaming that there is an active shooter in the building. Then the alarm went off. So just a bunch of people running through the casino, trying to get out, and it was really scary,” he said.

The Pure Aloha Festival, a concert featuring many artists from Hawaii, was also happening at the time.

Among them was Mahi Crabbe: “I was shocked to see what happened. My heart dropped. I thought about all my family because that could’ve been us that he was shooting at, because the Pure Aloha Festival that we were at, there’s at least 10,000 to 15,000 people. Honestly, I was in disbelief. I started tearing up and called my family immediately. I called everybody just to let them know I was okay. It’s still not really sitting too well with a bunch of people in Vegas, but the community is acting very well surprisingly.”

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