Philly Attorney Describes Chaos as People Flee Las Vegas Concert Shooting - NBC 10 Philadelphia
Las Vegas Massacre

Las Vegas Massacre

Coverage of the Las Vegas concert attack, the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history

Philly Attorney Describes Chaos as People Flee Las Vegas Concert Shooting

Billy Ciancaglini describes what he saw after a gunman killed at least 50 people & injured at least 400 people at a country music festival on the Vegas Strip



    NBC10 spoke with Bill Ciancaglini, a Center City Philadelphia attorney, who was vactioning in Las Vegas when a gunman opened fire on a country music concert. Ciancaglini spoke exclusively to NBC10's Katy Zachry.

    (Published Monday, Oct. 2, 2017)

    What to Know

    • At least 50 dead, 400 hurt as shooter attacks Las Vegas concert-goers.

    • Philly-based attorney Billy Ciancaglini was nearby when he saw people running toward him: "They started yelling, ‘There’s a shooter!'"

    • Ciancaglini visits Las Vegas often & had never seen the iconic strip like it was after the shooting.

    A Philadelphia attorney walking near the Las Vegas concert where a man rained gunfire down on a crowd of thousands of people described chaos as concertgoers scrambled to escape the massacre.

    “I was really close to the middle of it. It was very scary," Billy Ciancaglini said early Monday morning.

    Ciancaglini arrived in Las Vegas late Friday night for a vacation. He did not attend country singer Jason Aldean's concert where the shooting took place.

    Instead, the Philadelphia-based attorney was walking near the Route 91 Harvest Festival — adjacent to the Mandalay Bay, Luxor and Tropicana resorts— when he saw throngs of people running toward him. 

    Video Shows People Flee Mass Shooting on Vegas Strip

    [NATL] Video Shows People Flee Mass Shooting on Vegas Strip

    Video shows people feeling a country music festival in Las Vegas after a gunman opened fire from inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Authorities said that more than 50 people were killed and more than 500 wounded. 

    (Published Monday, Oct. 2, 2017)

    "The first thing I think is 'It’s an attack,'" Ciancaglini said. Then "they started yelling, ‘There’s a shooter! There’s a shooter!’” 

    The gunman — identified by law enforcement as Stephen Paddock — opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino around 10 p.m. local time, spraying the crowd of about 22,000 people with bullets from hundreds of yards away.

    At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 were taken to the hospital in what is now called the worst mass shooting in modern United States history, police said. 

    Officials described Paddock as a "lone wolf" gunman.

    Concert attendees mistook the gunfire for fireworks at first, but the situation quickly devolved into pandemonium.

    “There was no getting out of the way” as people and cars quickly fled the scene, Ciancaglini said.

    “There were just people everywhere coming in my direction,” he said. “People were just pushing into each other and pushing the people in front into the street one after another and cars weren’t stopping.”

    “You could still hear it,” Ciancaglini added. “It was going off seemingly forever, it was going on for quite a while.”

    Paddock killed himself before law enforcement officials were able to locate him and make entry into his hotel room, police said.

    Ciancaglini was able to get to his hotel room at the Monte Carlo casino — about five blocks from the shooting scene — where he turned to Facebook to post about being "100 percent fine" and complementing the "spectacular" work of Las Vegas police.

    As he spoke to NBC10, Ciancaglini looked out of his hotel room down onto a nearly deserted Vegas Strip. Police urged people to stay in their rooms and away from the shooting scene.

    “I’ve never seen Vegas silent like this,” Ciancaglini said. “It is a ghost town like I’ve never seen before.”

    Videos Capture Moment Vegas Gunman Opens Fire

    [NATL] Videos From Las Vegas Concert Show Moment Gunman Opens Fire

    Videos recorded by concert-goers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas show the moment shots rained down on Oct. 1, 2017. Police said Stephen Paddock, 64, killed at least 59 people and wounded 527 others when he opened fire at the crowd from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

    (Published Monday, Oct. 2, 2017)

    Ciancaglini eventually made his way down to the Monte Carlo casino floor where he saw pillows and blankets at slot machines, seemingly for people who weren't staying at the hotel who got caught in the building after the shooting.

    There were even some people gambling and at the bar before daybreak, Ciancaglini said.