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Former Paia woman recounts scene during Vegas shooting

Rosemarie Bernardo
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Drapes billowed out of broken windows at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino, today, on the Las Vegas Strip following a deadly shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas.

Tara Spangler, originally from Paia, Maui, was dealing cards at Hooters Casino Hotel in Las Vegas Sunday night when dozens of frantic people ran into the casino.

“I had no idea what was going on,” said Spangler, 32, during a phone interview today.

About 10 to 15 seconds later, another wave of people with blood on them ran into the establishment when someone told her “there’s an active shooter with a machine gun.”

Soon after, a third wave of people ran inside the casino seeking shelter. “It was very chaotic.”

Spangler, mother of two young girls, immediately fled. “All I could think of is my kids,” she said.

She ran to the rooftop of the hotel when she heard rapid gunshots. “It was like, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop…..”

Spangler and a valet ran back inside and into a banquet room closet. “You can hear everybody screaming in the casino,” she said noting at least 15 to 20 people who ran inside the Hooters Casino Hotel had gunshot wounds. “Everybody tried to help them.”

“There were some people who had blood on them but it wasn’t theirs,” Spangler said.

“It was really surreal … It was like a scene out of a zombie movie. People were just bloody. People were screaming. People were frantic.”

Spangler then sought shelter inside the employee dining area where she and her co-workers stayed for about three to four hours until they heard through a television news broadcast that the gunman was dead.

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