HALTOM CITY (CBSDFW.COM) – A man from Haltom City said that he heard every terrifying moment of the shooting in Las Vegas, because he was staying just two floors beneath the shooter’s hotel room at the Mandalay Bay when gunfire poured down on an outdoor country music festival below.
Chris Bethel is back home now, but said that he has not slept or eaten since the shooting. The Army veteran knew the sound of gunfire — and knew that it was close — as soon as the shots started. “It seems like it just never stops,” he recalled. “Seconds are going by, minutes are going by, and the rounds are continuously going.”
“Changing weapons, changing calibers,” Bethel continued. “You can hear the difference in the gunshots of the different rifles that he is shooting.” He desperately tried to call 911, the front desk of the Mandalay Bay and a different hotel across the street, to tell everyone that the shooter was above him. Bethel remembers nobody answering.
Looking out of his window, down at the concert below, Bethel realized that police were responding to the wrong place. “He is not over there, he’s over here,” said Bethel. “I thought he was next door.” That is how loud the gunshots sounded from Bethel’s hotel room.
Once he was able to get somebody on the phone, Bethel explained that he led authorities across the street to the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, where shooter Stephen Praddock was found dead inside from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. “Then, about 10 minutes later, the Las Vegas Police Department called me to let me know,” Bethel said. “They had gotten him.”
The Iraq War veteran, who graduated from Haltom High School, was in Las Vegas for an IT convention. He returned home on Monday, but still has not had a chance to decompress. He just keeps thinking about the victims. “The hardest part about it, for me,” Bethel said, “is feeling like I couldn’t get a hold of somebody fast enough.”