Man goes on shooting spree at Hilton Garden Inn
Las Vegas hotel evacuated and gunman shot and killed by SWAT team
A man went on a shooting spree at the 139-room Hilton Garden Inn Las Vegas/ Henderson before being shot and killed by a SWAT team, Action News reported.
Henderson police reported that the man was inside the Hilton Garden Inn, just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, when he started shooting through the first floor window at passers-by, businesses, and a nearby day-care centre.
The daycare centre, Bright Horizons Education and Preschool, was put on lockdown.
The hotel was evacuated at 9.15am and no guests were allowed back in until 2.30pm, and in the area surrounding the shooter’s room until 4.30pm.
Evan Lahti, a hotel guest visiting from San Francisco commented: "I stepped out and they just kind of hurried me out the doorway and as I exited there were police were just covering the hallway with weapons drawn, pistols and as I exited more and more police vehicles floated in."
Teresa Bonillas, 24, and Priscilla Porter, 25, visiting Henderson from Los Angeles, told The Las Vegas Review-Journal they were staying in a room four doors down from the shooter.
They described a chaotic scene Saturday as guests evacuated the hotel.
About 9 a.m., the two woke to “crashing noises” down the hall, then a SWAT officer arrived with a loud bang to their room door.
They put on their clothes and joined dozens of other hotel guests in sprinting toward the exit.
“Everybody was running, it was pretty nerve-racking,” Bonillas said. “We didn’t know what was going on.”
Kathleen Capley, 54, and daughter Amanda Capley, 23, visiting from Phoenix, described a similar experience.
While in a second-floor room, the mother and daughter heard “loud, blaring” music minutes before a police officer holding a weapon, which they said stretched across his body, opened the door and escorted them out.
“All they said was ‘you need to get out right now,’” Kathleen Capley said. “I had never seen so many police cars and officers at once.”
The Capleys stood on the corner of Warm Springs and Julia Street for over two hours as police barricaded the hotel and eventually shot the man.
“It was a surreal feeling,” Amanda Capley said. “You can’t really imagine something like that until it actually happens.”
Despite the heavy Henderson police presence during the shooting, guests interviewed by the Review-Journal said they were impressed with how officers handled the situation, and that they would not hesitate to return to the Hilton Garden Inn in the future.
“It was an isolated incident and I don’t think it reflects the people here at all,” Kathleen Capley said.
“I can’t say enough good about the police and hotel staff for their organised and calm response.”
When the suspect saw Henderson police and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department SWAT team arrive, he used pepper spray in the hallway to deter them.
He then shot at the SWAT team in the hotel corridor, and the team returned fire on the shooter, who later died at Sunrise Hospital. No other injuries have been reported.
The man has not been identified but police have said he was in his mid-to-late thirties.
Hilton Hotels has not yet released a statement regarding the shooting.
The incident comes just over a week after the Tunisia hotel shootings, in which 38 people were killed.