Las Vegas shooting: Former Wagga man Brian Hodge escapes

Brian Hodge, pictured back in Wagga in 2015, tells of being in Vegas at the time of the shootings.
Brian Hodge, pictured back in Wagga in 2015, tells of being in Vegas at the time of the shootings.

Former Wagga man Brian Hodge has told of the horror that unfolded in Las Vegas after he escaped a shooting that killed dozens of people. 

A gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas towards a nearby music festival with 30,000 people in attendance. 

Mr Hodge, an event producer, was in Las Vegas on business and was staying in the room next to the shooter.

He was on his way back to his room after dinner when he heard the gunfire.

“Yes, I live in America but I see it on TV and it’s not normally in places I’m in,” he told The Daily Advertiser.

He was approached by a woman who had a frantic look on her face and urged Mr Hodge and his co-workers to run.

Mr Hodge’s team, who were in Las Vegas to produce a show for Weezer, had plans to attend the music festival but returned from dinner late.

Mr Hodge said his Wagga background fostered a love for country music and he was drawn to the impressive lineup.

But a long day of work prompted him and his team to return to the hotel instead.

It was a move that saved his life.

At the woman’s urging, Mr Hodge rushed his team into an elevator and rode it down to the back of the casino.

He and his team escaped from the hotel and hid in the bushes outside of the casino, ensuring they stayed close to the side of the building.

Mr Hodge described the gunfire as lasting for 30 seconds before a 10-second pause and another 30 seconds of gunfire.

“There were so many bullets,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like that.

“That’s not Australia, that’s not Wagga.

“Now I see why people get sad for a city.”

Mr Hodge said he saw flashlights and then police, who encouraged them to walk to the other side of the building with their hands above their head.

They were ushered back into the hotel, which was completely abandoned, and then encouraged to walk down the Las Vegas Strip until they reached safety.

Hundreds of SWAT officers arrived and the city has gone into lockdown.

Police recently reported that the shooter was “down” and they were still pursuing his alleged accomplice.

Mr Hodge is staying in a hotel on the outskirts of town while he awaits further instruction. 

He was meant to be in Las Vegas for two weeks.

Mr Hodge still has family and friends in Wagga and said amid the chaos, he just wanted to make sure they knew he was safe.