John Cox said he and his wife Karen were visiting Las Vegas and staying at the MGM Grand, a hotel adjacent to Mandalay Bay, the hotel in which a shooter fired onto a country music festival taking place on the Strip. According to reports, at least 59 people have died and more than 500 injured.
Cox said he and his wife had gone to Mandalay Bay for dinner and were in their room at the MGM Grand which overlooked the festival when he heard what he thought was a drum solo.
“We were just getting ready for bed preparing for our flight back to Kansas City (for a business meeting) on Monday morning,” Cox said. “The music stopped and all of a sudden I heard these shots again. Another cycle of about 100 shots. I looked at my wife and I said, ‘there’s something peculiar going on. This sound isn’t coming from the band.'”
He said the sound continued on and off for more than 10 minutes.
Cox is an aviation consultant and now lives in Arizona. He said he graduated from Bishop LeBlond High School in St. Joseph and eventually went on to work as the Airport Manager at Rosecrans Memorial Airport from 1994 to 2007. Cox said he and his wife stayed in their hotel room until they were sure there was no longer a threat and then they wanted to provide aid. He said around 1:30 a.m. they ventured down to the lobby.
“Housekeeping had brought out a bunch of blankets to help comfort the people that had left the event and needed somewhere to go. They needed shelter. A lot of them had blood on them,” Cox said.
He said he was amazed by the humanity he saw in the people during the aftermath.
“People helping people that they didn’t even know and trying to comfort people,” Cox said. “I’ve never seen such an out pour of support for other people that they didn’t even know.”