Cleveland native aids at shooting scene

By ALLEN MINCEY Staff Writer
Posted 10/3/17

Cleveland native Angela McClure Mathis and her husband were nearby when the gunfire began in Las Vegas on Sunday night, in what is being called the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

Mathis, …

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Cleveland native aids at shooting scene

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Cleveland native Angela McClure Mathis and her husband were nearby when the gunfire began in Las Vegas on Sunday night, in what is being called the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

Mathis, senior community manager with the American Cancer Society and a former Cleveland Daily Banner photographer who for many years led Bradley County’s Relay for Life program, and her husband, Barry, were staying at the MGM hotel, located near the Mandalay Bay hotel where the shooting originated.

“We were in the lobby of the MGM, which is next door to the Mandalay Bay, the one the shooter was in,” Mathis said Monday before heading back to Loudon, where the two live.

“Hundreds of people came running in this [hotel they were staying in], screaming that there's a shooter.”

The shooter was identified by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev. He was found dead at the scene of the shooting — a room in the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino — and investigators are still attempting to discern Paddock’s motive for the shooting.

Published news accounts indicated authorities recovered a total of 42 guns belonging to Paddock, with at least 23 of those firearms found in his suite at the hotel. Nineteen others were found at his home in Nevada.

The shooting occurred as county music star Jason Aldean was performing at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest country music festival. The concert was an outdoor event.

“A lot (was) happening at once. People getting trampled,” she continued. “They started using our lobby to triage those shot and hurt in the trampling, and then they thought another shooter was in our lobby and made us all run and hide.”

Eventually, law enforcement determined that the gunman was acting alone in shooting into the crowd at the concert, but McClure said at first they were unsure, and for safety’s sake, had those in the lobby at the MGM move into the parking lot. Those at the MGM were allowed to return to the hotel.

“But we got to our room and people were in our hallways that just ran here and didn’t even have a room, or panicked and got in the wrong tower of rooms,” she said. “So we let them hide in our room for awhile. Everyone was in shock walking around. A girl was just standing there by an elevator saying her friend was shot dead and she had her phone. Everyone was crying. And just in a daze.”

Mathis said she, her husband and a couple of friends there with them started “running and hiding after the rumors spread quickly that there (were) multiple shooters. There were [misinformed] reports that someone had been shot in a New York hotel, and then the report of our hotel. It was just crazy. Just so many walking around or sitting crying and in shock. We saw girls that had decided to run there and I guess ditch their shoes.”

Mathis said she and Barry “let a mother and daughter hide in our room, along with another couple and a guy. The mom and daughter had been at the concert and she kept saying it sounded like the shots were from above. That is, of course, before we found out where they had come from,” Mathis added.

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