Columbia Native Inside Mandalay Bay as Attack Unfolds

"It was so surreal to be watching the television and see the room where this happened and know that I was just right there and that the hotel that was on the screen, I'm in that hotel." says Anderson native Simms Brooks

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Simms Brooks was staying only a few floors below where the shooter opened fire.

"It was so surreal to be watching the television and see the room where this happened and know that I was just right there and that the hotel that was on the screen, I'm in that hotel," Brooks said. "I didn't know what it was. Honestly I thought it was fireworks across the street."

The Columbia native who know lives in Anderson County, had a work conference in the morning, so she put in earplugs and went to bed.

"All of a sudden my door comes bursting open and it's the Las Vegas Police Department," she said.

They asked if she was alone and whether she was safe.

"It was super fast when they were there and they slammed the door and off they went," she said. "My very first thought was that it has to be a shooting."

As the hours passed, she learned more information and walked out of the hotel.

"It made me physically ill," she said.

Brooks decided not to attend her work conference. She thought back to a girl she saw the afternoon before.

"I saw this girl by the convention center that afternoon wearing a t-shirt that said she'd belonged to the 'Working Class', which is a song, a country song, and I remembered that and she was the first person I thought of and I thought that girl could have been one of those people down there. There aren't even any words really to describe that at all," she said.

Brooks plans on returning to the Upstate sometime Tuesday.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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